Jury Service

Did you get a Summons to Jury Service in the Mail?




 

The idea of a jury of our peers has been fundamental to the American justice system since its beginning. A group of six to 12 men and women from all sections of the community sit down together and hear a case of law. These individuals listen to the facts of the case, consult among themselves, and come to a verdict.
 

Responsibilities of the Judge and Jury

In order for our court system to work properly, judges and jurors must consider the cases before them in a way that is thoughtful, involves sound judgment, is impartial and fair, and shows integrity.

In each trial, the judge determines the rules of law that govern the case. For example, the judge decides what evidence may be admitted or considers attorneys’ objections to something that was said during trial. At times, the judge may excuse the jury from the courtroom or may speak to the attorneys privately. When this occurs, jurors should not feel that their time is being wasted or that information is being withheld. These conferences allow the trial to continue fairly and efficiently.

At the close of the trial, the judge gives jurors instructions as to the laws that govern the case.  At this time, the responsibility switches to the jurors. After listening carefully and considering all of the testimony and evidence, jurors move to the jury room to discuss the case in privacy.  Jurors decide which facts in the case are most credible and then apply the law as instructed by the judge in order to reach a verdict.

In a civil case, jurors decide which party should prevail and whether damages (usually money) should be awarded. In a criminal case, jurors decide whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty.


Types of Cases

Juries are called to hear two types of cases: civil and criminal.

Civil cases involve disputes between people or organizations. They may involve property or personal rights, such as landlord/tenant disputes, auto or personal injury accidents, product warranties, contract disputes, and harassment and employment disputes. 

The party that sues is called the plaintiff, while the party being sued is known as the defendant or respondent. The case begins when the plaintiff files a written complaint. The other party then generally disputes the claim by filing an answer.

Criminal Cases are filed on behalf of citizens by the State of Minnesota against individuals or corporations accused of committing crimes. In most cases, a prosecutor files a complaint, which explains the charges against the defendant. If the charge is brought by a grand jury, it is known as an indictment.

The person charged with an offense may admit the charge is true by entering a plea of guilty or may deny the charge by pleading not guilty.


How You Get Selected

Each year, the Minnesota Judicial Branch obtains names from a list of licensed drivers, state identification card holders, and registered voters residing in your county and compiles that information into a source list. The names of deceased persons, provided by the Department of Health, are removed from the source list. From that list, individuals are randomly selected by computer.

If you have further questions, please refer to Jury Orientation.
 

How was I selected for jury service?

Each year the Minnesota Judicial Branch obtains names from a list of licensed drivers, state identification card holders, and registered voters residing in your county and compiles that information into a source list. The names of deceased persons, provided by the Department of Health, are removed from the source list. From that list, individuals are randomly selected by computer.
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Why must I serve? What happens if I do not serve?

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. As a prospective juror, you have an opportunity to participate directly in a critical component of our democracy.

Failure to appear for jury service is a misdemeanor offense that is punishable by up to a $1,000.00 fine and up to 90 days in jail (per Minn. Stat. ch. 593).
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What are the qualifications for jury service?

A prospective juror must be:
  1. A United States citizen;
  2. A resident of the county;
  3. At least 18 years old;
  4. Able to communicate in the English language;
  5. Physically and mentally capable of serving;
  6. A person who has had their civil rights restored if they have been convicted of a felony;
  7. A person who has not served as a state or federal juror in the past four years.
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Who can be excused from jury service?

A person who has received a jury summons will be excused for any of the following reasons:
  1. Not a citizen of the United States;
  2. Not a resident of the county;
  3. Not yet 18 years old;
  4. Unable to communicate in the English language;
  5. Provided a doctor’s note indicating that there is a physical or mental disability preventing jury service;
  6. Has been convicted of a felony and has not had their civil rights restored;
  7. Has served as a state or federal juror within the past four years;
  8. Is a judge currently serving in the judicial branch of government.
A prospective juror who is 70 years of age or older can be excused without providing evidence of an inability to serve, but may choose to serve if able.

If you are disqualified/excused, a confirmation notice will be sent to you.
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May I postpone my jury service?

If the period of time on your summons presents a hardship due to employment, vacation, family business, or any other hardship, you may request a one-time postponement of service for up to nine months. You may request a postponement online, on your summons, or by calling the contact number listed on your summons.
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How long does jury service last?

The length of the term of service varies from county to county, depending on county population. Refer to your summons or your county website for specific terms of service.
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What if I need special accommodations?

If you need special accommodations, such as a sight or sign language interpreter, hearing amplification, or special seating, please contact your county's jury office so they know what type of assistance you will need. 
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Will I be paid for my jury service?

Jurors are paid $10.00 for each day that they report to the courthouse, plus roundtrip mileage from home to the courthouse at the rate of 27 cents per mile.
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Do I get reimbursed for childcare while serving as a juror?

Jurors who are normally caring for their children during the day can be reimbursed for childcare expenses up to $50.00 per day in addition to other fees paid. Details and forms are available when you report.

Under the State of Minnesota guidelines there are two levels of daycare reimbursement:
  • Licensed Childcare: Actual expenses, not to exceed $50.00 per day of service PER FAMILY not per child. Receipts for actual expenses must be submitted with claim.
  • Non-Licensed Childcare: Actual expenses up to $5.00 per hour, not to exceed $40.00 per day of service PER FAMILY not per child. The childcare provider must sign the claim.
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Is jury pay taxable?

The $10.00 per diem must be reported as income for tax purposes. You must keep a record of the amounts you receive as no tax has been withheld and no W-2 forms are furnished. 1099 forms are furnished only to those jurors who receive $600.00 or more in juror compensation.
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Does my employer have to let me leave work to serve?

Your employer must allow you time off to serve on a jury. That is the law. Minnesota statute prohibits any employer from firing or harassing an employee who is summoned for jury service. However, you must let your employer know well in advance, as soon as you receive your summons. You should contact the court if you have a problem with your employer. Remember that you can postpone jury service to a more convenient time. Read your summons carefully or contact your county's jury office to find out how to request a postponement.
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Does my employer have to pay me while I serve?

There is no Minnesota law that requires employers to pay employees while serving jury duty. Some employers do pay normal salaries to employees serving on a jury. You will need to check with your employer. Also, individuals who belong to labor unions may be covered through their union contracts.
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I am self-employed and am not getting paid. Do I still have to serve?

Being self-employed does not excuse you from jury service.
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What if this time poses a hardship for me?

After you have submitted your questionnaire, you may request a one-time postponement of service for up to nine months. You may request a postponement online, on your summons, or by calling the contact number listed on your summons.
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I am a student and in class during the time that I am summoned for jury service. What should I do?

If you are a student, after you have submitted your questionnaire you may postpone your report date to a date during a school break.
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I am a student and have received a jury summons to report for jury duty during the school year. Does that disqualify me from jury service?

No, not necessarily. It depends upon where you permanently reside (determined by the address on your driver's license) and which Minnesota County summoned you to serve as a juror:
  • If you are resident of Washington County and the summons is from Stearns County, you are disqualified to serve as a juror in Stearns County because you are not a permanent resident of Stearns County. 
  • If you are a resident of Washington County and the summons is from Washington County, you are required to serve on jury duty in Washington County because you are a resident of Washington County. However, if you are unable to serve on jury duty during the school year, you can request that your jury service be postponed to a later date (i.e., during a school break). Please follow the postponement instructions on your juror questionnaire to request a postponement.​
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I am a seasonal worker. May I serve during my downtime?

After you have submitted your questionnaire, you may request a one-time postponement of service for up to nine months. You may request a postponement online, on your summons, or by calling the contact number listed on your summons. 
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Do I get a verification of jury service for my employer?

Upon request, the county's jury office contact can provide you with a written verification of the days that you reported for jury service.
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County Jury InformationPlease select your county from the list below, and then click the "Go" button to see jury information specific to your county.

Aitkin (Ninth District)

Aitkin County District Court
209 2nd Street NW
Aitkin, MN 56431
Phone: (218) 927-7350
Fax: (218) 927-4535

Anoka (Tenth District)

Anoka County Jury Commissioner
Anoka County Courthouse
325 East Main Street
Anoka, MN 55303-2489
Phone: (763) 422-7370
Fax: (763) 422-6919


Child Care Reimbursement

Jurors who are not employed outside the home may be reimbursed for child care expenses incurred as a result of jury services. Jurors who are employed outside the home are not entitled to child care reimbursement unless the expense, as a result of jury service, is greater than normally would be incurred. Payment will be made only for the amount over and above your normal child care expenditure. All requests for payment must be submitted within ten days after you complete jury service. Reimbursement claim forms can be picked up in the Jury Manager’s Office.


Courtroom Decorum

Casual or comfortable dress is acceptable. Jurors are not allowed to wear hats, drink beverages, chew gum or use tobacco products in the courtroom. Wireless internet is available for use in the Jury Assembly Room. Cell phones, computers and all internet accessible devises are NOT allowed in the courtroom and must be left in the Jury Managers office when reporting to the courtroom. If you are concerned about leaving these items in the Jury Managers office, you may choose to leave them at home. There are a limited number of lockers available for these types of items. All books, magazines and newspapers must be left in the Jury Assembly Room.


Juror Emergency

If illness or family emergency prevents attendance at the courthouse, please inform court personnel by calling (763) 422-7370 at 8:00 a.m. The same phone number may be given to family members or child care providers in case an emergency arises during the day.


Juror Hours and Breaks

Normal hours for jurors hearing testimony in court cases are 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Jurors reporting for new cases will be required to stay at the courthouse throughout the day or until juries have been selected for all cases scheduled. Court personnel will inform jurors as to when they may leave the courthouse.

Jurors generally get a 15 to 20 minute mid-morning and mid-afternoon break and a lunch recess of about one to one and a half hours. There are restaurants within walking distance of the courthouse and a soda, candy/chip machine near the Jury Assembly Room. A refrigerator and microwave oven are located in the assembly room for jurors wanting to bring brown-bag lunches or soda brought from home. 


Juror Information Line

The Juror Information Line, (763) 422-7405, is updated daily at 4:30 p.m. and gives instructions to jurors for the following day. Jurors are identified by their call-in/group number which is located on the summons. Weekend messages are made on Friday at 4:30 p.m. and run all weekend. Jurors who are not required to report for service at the courthouse should go about their normal day’s activities, i.e., go to their normal place of employment.


Juror Notes

Note pads and pens will be provided to jurors for the purpose of taking notes during trials.


Juror Sequestration

In any criminal case involving a jury, there is always the possibility that the jury could be sequestered (that is house at a motel for a duration of the jury deliberation process). As a practical matter, only about one or two jury panels per year are actually sequestered. However, in the event that a jury is sequestered, the following information may be helpful: 

*Jurors will not be allowed to call their homes, but court personnel will take messages from jurors and call their families.

*If it is anticipated that jurors may be sequestered, court personnel will request that jurors bring overnight bags with them to the Jury Assembly Room.


Juror Parking

Jurors may park free in the Anoka County Parking Ramp located on 4th Avenue and Van Buren Street. Enter the ramp through the entrance marked with the large “P” indicating public parking. You may park in any non-reserved space on the 1st level of the ramp. Do not park in any space marked reserved. If there are not available non-reserved spaces on the 1st level, you can proceed to the top-open level #5 of the ramp for additional non-reserved parking. Please be aware that there are not adequate high-vehicle parking spaces in the ramp for jurors driving high vehicles - - clearance is 6 feet 9 inches. If you are driving a high vehicle you will need to park on the street at least 3 blocks away from the courthouse to avoid areas designated as 1 – 3 hour parking only. Handicap parking is available in the ramp.

Smoking: The courthouse is a no smoking building and smoking is not allowed in the jury rooms during breaks or deliberation. Should a juror anticipate difficulty with this policy, please inform the judge of your concerns during voir dire questioning.


Weather/Snow Emergency

In the event of inclement weather such as a severe snowstorm, please telephone the Juror Information Line, (763) 422-7405, for a message regarding closing of the Courthouse. 


Where to Report

Jurors should report to the Jury Assembly Room located on the second floor, center-section of the courthouse. For specific reporting time, telephone the Juror Information Line. Court personnel will escort smaller groups of jurors to various courtrooms where individual juries will be selected. The selection process includes being questioned by the attorneys in the case as well as the presiding judge. If a juror is not selected to serve on one case, he or she will return to the Jury Assembly Room to await further instructions. Jurors may be sent to another courtroom for service or may be released for the rest of the day. Either way, jurors will receive further instructions from court personnel.

Becker (Seventh District)

Becker County Court Administration
913 Lake Avenue
Detroit Lakes, MN 56501
Phone: (218) 846-7305
Fax: (218) 847-7620

Beltrami (Ninth District)

Beltrami County Judicial Center
600 Minnesota Avenue NW, Suite 108
Bemidji, MN 56601-3068
Phone: (218) 333-4217
Fax: (218) 333-4209

Benton (Seventh District)

Benton County Court Administration
615 Highway 23
P.O. Box 189
Foley, MN 56329
Phone: (320) 968-5205
Fax: (320) 968-5353

Big Stone (Eighth District)

Big Stone County Courthouse
20 Second Street SE, Suite 107
Ortonville, Minnesota 56278
Phone: (320) 839-2536
Fax: (320) 839-2537

Blue Earth (Fifth District)

Blue Earth County Justice Center
401 Carver Road
P.O. Box 347
Mankato, MN 56002-0347
Phone: (507) 304-4693, (507) 304-4694, (507) 304-4695
Fax: (507) 304-4700


Voir Dire: Jury Selection

Potential jurors are randomly selected from driver’s license, state ID, and voter registration records.  The length of jury service depends on the county in which a juror lives, but cannot exceed four months.  Jurors receive a summons that tells them to appear at the courthouse for jury service.

When a jury case is called, court administrators randomly choose potential jurors and send them to a courtroom for interviews, known as voir dire [vwahr deer].  In the courtroom, you will learn more about the case and be questioned by the judge and attorneys so they may determine whether you are qualified to serve.  Depending on the type of case or the procedures used in your county, you may be questioned individually or in a group.  If you feel you should not serve as a juror, or if you know the parties, witnesses or attorneys involved in the case, tell the judge and attorneys as soon as possible.

During the interview, an attorney may challenge for cause if the attorney feels that a potential juror cannot be fair and impartial.  The judge must then decide whether to allow the challenge and excuse the juror.  Attorneys may also excuse a juror by using a peremptory challenge, which does not require the attorney to give a reason for excusing a juror.  Do not take offense if you are challenged.  This is a normal part of voir dire.

If you are not excused, you will become a member of the jury and will take an oath before hearing the case.  In criminal cases, alternate jurors may be assigned to a case.

Brown (Fifth District)

Brown County Court Administration
14 South State Street
P.O. Box 248
New Ulm, MN 56073-0248
Phone: (507) 233-6670
Fax: (507) 359-9562


Voir Dire: Jury Selection

Potential jurors are randomly selected from driver’s license, state ID, and voter registration records.  The length of jury service depends on the county in which a juror lives, but cannot exceed four months.  Jurors receive a summons that tells them to appear at the courthouse for jury service.

When a jury case is called, court administrators randomly choose potential jurors and send them to a courtroom for interviews, known as voir dire [vwahr deer].  In the courtroom, you will learn more about the case and be questioned by the judge and attorneys so they may determine whether you are qualified to serve.  Depending on the type of case or the procedures used in your county, you may be questioned individually or in a group.  If you feel you should not serve as a juror, or if you know the parties, witnesses or attorneys involved in the case, tell the judge and attorneys as soon as possible.

During the interview, an attorney may challenge for cause if the attorney feels that a potential juror cannot be fair and impartial.  The judge must then decide whether to allow the challenge and excuse the juror.  Attorneys may also excuse a juror by using a peremptory challenge, which does not require the attorney to give a reason for excusing a juror.  Do not take offense if you are challenged.  This is a normal part of voir dire.

If you are not excused, you will become a member of the jury and will take an oath before hearing the case.  In criminal cases, alternate jurors may be assigned to a case.

Carlton (Sixth District)

Carlton County Court Administration
P.O. Box 190
301 Walnut Street
Carlton, MN 55718
Phone: (218) 384-9578


Selection of Jurors

Once a year, a computer merges the county’s driver license, voter registration, and Minnesota identification cardholders into one list. From this list, by random selection, jurors are chosen and sent a summons to appear for jury duty. The summons requires the juror call a "jury information line" to receive instructions on when the juror should report to the courthouse.

When the juror reports to the jury assembly room at the courthouse, court personnel will provide orientation and instructions. Following orientation, jurors will go to a courtroom to go through the jury selection process. Jurors will be provided information about the case and questioned by the court and the lawyers for each side. If during questioning, it appears that a juror cannot be fair and impartial, the attorney maychallenge the juror for cause.The judge decides whether the juror would not be able to serve. If the judge allows the challenge, the juror is excused from that case. Another type of challenge is the peremptory challenge. The peremptory challenge requires no reason for excusing a juror. Jurors not excused and seated will comprise the jury. Jurors are sworn in and then are responsible to hear the evidence and follow the case to completion of trial.

HOW YOU WILL BE NOTIFIED TO REPORT: You will need to call the JURY LINE AT (218) 384-9104 DAILY UNLESS OTHERWISE INSTRUCTED. This is a recorded message with instructions given as to who will be reporting for jury duty and when you should call next. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU CALL WHEN INSTRUCTED. IF YOU DO NOT CALL AND YOU WERE CHOSEN FOR A JUROR, YOU WILL BE NOTIFIED THE MORNING OF THE TRIAL AND YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO REPORT. More information regarding the call in system will be given at the orientation session.

SECOND AND SUBSEQUENT DAYS: Enter the Courthouse through any door. If you are in need of a handicapped accessible entrance, please enter from the northern parking lot near the jail building and enter that doorway. Proceed to the third floor and sign in at the table. You may then go the Jury Assembly Room for further instructions. 

OVERNIGHT STAY:Jurors are very rarely detained overnight, but you may be sequestered while deliberating on a criminal verdict or for the duration of a highly publicized trial. The Bailiff in charge will notify your family if you are sequestered.

TRIAL DURATION:The average length of a trial is 1 to 1 1/2 days; however, a few trials may last longer. The trial Judge will advise you of estimated trial duration.

TO REPORT AN ABSENCE: If an illness or emergency prevents your attendance, please call (218) 384-9585 or 1-800-862-3760 and ask for the Court Administrator's Office. Please identify yourself as a juror and please call as close to 8:00 a.m. as possible.

Questions concerning jury service should be addressed to Judy Isaacson, Court Administrator, Kathy McFarlane or Kelly Anderson, Deputy Court Administrators - P.O. Box 190, Carlton County Courthouse, Carlton, MN 55718.

Telephone: (218) 384-9139 or Watts 1-800-862-3760.

JURY TERM:Jury service is for a maximum of 5 reporting days within a two month period (orientation counts as 1 day); or if you are chosen as a juror, you will be excused upon completion of the trial; or approximately two months; whichever occurs first, unless you are excused by the Court. In some instances, you may be required to serve longer than the above guidelines because of an unexpected court calendar. You will be notified if this should happen. Unless otherwise instructed, Court is in session Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

FIRST DAY:Report to the Carlton County Courthouse in Carlton, MN, on the MONDAY YOU WERE SUMMONED AT 8:15 a.m. You can plan on remaining at the courthouse until approximately noon. A jury will be selected to begin a trial after the orientation session is complete. Please report to the third floor of the courthouse and sign your name on the list provided. You will be given brief instructions and be welcomed by the Court Administrator or his staff. A twenty-five minute instructional video tape will be shown, followed by the Judge's instructions. If you wish to avoid parking problems, please arrive early.


Parking

You may park in the parking lots located on the north and south sides of the Courthouse. If the lot is full, street parking is available.

Carver (First District)

Carver County Court Administration
604 East 4th Street
Chaska, MN 55318
Phone: (952) 361-1420
Fax: (952) 361-1491


Jury Information

To be qualified to serve as a Juror in the State of Minnesota, a prospective juror must be:
    1.  A citizen of the United States
    2.  At least 18 years old
    3.  A resident of the county
    4.  Able to communicate in the English language
    5.  Be physically and mentally capable of rendering satisfactory jury service
    6.  A person who has had their civil rights restored if they have been convicted of a felony
    7.  A person who has not served as a state or federal grand or petit juror in the past two years within the State  of Minnesota 

The definition of service is:
     a)  Being available to report as required
     b)  Reporting as directed
     c)  Serving on a trial

Jurors may be permanently excused for the following reasons ONLY:
  1. A person age 70 or over who requests to be excused
  2. A person who medically cannot serve with a doctor's statement verifying a permanent illness

Petit Jury Term Information

In order to minimize jurors' time away from their normal daily activities, the Carver County Jury Management staff brings jurors to the courthouse only when efforts to settle or plead out a case have been unsuccessful.  Your jury summons will indicate when to start calling the Jury Information line. You are required to call (952) 361-1455 or (952) 361-1456 daily at 11:30 a.m starting on Tuesday of the first week of your jury service for a recorded message directing you when to report. The recording will identify you by your assigned group number only.

Days and Times You Will be Reporting
There is absolutely no way to determine in advance what days you will be asked to report for jury duty during your term of service.   You will be asked to call late in the morning and then may be instructed to report for an afternoon court session. You must be available to report every day of your term. Carver County Petit Jury terms, normally, last for two (2) weeks.  However, no person is required to continue to serve after that person has reported to the courthouse for ten (10) days or after the completion of one trial, whichever is longer. 

