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Juror's Frequently Asked Questions
How can I contact the Jury Clerk?
How can my family reach me in case of an emergency?
Are jurors given breaks? Are there lunch facilities available or will we be expected to bring our lunch?
Jurors are usually given a break in the morning, at lunch, and in the afternoon. There are several restaurants within walking distance of the Courthouse and still others that are a short drive away. Jurors are also welcome to bring their lunch. There is a microwave in the jury deliberation room. The Court provides soft drinks for the jurors, as well as coffee and sweet rolls or doughnuts in the morning. Jurors are only provided free meals (lunches/dinners) while they are deliberating (deciding what their verdict will be).
Will I serve on civil or criminal trials?
While the U.S. District Court conducts trials in both civil and criminal cases, there is no way to know what type of case a juror might be assigned to until the day they report for service.
What happens if I dont report for jury duty?
Any juror who fails to report for jury duty may be served an Order to Show Cause. The Court may then hold a hearing on the Order to Show Cause. Jurors who fail to show adequate cause for their absence from jury duty can be held in contempt of court under the Jury Selection Act (18 U.S.C. 1866 (g)). Penalties range from a fine of $100 to three days in jail, or both.
What if my employer wants proof that I was serving on jury duty?
There will be a Certificate of Attendance available from the Jury Clerk at your request. Know that federal law prohibits employers from firing or disciplining employees because of their service as jurors.
After a trial is over, am I finished or am I still on call?
This will depend on the needs of the Court and the number of cases tried during your term of service. The Court makes every effort to fully utilize each pool and will call those who served on a trial only when no other pool members are available.
In PEORIA and URBANA you must continue calling as directed until the end of your service term. In SPRINGFIELD and ROCK ISLAND you dont need to call until you have received another written notice in the mail.
If I am selected, what are the hours I would be expected to spend at the Courthouse?
Trials are usually held between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., unless the Judge informs you otherwise. These hours are always subject to change, depending on how the trial is progressing.
How much time will it take until I know if I am selected?
The selection time varies so you should plan on staying until 5:00 p.m.
What should I bring with me when I report for jury duty?
Please bring the top half of your Summons with you when you report. Since the courtrooms tend to be cool, you may want to bring a sweater or light jacket with you. Also, please be prepared to show photo identification when entering the courthouse.
I live a long distance away. Do I need to report?
Yes. Jurors who live over 70 miles from the Courthouse may travel the night before and will receive a per diem to assist in covering lodging and meal expenses. You should request the governement rate when making your hotel reservations. You will need to provide the Jury Clerk with an original hotel receipt which lists room charges and taxes. All jurors also receive round trip mileage reimbursement.
How will I be notified of the status of my hardship excuse request?
The District Judge and/or Jury Clerk will review your written request and you will be notified in writing if you are excused.
How do I notify the Court if jury service will result in undue hardship or extreme inconvenience?
Proposed Amendment for Public Comment
The Judicial Conference Advisory Committees on Appellate, Bankruptcy, Criminal and Evidence Rules have proposed amendments to the following rules and forms and have asked that they be circulated to the bench, bar, and public for comment.
Appellate Rules: 3, 13, 26.1, 28, and 32
Bankruptcy Rules: 2002, 4001, 6007, 9036, 9037, and Official Form 410
Criminal Rules: New Criminal Rule 16.1, Rule 5 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases, and Rule 5 of the Rules Governing Section 2255 Proceedings
Rules of Evidence: 807
The proposed amendments and the advisory committees’ reports explaining the proposed changes are posted on the Judiciary’s website at: