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Jury Service Tips

JURY SERVICE TIPS

Jury service is an important civic responsibility and is one of the highest duties a citizen can perform in a democracy. Your voice as a juror is needed to ensure fairness and justice in our community.  Here are some tips regarding your jury service:

  • If summoned for jury service, read the summons carefully and follow the instructions for reporting to court.

  • As a juror, you should be prepared to spend time waiting.  Knowing that jurors are in the courthouse and ready to render a verdict often encourages parties to enter a plea or resolve a case without going to trial.
  • Bring things to do while you are waiting.  Books, magazines, newspapers, needlework, cards and other quiet activities are appropriate.  You may bring cell phones and personal computers to use while waiting to be sent into the courtrooms, but please remember to turn these items off before entering any courtroom.
  • Don't take it personally if you are not selected as a juror for a trial. Voir dire (the process of selecting a jury) is designed to examine a large number of potential jurors and then to select a smaller number to serve on a trial. Lawyers have many reasons for not choosing a person for a jury. Not being selected does not imply that you lack ability or honesty. You may be selected for a different trial.
  • All jurors’ names are selected at random by computer from a combined list of registered voters and licensed drivers. To register to vote, call your county auditor or city clerk and ask to have an application mailed to you. For information about getting a Minnesota Driver's License, call your local Department of Public Safety office.
  • It is important that the records regarding your name and address are accurate and up-to-date.  Please remember to include any changes in your personal information when completing your juror questionnaire.  Any incorrect information may cause delays in receiving your jury duty pay.

Conduct of Jurors

After jurors are sworn, they should observe the following rules:

  • Always be prompt for court.
  • Always sit in the same seat in the jury box during the trial.
  • Listen carefully.
  • Do not talk to anyone about the case or let anyone talk to you about it. During the trial, do not talk to lawyers, parties or witnesses in the case. If anyone talks to you about the trial, report it to the judge promptly.
  • In the courtroom, you are not permitted to smoke, eat or drink, read newspapers or magazines, wear hats, listen to headphones/radios, use cellular phones.
  • Do not read newspaper articles about the trial.
  • Do not listen to radio or television accounts about the trial.

    If an emergency arises while you are on a case, promptly advise the bailiff or court staff.