Call as Instructed
It is very important that you call as instructed.  If you do not call and/or report when instructed; you will be listed as a FAILURE TO APPEAR. A court order may be issued for you summoning you to the courthouse for a special hearing to explain to the judge why you failed to appear, or a warrant for your arrest may be ordered by the Court. Consequences that may be imposed for failing to appear for jury duty include fines or incarceration.

First Day Reporting
Please report to Carver County Justice Center, Court Administration, 604 East Fourth Street, Chaska, MN promptly at the time given during the telephone instructions. The Jury Management staff will take attendance, conduct a brief orientation and show an informational video about jury duty, after which jury selection will proceed as ordered by the Court.

Second and Subsequent Days
Follow the instructions given by the Judge presiding over your trial or the Jury Management staff. The normal hours of operation for Carver County Court Administration are 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Occasionally, a Judge may ask the panel to stay after normal business hours, particularly if testimony of the current witness could be completed within a short period of time or if the panel is in deliberation. In any event, if you are a seated juror, please follow the instructions of the Judge presiding over your case.

Excusals
If you are a prospective juror that is 70 years of age or older, you are not required to serve. Your summons provides a question in this regard.  If you elect to be excused from service, you will receive written confirmation that your request has been processed.

Postponements
To better accommodate prospective jurors' work and personal schedules, jurors may request a postponement of their jury duty.  Jury Management will grant only one postponement request per juror.  A request for postponement of jury service may be done online or you may submit your request in writing to Carver County District Court (address above), indicate the month that you prefer to serve.

Parking
Public parking lots are available in the front and both sides of the government center.

Cass (Ninth District)

Cass County District Court
300 Minnesota Avenue
P.O. Box 3000
Walker, MN 56484
Phone: (218) 547-7200
Fax: (218) 547-1904

Chippewa (Eighth District)

Chippewa County Courthouse
629 North 11th Street, Suite 9
Montevideo, MN 56265
Phone: (320) 269-7774
Fax: (320) 269-7733

Chisago (Tenth District)

Chisago County District Court
Chisago County Govt Center
313 North Main Street, Room 358
Center City, MN 55012-9964
Phone: (651) 213-8650
Fax: (651) 213-8651

Clay (Seventh District)

Clay County Court Administration
807 11th Street North
Moorhead, MN 56560
Phone: (218) 299-5065
Fax: (218) 299-7307

Clearwater (Ninth District)

Clearwater County District Court
213 Main Avenue #303
Bagley, MN 56621
Phone: (218) 694-6177
Fax: (218) 694-6213

Cook (Sixth District)

Cook County Court Administration
411 West 2nd Street
Grand Marais, MN  55604
Phone: (218) 387-3610
Fax: (218) 387-3007


Selection of Jurors

Once a year, a computer merges the county’s driver license list, voter registration list, and Minnesota identification cardholders into one list. From this list, by random selection, jurors are chosen and sent a summons to appear for jury duty.

When the juror reports to the jury assembly room at the courthouse, court personnel will provide orientation and instructions. Following orientation, jurors will go to the courtroom to go through the jury selection process. Jurors will be provided information about the case and questioned by the court and the lawyers for each side. If during questioning, it appears that a juror cannot be fair and impartial, the attorney maychallenge the juror for cause. The judge decides whether the juror would not be able to serve. If the judge allows the challenge, the juror is excused from that case. Another type of challenge is the peremptory challenge.The peremptory challenge requires no reason for excusing a juror. Jurors not excused and seated will comprise the jury. Jurors are sworn in and then are responsible to hear the evidence and follow the case to completion of trial.


Telephone Call-in System

JURY INFORMATION LINE:  To save tax dollars, the Cook County Court Administrator brings jurors to the courthouse ONLY when we are confident a trial will not settle or plead out.  Your jury summons will indicate when and where to call.

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT that you call as instructed.  If you do not call and you are on the list and do not show up, you will be called that morning and required to report to the courthouse.  If we are not able to reach you by phone, and do not hear from you, an Order to Show Cause may be issued which will summon you to the courthouse for a special hearing to explain to the judge why you failed to appear.

More thorough instructions regarding the call-in system will be provided if you contact the Court Administrator's office.

TRIAL DURATION:The length of a trial can be from 1 day to over 1 week.  It is very uncommon for a trial to last more than 3 days.  Throughout the year, there may be a trial that goes a full week or even 2 weeks.  The judge will advise you about the estimated length of the trial.

SICKNESS OR EMERGENCIES: If an illness or emergency prevents your attendance, please call the Court Administrator as soon as possible.

PRESCHEDULED COMMITMENTS: It is very difficult for us to excuse an absence at the last minute, especially after your name has been randomly selected for a trial and listed on the jury information line.  If you have a doctor's appointment, previously planned vacation or a legitimate excuse for an absence, we can temporarily pull your name from the jury list before a random list is chosen for a trial.

Please call the Court Administrator as soon as you are aware of a conflict that would prevent you from coming to the courthouse on any given day within your jury term.

OVERNIGHT STAY:Jurors are rarely detained overnight, but you may be sequestered while deliberating on a criminal verdict or for the duration of a highly publicized trial.   The Bailiff in charge will notify your family if you are sequestered.


Parking

There is a parking lot directly to the west of the courthouse.


Jury Term

Jury service lasts for 10 court days or 3 months, whichever occurs first.

Note: if you are selected to sit as a juror on a case that is set near the end of your scheduled jury term, you may be required to serve beyond the 3 month jury term.

Prospective jurors are not required to serve more than once every 4 years.  On occasion, a person shows up on the jury list who has served within the past 4 years.  If this is the case with you, please let the Court Administrator's office know as soon as possible.

Cottonwood (Fifth District)

Cottonwood County Court Administration
900 Third Avenue 
P.O. Box 97 
Windom, MN  56101-0097 
Phone: (507) 831-4551
Fax: (507) 831-1425


Voir Dire: Jury Selection

Potential jurors are randomly selected from driver’s license, state ID, and voter registration records.  The length of jury service depends on the county in which a juror lives, but cannot exceed four months.  Jurors receive a summons that tells them to appear at the courthouse for jury service.

When a jury case is called, court administrators randomly choose potential jurors and send them to a courtroom for interviews, known as voir dire [vwahr deer].  In the courtroom, you will learn more about the case and be questioned by the judge and attorneys so they may determine whether you are qualified to serve.  Depending on the type of case or the procedures used in your county, you may be questioned individually or in a group.  If you feel you should not serve as a juror, or if you know the parties, witnesses or attorneys involved in the case, tell the judge and attorneys as soon as possible.

During the interview, an attorney may challenge for cause if the attorney feels that a potential juror cannot be fair and impartial.  The judge must then decide whether to allow the challenge and excuse the juror.  Attorneys may also excuse a juror by using a peremptory challenge, which does not require the attorney to give a reason for excusing a juror.  Do not take offense if you are challenged.  This is a normal part of voir dire.

If you are not excused, you will become a member of the jury and will take an oath before hearing the case.  In criminal cases, alternate jurors may be assigned to a case.

Crow Wing (Ninth District)

Crow Wing County Judicial Center
213 Laurel Street, Suite 11
Brainerd, MN 56401
Phone: (218) 824-1310
Fax: (218) 824-1311

Dakota (First District)

Dakota County Judicial Center                                  
1560 West Hwy 55
Hastings, MN 55033
Phone: (651) 438-8115

Dakota County Juror Reporting Information

The Jury Division provides jurors for the Dakota County Courts.  Trial by jury is a basic American right and the very essence of freedom under our Constitution.  The participation of the citizens of Dakota County will help preserve this basic fundamental right.  Residents are selected at random from voter registration, state I.D.'s and driver license lists are available to serve as jurors.  Approximately 6,000 Dakota County residents are summoned to serve as jurors every year.
 

Jury Information

To be qualified to serve as a Juror in the State of Minnesota, a prospective juror must be:
    1.  A citizen of the United States
    2.  At least 18 years old
    3.  A resident of the county
    4.  Able to communicate in the English language
    5.  Be physically and mentally capable of rendering satisfactory jury service
    6.  A person who has had their civil rights restored if they have been convicted of a felony
    7.  A person who has not served as a state or federal grand or petit juror in the past four years within the State of Minnesota 

The definition of service is
     a)  Being available to report as required
     b)  Reporting as directed
     c)  Serving on a trial

To respond to your summons for jury service, request a postponement, or make changes to your contact information online visit Jury Qualification Questionnaire

Jurors may be permanently excused for the following reasons ONLY:
  1. A person age 70 or over who requests to be excused
  2. A person who medically cannot serve with a doctor's statement verifying a permanent illness
To Request a Postponement
To better accommodate prospective jurors' work and personal schedules, jurors may request a postponement of their jury duty 1 time for a period of no more than 9 months. A request for postponement may be done online or you may submit your request in writing to Dakota County District Court (address above).

NOTE: This applies only to jurors who have not been granted a postponement previously.


Frequently Asked Questions

What time do I report each day?
Report times depend upon when a trial is expected to actually begin.  The earliest time you should ever need to report is 8:00 am.  If you are selected as a trial juror, you generally report at 8:45 a.m. to begin trial at 9:00 am. The recorded message will always keep you apprised of what time you need to report and/or when to call again.

How long will I be there?
The hours of Court are generally 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.  If you are not selected on a trial, you may be released early.  If you are selected, you will usually be here until 4:30 p.m.  If you are deliberating on a case, you may be here later in the evening.

Where can I park?
The County provides a free parking lot in front of the Judicial Center.

Do I have to come in every day?
It is possible that you may not even have to physically report.  You are not here the entire two weeks, just on call.  We only bring jurors in if a case is actually going to proceed to jury trial.  We only call in as many jurors as needed per case.  Normally, if called in, jurors only physically report one day of their two week term.  Generally, the only way you are here more than one day is if you are selected as a juror on a trial.  If you are called in for questioning on a case, that would be the time to explain any hardships to the judge.  Judges are the only one who can excuse jurors from serving.

What if I have moved out of the County?
You are not eligible to serve as a juror in Dakota County if you have moved out of the county but we need this information in writing.  We ask that you complete the jury questionnaire and include your new address.  Once we receive this information, we will confirm by letter that you are disqualified.

I am over 70 years old and want to be excused, do I still have to fill in the entire form?
Even though we encourage you to, this information is for statistics and is not required.

Do I have to provide a doctor's statement to be excused?
You are required to submit a doctor's statement to be excused.  If your condition is of a temporary nature, you will be granted an automatic postponement upon request.

Do I have to dress up for jury service?
Jurors are expected to be neat in appearance.  Slacks are acceptable for women.  Men are not required to wear coats or ties.  Jeans are allowed as long as they are neat and clean. Shorts are not acceptable.

