Responses to Jury Summons Can Now Be Completed Through Court Website
Posted: Friday, August 21, 2009
Minnesota citizens called to serve as jurors in the 89 state District Courts now have the option of completing the required Juror Qualification Questionnaire over the Internet through the Judicial Branch website.
Each year approximately 180,000 Minnesota citizens are summoned to serve as jurors in Minnesota state courts. Citizens who are summoned are required to complete and return a qualification questionnaire to their local court administrator's office, where it is reviewed to determine if the respondent qualifies to serve.
To be eligible to serve a prospective juror must be:
- a citizen of the United States
- at least 18 years of age
- live in the county where they are summoned to serve
- be able to communicate in English
- not have a physical or mental disability that affects their ability to serve
- not be a convicted felon who has yet to complete his/her sentence, parole or probation
- not served on jury duty within the past 4 years
- not be a Judicial Branch judge
Hennepin County Court piloted the use of the on-line service over the past two years. Over 40,000 summoned citizens had the option to answer their qualification questionnaire, including requesting a postponement of their jury service, through the website service. Court staff report that the option to complete the questionnaire and choose a new service date over the Internet has been very popular with prospective jurors. About 60% of the Hennepin County residents receiving summons during the pilot period chose to use the Internet option.
The jury summons project is part of the Minnesota Judicial Branch's on-going effort to increase its use of technology in order to become more efficient, reduce costs and make the courts more accessible to the public.
In addition to the qualification questionnaire service, the Judicial Branch website section on jury service has been expanded. The new section contains a general overview of jury service, including a jury orientation video, a list of frequently asked questions, ability to link to county-specific jury information, and information about jury selection and the trial process. The new Jury Service website may be viewed at www.mncourts.gov/juryservice.