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Chief Justice Lorie Gildea Proclaims Juror Appreciation Week April 29-May 3

Posted: Monday, April 29, 2013

Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea has proclaimed April 29 to May 3 Juror Appreciation Week. The Judicial Branch will use this occasion to express appreciation for those Minnesotans who have answered the call to jury service.

The right to a trial by jury is one of the core protections of individual freedom in American society. 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.

“Jurors are a vital part of our justice system; the place where citizens participate in court decisions that impact the lives of individuals, families, and businesses,” said Chief Justice Gildea, noting that Minnesotans respond to jury summons at a consistently high rate. “This week, courts around the state will be recognizing and thanking the citizens who report for jury service, as well as the employers who support employee leaves for jury service.”

During the week, in addition to the proclamation being posted in courts in every county, various activities will recognize prospective jurors, including: 

  • Some of the courts in the First Judicial District will hand out American flags and thank you notes to prospective jurors. 
  • The Second Judicial District will be serving cookies and a judge will read the proclamation to prospective jurors. 
  • Court staff in the Third Judicial District will read the proclamation to prospective jurors. 
  • Fourth Judicial District Chief Judge Peter Cahill will read the proclamation to prospective jurors, who will also be served cookies.
  • In the Fifth, Sixth, and Ninth judicial districts, some of the courts will be submitting an article related to Juror Appreciation Week to their local newspapers.
  • In the Tenth Judicial District, depending on the local court, prospective jurors may be served cookies, be read the proclamation, or hear from a judge about jury service.

Each year, the Minnesota Judicial Branch obtains names from driver’s license, state ID card, and voter registration lists and compiles that information into a composite source list.  From that list, individuals are randomly selected by computer and mailed a summons to appear for jury duty.

A prospective juror must be a United States citizen, a resident of the county in which they are summoned, at least 18 years old, able to communicate in English, physically and mentally capable of serving, a person who has had their civil rights restored if they have been convicted of a felony, and a person who has not served as a state or federal juror in the past four years.

Persons summoned for jury duty can complete the required qualification questionnaire through the Judicial Branch Website (www.mncourts.gov).  More details about jury service, including frequently asked questions and an orientation video, “All Rise: Jury Service in Minnesota,” can be found at http://www.mncourts.gov/jury.