What can I bring with me while I am serving as a Juror?
  • Cell phones are allowed in the jury assembly room.  However, if you are called to a courtroom, you must be sure to turn off your cell phone.
  • Magazines and other reading material
  • Laptop computers or tablets; There is wireless internet in the jury assembly room and electrical outlets for your use.
  • Please keep in mind that there are security measures similar to airport screening.  Do not bring sharp objects such as scissors, corkscrews or knitting needles as they may be confiscated.
Will I immediately be assigned to a courtroom upon reporting?
That is our intention, however, not always the case.  Initially, you will be sitting in a jury assembly room while waiting for courtroom assignments.  You are encouraged to bring something to do for any unforeseen wait times.

Is there an emergency telephone number to leave with my family?
Yes, the number for the Jury Administration Office is (651) 438-8115.  A message will be relayed to you as soon as possible by our staff.

Can I go out to lunch when I am on jury service?
You may bring your own lunch - we have a refrigerator available for your use or you may go out of the building to eat - we have information available on nearby eating establishments.  There are also vending machines available.  We do NOT have a cafeteria.

Can I still serve if I am hard of hearing?
Yes, we have a sound system in the jury assembly room and in all of the courtrooms.  Some of the courtrooms have audio headphones.  If you are hearing impaired, please contact us upon receipt of the summons, and we will schedule a signer if you wish to serve.

Dodge (Third District)

Dodge County Court Administration
22 - East 6th Street, Dept. 12
Mantorville, MN 55955
Phone: (507) 635-6260

Douglas (Seventh District)

Douglas County Court Administration
305 8th Avenue West
Alexandria, MN 56308
Phone: (320) 762-3033
Fax: (320) 762-8863

Faribault (Fifth District)

Faribault County Court Administration
415 North Main 
P. O. Box 130 
Blue Earth, MN  56013-0130 
Phone: (507) 526-6273
Fax: (507) 526-3054


Voir Dire: Jury Selection

Potential jurors are randomly selected from driver’s license, state ID, and voter registration records.  The length of jury service depends on the county in which a juror lives, but cannot exceed four months.  Jurors receive a summons that tells them to appear at the courthouse for jury service.

When a jury case is called, court administrators randomly choose potential jurors and send them to a courtroom for interviews, known as voir dire [vwahr deer].  In the courtroom, you will learn more about the case and be questioned by the judge and attorneys so they may determine whether you are qualified to serve.  Depending on the type of case or the procedures used in your county, you may be questioned individually or in a group.  If you feel you should not serve as a juror, or if you know the parties, witnesses or attorneys involved in the case, tell the judge and attorneys as soon as possible.

During the interview, an attorney may challenge for cause if the attorney feels that a potential juror cannot be fair and impartial.  The judge must then decide whether to allow the challenge and excuse the juror.  Attorneys may also excuse a juror by using a peremptory challenge, which does not require the attorney to give a reason for excusing a juror.  Do not take offense if you are challenged.  This is a normal part of voir dire.

If you are not excused, you will become a member of the jury and will take an oath before hearing the case.  In criminal cases, alternate jurors may be assigned to a case.

Fillmore (Third District)

Fillmore County Court Administration
101 Fillmore Street
P.O. Box 436
Preston, MN  55965
Phone: (507) 765-3356
Fax: (507) 765-4571

Freeborn (Third District)

Freeborn County Court Administration
411 South Broadway
Albert Lea, MN  56007
Phone: (507) 377-5157

Goodhue (First District)

Goodhue County Justice Center
454 West Sixth Street
Red Wing, MN 55066
Phone: (651) 267-4800
Fax: (651) 267-4989

The Jury Division provides jurors for the Goodhue County Courts.  Trial by jury is a basic American right and the very essence of freedom under our Constitution.  The participation of the citizens of Goodhue County will help preserve this basic fundamental right.  Residents are selected at random from voter registration, state I.D.'s and driver license lists are available to serve as jurors.  


Jury Information

To be qualified to serve as a Juror in the State of Minnesota, a prospective juror must be:
    1.  A citizen of the United States
    2.  At least 18 years old
    3.  A resident of the county
    4.  Able to communicate in the English language
    5.  Be physically and mentally capable of rendering satisfactory jury service
    6.  A person who has had their civil rights restored if they have been convicted of a felony
    7.  A person who has not served as a state or federal grand or petit juror in the past four years within the State of Minnesota 

The definition of service is
     a)  Being available to report as required
     b)  Reporting as directed
     c)  Serving on a trial

To respond to your summons for jury service, request a postponement, or make changes to your contact information online visit Jury Qualification Questionnaire

Jurors may be permanently excused for the following reasons ONLY:
  1. A person age 70 or over who requests to be excused
  2. A person who medically cannot serve with a doctor's statement verifying a permanent illness

To Request a Postponement

To better accommodate prospective jurors' work and personal schedules, jurors may request a postponement of their jury duty 1 time for a period of no more than 9 months. A request for postponement may be done online or you may submit your request in writing to Goodhue County District Court (address above).

NOTE: This applies only to jurors who have not been granted a postponement previously.


Frequently Asked Questions

When do I report? 
A "Notice to Report" will be mailed to you designating a specific DATE and TIME to report. Generally, jury trials are scheduled for Mondays and jurors are told to report at 12:30pm the first day. The "Notice to Report" instructs you to first call a recording before you report to find out if you are still required to come as sometimes cases settle or are continued.

If you are chosen to be on a jury panel for a case, you will normally be here from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. When the jury panel is deliberating their verdict, you may be required to stay later.

Where do I report? 
Report to the Goodhue County Justice Center, 454 West 6th Street, Red Wing MN 55066, Minnesota.  Enter the main doors to the Justice Center, turn left and proceed to the end of the hallway until you reach the jury assembly room.

How do I reach the Goodhue County Jury Manager?
You can reach the Jury Manager by calling (651) 267-4818 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. We are located at Goodhue County Justice Center, 454 West Sixth Street, Red Wing MN 55066.

How long will I be there?
The hours of court are generally 9:00 a.m. – 4:30  p.m. each day.  If you are not selected on a trial, you may be released early.  If you are selected, you will be here until 4:30 p.m.  If you are deliberating on a case, you may be here late in the evening.

Where can I park? 
The county provides a free parking lot in front of the Justice Center. There is an additional parking lot across the street.

Do I have to come in every day? 
NO. As a Petit Juror you will be "on call" for three (3) months. This does not mean that you will be required to report every day or even weekly. You will not come in until you receive either a "Notice to Report" for jury service or a telephone call from the jury clerk.

What if I have moved out of the County? 
You are not eligible to serve as a juror in Goodhue County if you have moved out of the county.  However, we need this information in writing.  We ask that you complete the jury questionnaire and include your new address.  Once we receive this information, we will confirm by letter that you are disqualified.  This also applies if you plan to move before your jury term.  In that case, give us the effective date of your move.

I am more than 70 years old and want to be excused.  Do I still have to fill in the entire form?
You are required to check off the question that asks, “Do you wish to be excused?”  Then on the reverse side of the summons, fill in your date of birth and sign the form.  We encourage you to complete the entire form for statistics purposes, however, it is not required.

Do I have to provide a doctor’s statement to be excused?
You are required to submit a doctor’s statement to be excused.  If your condition is of a temporary nature, you will be granted an automatic postponement upon request.  A postponement does not require a doctor’s statement.

Do I have to dress up for jury service?  
Jurors are expected to have a neat appearance.  Slacks are acceptable for women.  Men are not required to wear coats or ties.  Jeans are allowed as long as they are neat and clean. Shorts are not allowed.

May I make any telephone calls when waiting in the jury assembly room?  
Yes, we have telephones in the assembly room for placing local calls.

Is there an emergency telephone number to leave with my family?  
Yes, the number for the Jury Administration Office is (651) 267-4818.  A message will be relayed to you as soon as possible by our staff.

May I bring a cellular phone with me? 
Cellular phones are not allowed in the courtrooms so jurors should not bring them.

May I bring in my personal computer so I can do some work? 
Yes, there are electrical outlets but no telephone lines are available.

Will I immediately be assigned to a courtroom upon reporting? Initially you will be sitting in a jury assembly room while waiting for courtroom assignments.  You are encouraged to bring reading materials, etc., to pass the time while waiting.  

May I go out to lunch when I am on jury service?  
If you are on a jury panel you will have approximately one hour lunch break. You may go out or you may bring your lunch and eat it in the jury assembly room.

Can I still serve if I am hard of hearing? 
Yes, we have a sound system in the jury assembly room and in all of the courtrooms.  Some of the courtrooms have audio headphones.  If you are hearing impaired, please contact us upon receipt of the summons, and we will schedule a sign language interpreter.

Grant (Eighth District)

Grant County Courthouse
P.O. Box 1007
Elbow Lake, MN  56531-1007
Phone: (218) 685-4825
Fax: (218) 685-5349

Hennepin (Fourth District)

4th Judicial District Jury Office
Hennepin County Government Center
A-Level, Jury Assembly Room
300 South 6th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55487-0421
Phone: (612) 348-3158


Juror Call-in Status

Hennepin County recently has begun to use a call-in status for some of its jurors. You must request this status by calling the Jury Office at (612) 348-3158 prior to your summoned date.  

When a juror is placed in this status rather than report daily to the jury assembly room in the Hennepin County Government Center the juror is allowed to call a special message line to receive instructions on a daily basis.  If you are placed on the call-in status you should call the jury office the Sunday evening prior to your start date to see if you need to report in at 8:15 a.m. the first Monday of orientation.  The jurors will then continue to call the special phone line as instructed.  The jurors call at 12:15 p.m. for instructions about reporting on the same day at 1:30 p.m. to the jury assembly room or they are instructed to call  again after 6:30 p.m. for further instructions.  The 6:30 p.m. phone instructions will inform the juror to report at 9:00 a.m. the following working day or to call the message line again at 12:15 p.m. the following working day.  

Once jurors are told to report to the pool they will continue to report to the Government Center for jury service until told otherwise.  Jurors are not paid unless they are called in for service.  Jurors should check with their employer's payroll/human resources department regarding the company's jury service policies; as this could be a factor when deciding if the call-in status will work for you.

To be considered for the call-in status you must:
  • Complete and return your qualification questionnaire found on the bottom half of your summons.  Completion of the questionnaire is required by everyone who has been summoned.
  • We cannot place anyone on the call-in status until we have received your completed questionnaire.
  • You must be available to come in everyday of the entire two weeks of your potential jury service, you will report in only if your group number is instructed to report in.
  • You will be given a new group number representing a juror on the call-in status and the special call-in phone line's number when a clerk places you on the call-in status.
  • If you are placed on the call-in status you should call the jury office the Sunday evening prior to your start date to see if you need to report in at 8:15 a.m. the first Monday for orientation.
  • Do not send a note stating you want to be placed on the call-in status; you must call the jury office.  The jury office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
If you have any questions about this process please call the jury office, (612) 348-3158.


