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News Item
Chief Justice Gildea Urges Awareness Of Jury Duty Scams

Posted: Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea urges Minnesotans to be vigilant of jury duty scams. The Minnesota Judicial Branch has posted information about jury duty scams on its website at www.mncourts.gov/jury. A copy of an informational poster, previously distributed by the Judicial Branch, can be found here.
 
“Counties and district courts are hearing, once again, that scammers are preying on Minnesotans with fake jury duty summons and calls,” said Chief Justice Gildea. "Jury duty is an important civic honor. I laud the dedication of citizens who report for jury service, and urge Minnesotans to learn about and protect themselves from the potentially devastating consequences of these scams.”
 
Jury duty scams can take many forms. Recent scammers have used fraudulent phone calls and e-mails threatening a citizen with fines, prosecution, or imprisonment for failure to comply with jury service in federal or state courts. The scammers demand a citizen to provide payment or to divulge private information that the scammer can use for identity theft purposes.
 
Chief Justice Gildea reminds all Minnesotans that if they are summoned for state jury duty, initial contact will always be made by U.S. Mail in the form of a juror summons from a Minnesota district court. Minnesota courts will never contact a person by phone or e-mail and seek payment of fines, Social Security numbers, credit card information, or any other sensitive information in response to missed jury duty.
 
Any person receiving a suspicious call or e-mail seeking financial or private data related to missed jury duty is urged to contact their local county sheriff’s office. Any person with questions about their jury duty should contact their local district court. Contact information can be found at www.mncourts.gov/jury by clicking on the “County Jury Info” tab.
 
More information about jury duty in Minnesota
 
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.
 
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. From an eligible population of 3.7 million people, approximately 180,000 Minnesota citizens are summoned to serve as jurors in the state courts every year.
 
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). The online form gives citizens the option of delivering their summons response to the court at any time of day, and it saves the cost of mailing the response.
 
More details about jury service, including frequently asked questions and an orientation video, “All Rise: Jury Service in Minnesota,” can be found at www.mncourts.gov/jury.