If you have never been called to serve on jury duty, these details may be helpful. If, at any time, you have some reason that you cannot serve on jury duty, please contact the court and advise us of your situation so that it may be dealt with immediately. It is not the wish of the Court to make jury service a hardship to anyone, but it is your duty as a citizen to serve when called upon.
Jurors are chosen from Secretary of State records by a random computer draw each year.
Questionnaires are sent out by the Jury Board in May, and the returns are processed for qualified jurors to be used by the three courts: Circuit, Probate, and District.
Jurors must be U.S. citizens and residents of St. Joseph County, Michigan to serve.
Jurors must be able to speak English to serve.
Jurors are not required to serve after age 70, if they choose not to.
Jury service year runs from October 1st through September 30th.
There are four 3-month terms of service in the jury service year (Oct/Jan/Apr/July).
There are six panels of jurors in each of the four terms (A - F).
There are 35 jurors on each of the six panels.
Six jurors are needed for each trial.
Trial dates in District Court are currently scheduled for Wednesdays.
Only misdemeanor cases are heard in District Court, and they are usually completed in one day.
Jurors will be asked to serve at least once during their term of service, and possibly twice.
Letters (pink paper) are sent out to jurors prior to their term of service to advise them of their status.
Letters (blue paper) are sent out to jurors 2-3 weeks prior to each trial date to advise them of their specific date of service.
Letters (green paper) are sent out to jurors with their payment at the end of their term of service, according to State requirements. If they have not served, no letter will be sent at the end of the term of service.
Read all letters from the Court carefully. Call with any questions you have.
Juror letters include a message number to call the night before your scheduled date of service. The recorded message will indicate the arrival time for jury service or the cancellation of the scheduled trial. This gives jurors advance notice of the trial situation.
Jurors who are not called into the Court for jury selection at trial, nor receive any juror payments, will be eligible to serve again as soon as the following year.
Jurors will not be required to serve for one year, if they have served and been paid during their term of service.
Any personal conflicts with jury duty should be reported to the Court, including medical appointments, vacations, work requirements, and physical or mental disabilities. Documentation may be required by the Court in order to excuse you from service.
If you receive no other correspondence from the Court by the end of your term of service, you are released from your responsibility for that service year.