Juror Pay

Petit and Grand Jurors are compensated for jury service at a rate determined by the Supreme Court for the days physically present, plus round-trip mileage from juror's residence to the government center.

Petit Jurors, upon completion of their jury service, should receive their check in the mail approximately one week later.

Grand Jurors should receive their check in the mail approximately one week after each week they are in session during their four month term.


Directions

The Hennepin County Government Center is located in downtown Minneapolis at 300 South 6th Street (between 3rd Ave. S. and 4th Ave. S.). The Government Center has two towers (C-Tower and A-Tower) that span across 6th Street. On the north side of the building (faces 5th St.) there is a plaza and an entrance. The Government Plaza Lightrail Station is near the north side of the building. On the south side of the building there is another plaza and entrance to the building (faces 7th Street). People can also enter the Government Center through the skyway (2nd floor), which is called the Public Service Level.


Petit Jurors: (most jurors)

Most people who receive a jury summons serve as petit jurors, and they must report to the Jury Assembly Room on the A-Level. They should enter the building either through the skyway or from the ground (street) level (1st floor) on the north side. The A-Level is one floor below the ground level and is two floors below the skyway level. Petit jurors should take the escalator(s) down to the A-Level and follow the signs to the Jury Assembly Room, which is located directly behind the escalators. 


Grand Jurors:

Grand Jurors must report to a room in the C-Tower of the Government Center noted in their summons. To access rooms in the C-Tower, people must go through weapons screening located on the skyway level (2nd floor). The skyway level of the Government Center can be accessed from ground level at either the north or south entrances to the building.


Postpone Jury Service

Petit Juror
If you are summoned to serve as Petit Juror, you may postpone your appearance date ONCE, for up to nine (9) months. To ask to postpone service, please do one of the following:
  • Call the Jury Office at (612) 348-3158;
  • Send us your request in writing; or
  • Use the online Jury Questionnaire. To postpone online, you MUST postpone at least 10 days before your current start date. All other postpone requests MUST be done prior to your current start date.
Grand Juror
If you are summoned to serve as Grand Jury, we are not able to postpone the date. If you must be excused, you must complete the questionnaire, make your request to be excused in writing, and send them both in the postage paid return envelope.

In Hennepin County, the Grand Jurors usually meet each Thursday at 8:45 a.m. over a four-month period. Occasionally, your business may be completed in a half day; sometimes you may be required to appear two days in a given week.

Houston (Third District)

Houston County Court Administration
304 South Marshall Street, Room 204
Caledonia, MN  55921-1324     
Phone: (507) 725-5806
Fax: (507) 725-5550

Hubbard (Ninth District)

Hubbard County District Court
301 Court Avenue
Park Rapids, MN 56470
Phone: (218) 732-5286
Fax: (218) 732-0137

Isanti (Tenth District)

Isanti County District Court
Isanti County Govt Center
555 18th Avenue SW
Cambridge, MN 55008-9386
Phone: (763) 689-2292
Fax: (763) 689-8340

Itasca (Ninth District)

Itasca County District Court
123 4th Street NE
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Phone: (218) 327-2870
Fax: (218) 327-2897

Jackson (Fifth District)

Jackson County Court Administration
405 Fourth Street 
P.O. Box 177 
Jackson, MN  56143 
Phone: (507) 847-4400
Fax: (507) 847-5433


Voir Dire: Jury Selection

Potential jurors are randomly selected from driver’s license, state ID, and voter registration records.  The length of jury service depends on the county in which a juror lives, but cannot exceed four months.  Jurors receive a summons that tells them to appear at the courthouse for jury service.

When a jury case is called, court administrators randomly choose potential jurors and send them to a courtroom for interviews, known as voir dire [vwahr deer].  In the courtroom, you will learn more about the case and be questioned by the judge and attorneys so they may determine whether you are qualified to serve.  Depending on the type of case or the procedures used in your county, you may be questioned individually or in a group.  If you feel you should not serve as a juror, or if you know the parties, witnesses or attorneys involved in the case, tell the judge and attorneys as soon as possible.

During the interview, an attorney may challenge for cause if the attorney feels that a potential juror cannot be fair and impartial.  The judge must then decide whether to allow the challenge and excuse the juror.  Attorneys may also excuse a juror by using a peremptory challenge, which does not require the attorney to give a reason for excusing a juror.  Do not take offense if you are challenged.  This is a normal part of voir dire.

If you are not excused, you will become a member of the jury and will take an oath before hearing the case.  In criminal cases, alternate jurors may be assigned to a case.

Kanabec (Tenth District)

Kanabec County District Court
18 North Vine Street, Suite 318
Mora, MN 55051-1385
Phone: (320) 679-6400
Fax: (320) 679-6411


Child Care Reimbursement

Jurors who are not employed outside the home may be reimbursed for child care expenses incurred as a result of jury services. Jurors who are employed outside the home are not entitled to child care reimbursement unless the expense, as a result of jury service, is greater than normally would be incurred. Payment will be made only for the amount over and above your normal child care expenditure. All requests for payment must be submitted within ten days after you complete jury service. Reimbursement claim forms can be picked up in the Jury Manager’s Office.


Courtroom Decorum

Casual or comfortable dress is acceptable. Jurors are not allowed to wear hats, drink beverages, chew gum or use tobacco products in the courtroom. Wireless internet is available for use in the Jury Assembly Room. Cell phones, computers and all internet accessible devises are NOT allowed in the courtroom and must be left in the Jury Managers office when reporting to the courtroom. If you are concerned about leaving these items in the Jury Managers office, you may choose to leave them at home. There are a limited number of lockers available for these types of items. All books, magazines and newspapers must be left in the Jury Assembly Room.


Juror Emergency:

If an illness or family emergency prevents attendance at the courthouse, please inform court personnel by calling (320) 679-6400 at 8:00 a.m. The same phone number may be given to family members or daycare providers in case an emergency arises during the day.


Juror Hours:

Normal hours for jurors hearing testimony in court cases are 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There is usually a one to one and a half hour break for lunch. Jurors brought in to begin new cases will be required to stay at the courthouse until a jury has been selected for the case scheduled. Court personnel will inform jurors as to when they may leave the courthouse.


Juror Information Line:

The Juror Information Line, (320) 679-6410, is updated daily at 4:30 p.m. and gives instructions to urors for the following day.  Weekend messages are made on Friday evening at 4:30 p.m. and run all weekend. Jurors who are not required to report for service at the Kanabec Courthouse should go about their normal day's activities, i.e., go to their normal place of employment.  When you call the jury information line, be sure to listen to the entire message and then leave your full name after the tone.


Juror Notes:

Note pads and pens will be provided to jurors for the purpose of taking notes during trials.


Juror Sequestration:

In any criminal case involving a jury, there is always the "possibility" that the jury could be sequestered (that is housed at a motel for a duration of the jury deliberation process). As a practical matter, rarely are jury panels actually sequestered. However, in the event that a jury is sequestered, the following information may be helpful:
  • Jurors will not be allowed to call their homes, but court personnel will take messages from jurors and call their families.
  • If it is anticipated that jurors may be sequestered, court personnel will request that jurors bring overnight bags with them to the Jury Assembly Room.

Juror Parking:

Handicap parking and elevator is most easily access from the Maple Avenue parking lot, located across from the High School.  You may also park in the Vine Street parking lot, located on the west side of the courthouse.


Smoking:

This is a no smoking building and no smoking is allowed in the jury rooms during breaks or deliberation, the bailiff will assist in exiting the building.


Weapons:

Weapons are not allowed in the courthouse.  This includes all firearms, except law enforcement on duty, and knives, including pocket knives.  Please be sure to lock any weapons in your vehicle before entering the courthouse.


Weather/Snow Emergency:

In the event of inclement weather, such as a severe snowstorm, please call the Juror Information Line, (320) 679-6410, for a message regarding closing of the Kanabec County Courthouse or a special message for Kanabec County Jurors.


Where To Report:

When calling the Jury Information Line, the jurors for new jury panels will receive information on location to report for jury assembly and for specific reporting time.  After jury orientation, Court personnel will escort jurors to the courtroom where individual juries will be selected. The selection process includes being questioned by the attorneys in the case as well as the presiding judge. If a juror is not selected to serve on one case, he or she may be released for the remainder of the day and must call the jury message line after 4:30 p.m. for further instructions. Either way, jurors will receive further instructions from court personnel.

Kandiyohi (Eighth District)

Kandiyohi County Courthouse
505 Becker Avenue SW
Willmar, MN 56201
Phone: (320) 231-6206
Jury Information Line: (877) 313-6206 or (320) 231-6540
Fax: (320) 231-6276


The Importance of Jury Service

The Constitutions of the United States and of Minnesota guarantee the right of jury to persons appearing in our courts for most types of cases.  The concept of a trial by jury has existed in America for the past 200 years.

Jurors perform a vital role in the American system of justice.  While the judge determines the law to be applied in the case, the jury decides the facts based on the evidence presented in court.  Jury service is a high duty of citizenship.  Jurors are obligated to perform this service honestly and conscientiously, without fear or favor.


How Jurors are Selected?

Jurors are randomly selected from drivers' license and voter registration files.  A jury panel is randomly drawn from the random jury list and is summoned to appear at the courthouse.  Under the law, to be qualified for jury service, a person must be at least 18 years old, a citizen of the United States, and have lived in Minnesota for 30 days.  The person must also be a resident of the county, able to understand English and have never been convicted of a felony.

The people who are summoned to serve constitute the jury panel.  Usually, six people will constitute a jury for civil cases, but the number may be twelve for criminal cases.


Report Information

A recorded message provides jurors with specific reporting information.  Jurors are asked to call 1-877-313-6206, select OPTION 4 or call (320) 231-6540 each weekend during their term of jury service.  The message will be available from 5:00 p.m. on Friday to 8:00 a.m. on Monday.  Jurors may call anytime during that period.  A juror may be placed on standby and directed to call on a specific weekday during that week.  If a juror is unable to reach the recorded  jury message or needs assistance, they should call (320) 231-6206 during regular office hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.


Compensation

A juror receives $10.00 for each day that they report to the courthouse.  A juror will also be reimbursed $.27 per mile for round trip travel to the courthouse from their residence.  If a juror meets certain guidelines, they may be eligible for reimbursement of childcare expenses.  Information and forms are available when they report.  Jurors should check with their employer to find out if they are paid regular wages for serving as a juror.


Juror Parking

Juror parking is provided in a number of city parking lots adjacent to the courthouse.


Jury Orientation

An orientation will be provided the first reporting day for each new juror.  The orientation lasts about thirty minutes and is held in the jury room located on the lower level or the Kandiyohi County Courthouse at 505 S.W. Becker Avenue in downtown Willmar.


Request for Postponement/Excusal

If a juror has a scheduling conflict and/or extreme hardship, they can request a postponement from service to a date that is more convenient with their schedule.  We do our best to accommodate jurors' pre-planned business, vacation and medical schedules.


