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Frequently Asked Questions

If you have further questions, please refer to Jury Orientation.


How was I selected for jury service?

Each year the Minnesota Judicial Branch obtains names from a list of licensed drivers, state identification card holders, and registered voters residing in your county and compiles that information into a source list. The names of deceased persons, provided by the Department of Health, are removed from the source list. From that list, individuals are randomly selected by computer.

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Why must I serve? What happens if I do not serve?

The Constitutions of the United States and the State of Minnesota guarantee defendants in criminal cases and litigants in civil cases the right to a trial by jury. As a prospective juror, you have an opportunity to participate directly in a critical component of our democracy.

Failure to appear for jury service is a misdemeanor offense which is punishable by up to a $1,000.00 fine and up to 90 days in jail (per Minnesota Statutes Chapter 593).

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What are the qualifications for jury service?

A prospective juror must be:

  1. A United States citizen;
  2. A resident of the county;
  3. At least 18 years old;
  4. Able to communicate in the English language;
  5. Physically and mentally capable of serving;
  6. A person who has had their civil rights restored if they have been convicted of a felony;
  7. A person who has not served as a state or federal juror in the past four years.

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Who can be excused from jury service?

A person who has received a jury summons will be excused for any of the following reasons:

  1. Not a citizen of the United States;
  2. Not a resident of the county;
  3. Not yet 18 years old;
  4. Unable to communicate in the English language;
  5. Provided a doctor’s note indicating that there is a physical or mental disability preventing jury service; 
  6. Has been convicted of a felony and has not had their civil rights restored;
  7. Has served as a state or federal juror within the past four years;
  8. Is a judge currently serving in the judicial branch of government.

A prospective juror who is 70 years of age or older can be excused without providing evidence of an inability to serve, but may choose to serve if able.

If you are disqualified/excused, a confirmation notice will be sent to you.

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May I postpone my jury service?

If the period of time on your summons presents a hardship due to employment, vacation, family business, or any other hardship, you may request a one-time postponement of service for up to nine months. You may request a postponement online, on your summons, or by calling the contact number listed on your summons.

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How long does jury service last?

The length of the term of service varies from county to county, depending on county population. Refer to your summons or your county website for specific terms of service.

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What if I need special accommodations?

If you need special accommodations, such as a sight or sign language interpreter, hearing amplification, or special seating, please contact your county's jury office so they know what type of assistance you will need. 

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Jurors are paid $10.00 for each day that they report to the courthouse, plus roundtrip mileage from home to the courthouse at the rate of 27 cents per mile.

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Do I get reimbursed for childcare while serving as a juror?

Jurors who are normally caring for their children during the day can be reimbursed for childcare expenses up to $50.00 per day in addition to other fees paid. Details and forms are available when you report.

Under the State of Minnesota guidelines there are two levels of daycare reimbursement:

  • Licensed Childcare: Actual expenses, not to exceed $50.00 per day of service PER FAMILY not per child. Receipts for actual expenses must be submitted with claim.
  • Non-Licensed Childcare: Actual expenses up to $5.00 per hour, not to exceed $40.00 per day of service PER FAMILY not per child. The childcare provider must sign the claim.

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Is jury pay taxable?

The $10.00 per diem must be reported as income for tax purposes. You must keep a record of the amounts you receive as no tax has been withheld and no W-2 forms are furnished. 1099 forms are furnished only to those jurors who receive $600.00 or more in juror compensation.

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Does my employer have to let me leave work to serve?

Your employer must allow you time off to serve on a jury. That is the law. Minnesota statute prohibits any employer from firing or harassing an employee who is summoned for jury service. However, you must let your employer know well in advance, as soon as you receive your summons. You should contact the court if you have a problem with your employer. Remember that you can postpone jury service to a more convenient time. Read your summons carefully or contact your county's jury office to find out how to request a postponement.

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Does my employer have to pay me while I serve?

There is no Minnesota law that requires employers to pay employees while serving jury duty. Some employers do pay normal salaries to employees serving on a jury. You will need to check with your employer. Also, individuals who belong to labor unions may be covered through their union contracts.

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I am self employed and am not getting paid. Do I still have to serve?

Being self-employed does not excuse you from jury service.

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What if this time poses a hardship for me?

After you have submitted your questionnaire, you may request a one-time postponement of service for up to nine months. You may request a postponement online, on your summons, or by calling the contact number listed on your summons.

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I am a student and in class during the time that I am summoned for jury service. What should I do?

If you are a student, after you have submitted your questionnaire you may postpone your report date to a date during a school break.

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I am a student and have received a jury summons to report for jury duty during the school year. Does that disqualify me from jury service?

No, not necessarily. It depends upon where you permanently reside (determined by the address on your driver's license) and which Minnesota County summoned you to serve as a juror:

  • If you are resident of Washington County and the summons is from Stearns County, you are disqualified to serve as a juror in Stearns County because you are not a permanent resident of Stearns County.  
  • If you are a resident of Washington County and the summons is from Washington County, you are required to serve on jury duty in Washington County because you are a resident of Washington County. However, if you are unable to serve on jury duty during the school year, you can request that your jury service be postponed to a later date (i.e., during a school break). Please follow the postponement instructions on your juror questionnaire to request a postponement.

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I am a seasonal worker. May I serve during my downtime?

After you have submitted your questionnaire, you may request a one-time postponement of service for up to nine months. You may request a postponement online, on your summons, or by calling the contact number listed on your summons. 

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Do I get a verification of jury service for my employer?

Upon request, the county's jury office contact can provide you with a written verification of the days that you reported for jury service.

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