Hearing Impaired

We have equipment available for use by the hearing impaired.

Kittson (Ninth District)

Kittson County District Court
410 South 5th Street, Suite 204
Hallock, MN 56728
Phone: (218) 843-3632
Fax: (218) 843-3634

Koochiching (Ninth District)

Koochiching County District Court
715 4th Street
International Falls, MN 56649
Phone: (218) 283-1160
Fax: (218) 283-1162

Lac Qui Parle

Lac qui Parle County Courthouse
600 Sixth Street
P.O. Box 36
Madison, MN 56256
Phone: (320) 598-3536  
Fax: (320) 598-3915

Lake (Sixth District)

Lake County Courthouse
601 3rd Avenue
Two Harbors, MN 55616
Phone: (218) 834-8330


Selection of Jurors

Once a year, a computer merges the county’s driver license list, voter registration list, and Minnesota identification cardholders into one list. From this list, by random selection, jurors are chosen and sent a summons to appear for jury duty.

When the juror reports to the jury assembly room at the courthouse, court personnel will provide orientation and instructions. Following orientation, jurors will go to the courtroom to go through the jury selection process. Jurors will be provided information about the case and questioned by the court and the lawyers for each side. If during questioning, it appears that a juror cannot be fair and impartial, the attorney maychallenge the juror for cause. The judge decides whether the juror would not be able to serve. If the judge allows the challenge, the juror is excused from that case. Another type of challenge is the peremptory challenge.The peremptory challenge requires no reason for excusing a juror. Jurors not excused and seated will comprise the jury. Jurors are sworn in and then are responsible to hear the evidence and follow the case to completion of trial.


Telephone Call-in System

JURY INFORMATION LINE:  To save tax dollars, the Lake County Court Administrator brings jurors to the courthouse ONLY when we are confident a trial will not settle or plead out.  Your jury summons will indicate when and where to call.

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT that you call as instructed.  If you do not call and you are on the list and do not show up, you will be called that morning and required to report to the courthouse.  If we are not able to reach you by phone, and do not hear from you, an Order to Show Cause may be issued which will summon you to the courthouse for a special hearing to explain to the judge why you failed to appear.

More thorough instructions regarding the call-in system will be provided if you contact the Court Administrator's office.

TRIAL DURATION:The length of a trial can be from 1 day to over 1 week.  It is very uncommon for a trial to last more than 3 days.  Throughout the year, there may be a trial that goes a full week or even 2 weeks.  The judge will advise you about the estimated length of the trial.

SICKNESS OR EMERGENCIES: If an illness or emergency prevents your attendance, please call the Court Administrator as soon as possible.

PRESCHEDULED COMMITMENTS: It is very difficult for us to excuse an absence at the last minute, especially after your name has been randomly selected for a trial and listed on the jury information line.  If you have a doctor's appointment, previously planned vacation or a legitimate excuse for an absence, we can temporarily pull your name from the jury list before a random list is chosen for a trial.

Please call the Court Administrator as soon as you are aware of a conflict that would prevent you from coming to the courthouse on any given day within your jury term.

OVERNIGHT STAY:Jurors are rarely detained overnight, but you may be sequestered while deliberating on a criminal verdict or for the duration of a highly publicized trial.   The Bailiff in charge will notify your family if you are sequestered.


Parking

There is a parking lot directly behind the courthouse.  On street parking is also available.


Jury Term

Jury service lasts for 10 court days or 3 months, whichever occurs first.

Note: if you are selected to sit as a juror on a case that is set near the end of your scheduled jury term, you may be required to serve beyond the 3 month jury term.

Prospective jurors are not required to serve more than once every 4 years.  On occasion, a person shows up on the jury list who has served within the past 4 years.  If this is the case with you, please let the Court Administrator's office know as soon as possible.

Lake of the Woods (Ninth District)

Lake of the Woods County District Court
206 8th Avenue SE #250
Baudette, Minnesota 56623
Phone: (218) 634-1451
Fax: (218) 634-9444

Le Sueur (First District)

Le Sueur County Courthouse
88 South Park Avenue
Le Center, MN 56057
Phone: (507) 357-2251
Fax: (507) 357-6433

The Jury Division provides jurors for the Le Sueur County Courts.  Trial by jury is a basic American right and the very essence of freedom under our Constitution.  The participation of the citizens of Le Sueur County will help preserve this basic fundamental right.  Residents are selected at random from voter registration, state I.D.'s and driver license lists are available to serve as jurors.  Approximately 850 Le Sueur County residents are summoned to serve as jurors every year.
 

Jury Information

To be qualified to serve as a Juror in the State of Minnesota, a prospective juror must be:
    1.  A citizen of the United States
    2.  At least 18 years old
    3.  A resident of the county
    4.  Able to communicate in the English language
    5.  Be physically and mentally capable of rendering satisfactory jury service
    6.  A person who has had their civil rights restored if they have been convicted of a felony
    7.  A person who has not served as a state or federal grand or petit juror in the past four years within the State of Minnesota 

The definition of service is
     a)  Being available to report as required
     b)  Reporting as directed
     c)  Serving on a trial

To respond to your summons for jury service, request a postponement, or make changes to your contact information online visit Jury Qualification Questionnaire

Jurors may be permanently excused for the following reasons ONLY:
  1. A person age 70 or over who requests to be excused
  2. A person who medically cannot serve with a doctor's statement verifying a permanent illness

To Request a Postponement

To better accommodate prospective jurors' work and personal schedules, jurors may request a postponement of their jury duty 1 time for a period of no more than 9 months. A request for postponement may be done online or you may submit your request in writing to Le Sueur County District Court (address above).

NOTE: This applies only to jurors who have not been granted a postponement previously.


Frequently Asked Questions

What time do I report each day?
Follow the instructions on the letter you receive from the Court, but typically you report between 8:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. to receive orientation and instructions.   For following days, you generally report at 9:00 a.m. unless given other instructions either by a Judge or the recorded message you may be directed to call. 

Where do I report? 
Report to the Le Sueur County Courthouse, Le Center, Minnesota.  Enter the main doors to the Courthouse and proceed to the stairs or elevator and go to the 2nd Floor.  Check in at Court Administration for further instructions.

How long will I be there?
The hours of court are generally 9:00 a.m. – 4:30p.m. each day.  If you are not selected on a trial, you may be released early.  If you are selected, you will be here until 4:30 p.m.  If you are deliberating on a case, you may be here late in the evening.

Where can I park? 
The county provides a free parking lot on the West Side of the Courthouse or there is additional parking located on West Sharon Street on the West side of Rademacher's Super Valu.

Do I have to come in every day? 
No, you do not report every day.  You will only report for jury duty when you receive a letter from the Court requesting you to report for jury duty on a certain date. You will be instructed to call (507) 357-2251 after 1:00 p.m. on the Friday before the scheduled day to report (please read the letter thoroughly as the day of the week may change) or if you call after hours (Courthouse hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. M-F) listen to the recording and choose the appropriate selection for Jury Duty Messages. 

What if I have moved out of the County?
You are not eligible to serve as a juror in Le Sueur County if you have moved out of the county.  However, we need this information in writing.  We ask that you complete the jury questionnaire and include your new address.  Once we receive this information, we will confirm by letter that you are disqualified.  This also applies if you plan to move before your jury term.  In that case, give us the effective date of your move.

I am more than 70 years old and want to be excused.  Do I still have to fill in the entire form?
You are required to check off the question that asks, “Do you wish to be excused?”  Then on the reverse side of the summons, fill in your date of birth and sign the form.  We encourage you to complete the entire form for statistics purposes however, it is not required.

Do I have to provide a doctor’s statement to be excused?
You are required to submit a doctor’s statement to be excused.  If your condition is of a temporary nature, you will be granted an automatic postponement upon request.  A postponement does not require a doctor’s statement.

Do I have to dress up for jury service?  
Jurors are expected to have a neat appearance.  Slacks are acceptable for women.  Men are not required to wear coats or ties.  Jeans are allowed as long as they are neat and clean. Shorts are not allowed.

Is there an emergency telephone number to leave with my family?  
Yes, the number for Court Administration is (507) 357-8260.  A message will be relayed to you as soon as possible by our staff.

May I bring a cellular phone with me? 
Cellular phones are not allowed in the courtrooms so jurors may not bring them.

May I bring in my personal computer so I can do some work? 
Yes, there are electrical outlets but no telephone lines are available.

Will I immediately be assigned to a courtroom upon reporting? 
Initially you will be sitting in a courtroom awaiting jury duty.   You are encouraged to bring reading materials, etc., to pass the time while waiting.

How many trials may I serve on?
Once a juror has served 10 days (either on 1 trial or multiple trials), the juror's obligation is completed. This will provide an opportunity for a greater number of residents to participate in this patriotic service.  

May I go out to lunch when I am on jury service? 
If time permits, you may go out - we have information available on nearby eating establishments.

Lincoln (Fifth District)

Lincoln County Courthouse
Lincoln County Government Center 
319 North Rebecca 
P.O. Box 15 
Ivanhoe, MN  56142-0015 
Phone: (507) 694-1355
Fax: (507) 694-1717


Voir Dire: Jury Selection

Potential jurors are randomly selected from driver’s license, state ID, and voter registration records.  The length of jury service depends on the county in which a juror lives, but cannot exceed four months.  Jurors receive a summons that tells them to appear at the courthouse for jury service.

When a jury case is called, court administrators randomly choose potential jurors and send them to a courtroom for interviews, known as voir dire [vwahr deer].  In the courtroom, you will learn more about the case and be questioned by the judge and attorneys so they may determine whether you are qualified to serve.  Depending on the type of case or the procedures used in your county, you may be questioned individually or in a group.  If you feel you should not serve as a juror, or if you know the parties, witnesses or attorneys involved in the case, tell the judge and attorneys as soon as possible.

During the interview, an attorney may challenge for cause if the attorney feels that a potential juror cannot be fair and impartial.  The judge must then decide whether to allow the challenge and excuse the juror.  Attorneys may also excuse a juror by using a peremptory challenge, which does not require the attorney to give a reason for excusing a juror.  Do not take offense if you are challenged.  This is a normal part of voir dire.

If you are not excused, you will become a member of the jury and will take an oath before hearing the case.  In criminal cases, alternate jurors may be assigned to a case.

Lyon (Fifth District)

Lyon County Courthouse
Lyon County Government Center 
607 West Main 
Marshall, MN  56258 
Phone: (507) 537-6734
Fax: (507) 537-6150


Voir Dire: Jury Selection

Potential jurors are randomly selected from driver’s license, state ID, and voter registration records.  The length of jury service depends on the county in which a juror lives, but cannot exceed four months.  Jurors receive a summons that tells them to appear at the courthouse for jury service.

When a jury case is called, court administrators randomly choose potential jurors and send them to a courtroom for interviews, known as voir dire [vwahr deer].  In the courtroom, you will learn more about the case and be questioned by the judge and attorneys so they may determine whether you are qualified to serve.  Depending on the type of case or the procedures used in your county, you may be questioned individually or in a group.  If you feel you should not serve as a juror, or if you know the parties, witnesses or attorneys involved in the case, tell the judge and attorneys as soon as possible.

During the interview, an attorney may challenge for cause if the attorney feels that a potential juror cannot be fair and impartial.  The judge must then decide whether to allow the challenge and excuse the juror.  Attorneys may also excuse a juror by using a peremptory challenge, which does not require the attorney to give a reason for excusing a juror.  Do not take offense if you are challenged.  This is a normal part of voir dire.

If you are not excused, you will become a member of the jury and will take an oath before hearing the case.  In criminal cases, alternate jurors may be assigned to a case.

Mahnomen (Ninth District)

Mahnomen County District Court
311 North Main
Mahnomen, MN 56557
Phone: (218) 935-2251
Fax: (218) 935-2851

Marshall (Ninth District)

Marshall County District Court
208 E Colvin, Suite 18
Warren, MN 56762
Phone: (218) 745-4921
Fax: (218) 745-4343

Martin (Fifth District)

Martin County Courthouse
Martin County Security Building 
201 Lake Avenue 
Fairmont, MN 56031 
Phone: (507) 238-3205   
Fax: (507) 238-1913


Voir Dire: Jury Selection

Potential jurors are randomly selected from driver’s license, state ID, and voter registration records.  The length of jury service depends on the county in which a juror lives, but cannot exceed four months.  Jurors receive a summons that tells them to appear at the courthouse for jury service.

When a jury case is called, court administrators randomly choose potential jurors and send them to a courtroom for interviews, known as voir dire [vwahr deer].  In the courtroom, you will learn more about the case and be questioned by the judge and attorneys so they may determine whether you are qualified to serve.  Depending on the type of case or the procedures used in your county, you may be questioned individually or in a group.  If you feel you should not serve as a juror, or if you know the parties, witnesses or attorneys involved in the case, tell the judge and attorneys as soon as possible.

During the interview, an attorney may challenge for cause if the attorney feels that a potential juror cannot be fair and impartial.  The judge must then decide whether to allow the challenge and excuse the juror.  Attorneys may also excuse a juror by using a peremptory challenge, which does not require the attorney to give a reason for excusing a juror.  Do not take offense if you are challenged.  This is a normal part of voir dire.

If you are not excused, you will become a member of the jury and will take an oath before hearing the case.  In criminal cases, alternate jurors may be assigned to a case.

McLeod (First District)

McLeod County Courthouse
830 11th Street East
Glencoe, MN 55336
Phone: (320) 864-1281
Fax: (320) 864-5905

The Jury Division provides jurors for the McLeod County Courts.  Trial by jury is a basic American right and the very essence of freedom under our Constitution.  The participation of the citizens of McLeod County will help preserve this basic fundamental right.  Residents are selected at random from voter registration, state I.D.'s and driver license lists are available to serve as jurors.  


Jury Information

To be qualified to serve as a Juror in the State of Minnesota, a prospective juror must be:
    1.  A citizen of the United States
    2.  At least 18 years old
    3.  A resident of the county
    4.  Able to communicate in the English language
    5.  Be physically and mentally capable of rendering satisfactory jury service
    6.  A person who has had their civil rights restored if they have been convicted of a felony
    7.  A person who has not served as a state or federal grand or petit juror in the past four years within the State of Minnesota 

The definition of service is
     a)  Being available to report as required
     b)  Reporting as directed
     c)  Serving on a trial

To respond to your summons for jury service, request a postponement, or make changes to your contact information online visit Jury Qualification Questionnaire

Jurors may be permanently excused for the following reasons ONLY:
  1. A person age 70 or over who requests to be excused
  2. A person who medically cannot serve with a doctor's statement verifying a permanent illness

Meeker (Eighth District)

Meeker County Courthouse
325 North Sibley
Litchfield, MN 55355
Phone: (320) 693-5230
Fax: (320) 693-5254

Meeker (Eighth District)

Meeker County Courthouse
325 North Sibley
Litchfield, MN 55355
Phone: (320) 693-5230
Fax: (320) 693-5254

Mille Lacs (Seventh District)

Mille Lacs County Court Administration
635 2nd Street Southeast
Milaca, MN 56353
Phone: (320) 983-8313
Fax: (320) 983-8384

Morrison (Seventh District)

Morrison County Court Administration
213 1st Avenue Southeast
Little Falls, MN 56345
Phone: (320) 632-0327
Fax: (320) 632-0340

Mower (Third District)

Mower County Court Administration
201 First Street NE
Austin, MN 55912
Phone: (507) 437-9465
Fax: (507) 434-2702

Murray (Fifth District)

Murray County Court Administration
2500 28th Street 
P.O. Box 57 
Slayton, MN  56172-0057 
Phone: (507) 836-6163, ext. 135    
Fax: (507) 836-6019


Voir Dire: Jury Selection

Potential jurors are randomly selected from driver’s license, state ID, and voter registration records.  The length of jury service depends on the county in which a juror lives, but cannot exceed four months.  Jurors receive a summons that tells them to appear at the courthouse for jury service.

When a jury case is called, court administrators randomly choose potential jurors and send them to a courtroom for interviews, known as voir dire [vwahr deer].  In the courtroom, you will learn more about the case and be questioned by the judge and attorneys so they may determine whether you are qualified to serve.  Depending on the type of case or the procedures used in your county, you may be questioned individually or in a group.  If you feel you should not serve as a juror, or if you know the parties, witnesses or attorneys involved in the case, tell the judge and attorneys as soon as possible.

During the interview, an attorney may challenge for cause if the attorney feels that a potential juror cannot be fair and impartial.  The judge must then decide whether to allow the challenge and excuse the juror.  Attorneys may also excuse a juror by using a peremptory challenge, which does not require the attorney to give a reason for excusing a juror.  Do not take offense if you are challenged.  This is a normal part of voir dire.

If you are not excused, you will become a member of the jury and will take an oath before hearing the case.  In criminal cases, alternate jurors may be assigned to a case.

Nicollet (Fifth District)

Nicollet County Court Administration
Nicollet County Government Center         
501 South Minnesota Avenue 
P.O. Box 496 
St. Peter, MN 56082 
Phone: (507) 934-0388
Fax: (507) 931-4278


Voir Dire: Jury Selection

Potential jurors are randomly selected from driver’s license, state ID, and voter registration records.  The length of jury service depends on the county in which a juror lives, but cannot exceed four months.  Jurors receive a summons that tells them to appear at the courthouse for jury service.

When a jury case is called, court administrators randomly choose potential jurors and send them to a courtroom for interviews, known as voir dire [vwahr deer].  In the courtroom, you will learn more about the case and be questioned by the judge and attorneys so they may determine whether you are qualified to serve.  Depending on the type of case or the procedures used in your county, you may be questioned individually or in a group.  If you feel you should not serve as a juror, or if you know the parties, witnesses or attorneys involved in the case, tell the judge and attorneys as soon as possible.

During the interview, an attorney may challenge for cause if the attorney feels that a potential juror cannot be fair and impartial.  The judge must then decide whether to allow the challenge and excuse the juror.  Attorneys may also excuse a juror by using a peremptory challenge, which does not require the attorney to give a reason for excusing a juror.  Do not take offense if you are challenged.  This is a normal part of voir dire.

If you are not excused, you will become a member of the jury and will take an oath before hearing the case.  In criminal cases, alternate jurors may be assigned to a case.

Nobles (Fifth District)

Nobles County Court Administration
Prairie Justice Center 
1530 Airport Road             
P.O. Box 547 
Worthington, MN  56187 
Phone: (507) 372-8263        
Fax: (507 372-4994


Voir Dire: Jury Selection

Potential jurors are randomly selected from driver’s license, state ID, and voter registration records.  The length of jury service depends on the county in which a juror lives, but cannot exceed four months.  Jurors receive a summons that tells them to appear at the courthouse for jury service.

When a jury case is called, court administrators randomly choose potential jurors and send them to a courtroom for interviews, known as voir dire [vwahr deer].  In the courtroom, you will learn more about the case and be questioned by the judge and attorneys so they may determine whether you are qualified to serve.  Depending on the type of case or the procedures used in your county, you may be questioned individually or in a group.  If you feel you should not serve as a juror, or if you know the parties, witnesses or attorneys involved in the case, tell the judge and attorneys as soon as possible.

During the interview, an attorney may challenge for cause if the attorney feels that a potential juror cannot be fair and impartial.  The judge must then decide whether to allow the challenge and excuse the juror.  Attorneys may also excuse a juror by using a peremptory challenge, which does not require the attorney to give a reason for excusing a juror.  Do not take offense if you are challenged.  This is a normal part of voir dire.

If you are not excused, you will become a member of the jury and will take an oath before hearing the case.  In criminal cases, alternate jurors may be assigned to a case.

Norman (Ninth District)

Norman County District Court
16 E 3rd Avenue E
Ada, Minnesota 56510
Phone: (218) 784-5458
Fax: (218) 784-3110

Olmsted (Third District)

Olmsted County Court Administration
151 Fourth Street SE
Rochester, MN 55904
Phone: (507) 206-2490
Fax: (507) 285-8996

Otter Tail (Seventh District)

Otter Tail County Court Administration
121 West Junius Avenue, Suite 310
Fergus Falls, MN 56537
Phone: (218) 998-8420
Fax: (218) 998-8438

Pennington (Ninth District)

Pennington County District Court
101 North Main
Thief River Falls, MN 56701
Phone: (218) 683-7023
Fax: (218) 681-0907

Pine (Tenth District)

Pine County District Court
635 Northridge Drive NW, Suite 320
Pine City, MN 55063-9819
Phone: (320) 591-1500
Toll Free: (800) 204-0636
Fax: (320) 591-1524

Pipestone (Fifth District)

Pipestone County Court Administration
416 South Hiawatha             
P.O. Box 337 
Pipestone, MN 56164 
Phone: (507) 825-6730      
Fax: (507) 825-6733


Voir Dire: Jury Selection

Potential jurors are randomly selected from driver’s license, state ID, and voter registration records.  The length of jury service depends on the county in which a juror lives, but cannot exceed four months.  Jurors receive a summons that tells them to appear at the courthouse for jury service.

When a jury case is called, court administrators randomly choose potential jurors and send them to a courtroom for interviews, known as voir dire [vwahr deer].  In the courtroom, you will learn more about the case and be questioned by the judge and attorneys so they may determine whether you are qualified to serve.  Depending on the type of case or the procedures used in your county, you may be questioned individually or in a group.  If you feel you should not serve as a juror, or if you know the parties, witnesses or attorneys involved in the case, tell the judge and attorneys as soon as possible.

During the interview, an attorney may challenge for cause if the attorney feels that a potential juror cannot be fair and impartial.  The judge must then decide whether to allow the challenge and excuse the juror.  Attorneys may also excuse a juror by using a peremptory challenge, which does not require the attorney to give a reason for excusing a juror.  Do not take offense if you are challenged.  This is a normal part of voir dire.

If you are not excused, you will become a member of the jury and will take an oath before hearing the case.  In criminal cases, alternate jurors may be assigned to a case.

Polk (Ninth District)

Polk County Justice Center
816 Marin Avenue, Suite 210
Crookston, MN 56716
Phone: (218) 281-2332
Fax: (218) 281-2204

Pope (Eighth District)

Pope County Courthouse
130 East Minnesota, Suite 309
Glenwood, MN  56334
Phone: (320) 634-5222  
Fax: (320) 634-5527

Ramsey (Second District)

Ramsey County Courthouse
Room 30, 15 West Kellogg Boulevard
Saint Paul, MN 55102
Phone: (651) 266-8200
Fax: (651) 266-8138

Length of Service

How long is my service?
Jury Service is one week, meaning if you are not on a case by the end of the week, your service is complete; However, once seated on a case you will serve until the conclusion of the trial, however long that takes.

What are the hours of service?
On your first day of service you will need to report at 8:30 a.m. in order to receive an orientation. After the first day, your hours of service may vary. You need to plan to be at the courthouse from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. When all cases scheduled for that day settle, you will be released. However, count on being here every day until 4:30. If you are selected as a juror on a case you will follow the Judge's instructions.

Do you have an on-call system?
Yes, but you must report on the first day of service at 8:30 a.m. as it states on your summons. If you are not on a case by the END of the day on your first day of service, you will be placed on call. You will be directed to call a number each night to listen to a message that will give instructions for the following day. You will either be required to report to the Courthouse or you will have the day off and should go about your regular business. Again, you still need to plan to be here every day Monday thru Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Just because you have a day off does NOT mean your service is over. You will still be on call for the entire week.

If I am released early for the day, do I have to report back to work?
Please discuss this with your employer.

On-site Resources

Is there an emergency number I can give to someone in case they need to contact me?
Yes, (651) 266-8200. There will be someone answering the phone from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. We will relay the message to you as soon as possible.

Is there a TV in the assembly room?
Yes, there is a TV with a cable box. This is in a separate room for those who would like to watch television.

Is there a work room?
Yes. There is an adjacent work room with 4 computers and several work stations with power outlets. There is also a fax, copier and phone. Additional work spaces with power outlets are available in the main room as well. First come first served.  Printers are not available.

Do you have Wi-Fi?
Yes. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the jury area.

Are there phones that I can use?
Yes. Courtesy phones are available in the jury assembly room. These are available on a first come, first serve basis.

Can I bring a cell phone?
Yes.  Cell phones may be used when not in the courtroom.  Some judges prohibit phones entirely.

Can I bring a laptop/tablet?
Yes, laptops and tablets are allowed. Wi-Fi is available for your use while waiting in the jury assembly room.

Are lockers available to store my belongings?
No.  Non-secure storage is available.  All valuables should remain with you.

Are books and magazines allowed?
Books and magazines are allowed in the jury assembly room. We have some donated magazines and books available for your use. Newspapers are not allowed in the courtroom.

Other questions

Is parking available?
Parking is at your own expense so you are free to choose your parking ramp.  Do not park at a meter. You will not be able to plug the meter. The closest parking ramps with early-bird rates are the Lowry Ramp and the Victory Ramp.  Handicap street parking is limited to 4 hours and requires moving the vehicle over lunch. Other nearby parking.
Saint Paul parking and skyway map

My summons came with a bus pass.  Will I get more?
No.  The pass is for your first day only.  You will need to make your own arrangements for the rest of the week.
Metro Transit bus information


How was I selected?
Driver's License, Voter's Registration and/or State I.D.

Can I volunteer to serve on Jury Duty?
No.  Selection of jurors is random.

BRING YOUR SUMMONS WITH YOU EACH DAY OF JURY DUTY

DO NOT BRING:

  • Communication Devices (Phones, Pagers, and PDA's)
  • Weapons are not allowed in the courthouse.  The facility is fully secured and all visitors are subject to weapons screening upon entering the facility. 

The Second Judicial District is pleased to announce that for jurors who would like to bring a laptop computer with them while serving as a juror in Ramsey County, wireless internet is now available for use while in the jury assembly room.

WHERE TO APPEAR: The Ramsey County Courthouse is located at 15 W. Kellogg Blvd. in downtown St. Paul between Wabasha and St. Peter Streets.

FIRST DAY: Report to the Jury Assembly Room, 30 Lower Level, Ramsey County Courthouse at 8:30 a.m. to receive orientation and instructions. Usually, if you are not assigned to a trial you will be dismissed at 4:30 p.m.

LENGTH OF SERVICE: The length of service is ONE WEEK (or until the trial concludes, if in trial at the end of the week). Court sessions normally last until 4:30 p.m.

PARKING: Parking is expensive near the courthouse. There are three commercial ramps on Wabasha St. within one block of the courthouse. You may want to consider public transportation. Metro Transit (612) 373-3333 can provide bus schedules and Park and Ride locations. Mileage is automatically computed from the farthest part of your zip code. Do not complete the roundtrip mileage in section B of your summons.

QUESTIONS: If questions remain, contact the Jury Office Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at: (651) 266-8200, Fax: (651) 266-8138.

Red Lake (Ninth District)

Red Lake County District Court
124 Langevin Avenue
P.O. Box 339
Red Lake Falls, MN 56750
Phone: (218) 253-4281
Fax: (218) 253-4287

Redwood (Fifth District)

Redwood County Court Administration
Third and Jefferson 
P.O. Box 130 
Redwood Falls, MN  56283-0130 
Phone: (507) 637-4020
Fax: (507) 637-4021


Jury Selection

Potential jurors are randomly selected from driver’s license, state ID, and voter registration records.  The length of jury service depends on the county in which a juror lives, but cannot exceed four months.  Jurors receive a summons that tells them to appear at the courthouse for jury service.

When a jury case is called, court administrators randomly choose potential jurors and send them to a courtroom for interviews, known as voir dire [vwahr deer].  In the courtroom, you will learn more about the case and be questioned by the judge and attorneys so they may determine whether you are qualified to serve.  Depending on the type of case or the procedures used in your county, you may be questioned individually or in a group.  If you feel you should not serve as a juror, or if you know the parties, witnesses or attorneys involved in the case, tell the judge and attorneys as soon as possible.

During the interview, an attorney may challenge for cause if the attorney feels that a potential juror cannot be fair and impartial.  The judge must then decide whether to allow the challenge and excuse the juror.  Attorneys may also excuse a juror by using a peremptory challenge, which does not require the attorney to give a reason for excusing a juror.  Do not take offense if you are challenged.  This is a normal part of voir dire.

If you are not excused, you will become a member of the jury and will take an oath before hearing the case.  In criminal cases, alternate jurors may be assigned to a case.

Renville (Eighth District)

Renville County Courthouse
500 East DePue, Third Level
Olivia, MN  56277
Phone: (320) 523-3680   
Fax: (320) 523-3689

Rice (Third District)

Rice County Court Administration
218 NW Third Street, Suite 300
Faribault, MN 55021
Phone: (507) 332-6107

Roseau (Ninth District)

Roseau County District Court
606 5th Avenue SW, Room 20
Roseau, MN 56751
Phone: (218) 463-2541
Fax: (218) 463-1889

Scott (First District)

Scott County District Court
200 Fourth Avenue West
Government Center - JC115
Shakopee, MN 55379-1220
Phone: (952) 496-8200
Fax: (952) 496-8211

The Jury Division provides jurors for the Scott County Courts.  Trial by jury is a basic American right and the very essence of freedom under our Constitution.  The participation of the citizens of Scott County will help preserve this basic fundamental right.  Residents are selected at random from voter registration, state I.D.'s and driver license lists are available to serve as jurors.  
 

Jury Information

To be qualified to serve as a Juror in the State of Minnesota, a prospective juror must be:
    1.  A citizen of the United States
    2.  At least 18 years old
    3.  A resident of the county
    4.  Able to communicate in the English language
    5.  Be physically and mentally capable of rendering satisfactory jury service
    6.  A person who has had their civil rights restored if they have been convicted of a felony
    7.  A person who has not served as a state or federal grand or petit juror in the past four years within the State of Minnesota 
The definition of service is
     a)  Being available to report as required
     b)  Reporting as directed
     c)  Serving on a trial

To respond to your summons for jury service, request a postponement, or make changes to your contact information online visit Jury Qualification Questionnaire

Jurors may be permanently excused for the following reasons ONLY:
     1.  A person age 70 or over who requests to be excused
    2.  A person who medically cannot serve with a doctor's statement verifying a permanent illness
 

To Request a Postponement

To better accommodate prospective jurors' work and personal schedules, jurors may request a postponement of their jury duty 1 time for a period of no more than 9 months. A request for postponement may be done online or you may submit your request in writing to Scott County District Court (address above).

NOTE: This applies only to jurors who have not been granted a postponement previously.


Postponements

To better accommodate prospective jurors' work and personal schedules, jurors may request a postponement of their jury duty.  Jury Management will grant only one postponement request per juror.  A request for postponement of jury service may be done online or you may submit your request in writing to Scott County District Court (address above), indicate the month that you prefer to serve.
 

Petit Jury Term 

Scott County Petit Jury terms, normally, last for two (2) weeks.  However, no person is required to continue to serve after that person has reported to the courthouse for ten (10) days or after the completion of one trial, whichever is longer. 


Telephone Call-in System

Juror Information Line:  In order to minimize jurors' time away from their normal daily activities, the Scott County Jury Management staff brings jurors to the courthouse only when efforts to settle or plead out a case have been unsuccessful.  Your jury summons will indicate when to start calling the Jury Information line and provide the number to call.

Days and Times You Will be Reporting:  There is absolutely no way to determine in advance what days you will be asked to report for jury duty during your term of service.   You will either know the night before that you will be needed the next morning, or you will be asked to call late in the morning and then may be instructed to report for an afternoon court session. You must be available to report every day of your term.

Call as Instructed:  It is very important that you call as instructed.  If you do not call and you are on the list and do not show up you will be listed as a FAILURE TO APPEAR and a court order may be issued for you, summoning you to the courthouse for a special hearing to explain to the judge why you failed to appear, or a warrant for your arrest may be ordered by the Court. Consequences that may be imposed for failing to appear for jury duty include fines or incarceration.
 

What To Expect 

Jurors are asked to follow the instructions on the juror message line regarding initial reporting for jury duty.  Your reporting times may vary depending on whether jurors are needed for the morning or afternoon court session.   When reporting, follow these general guidelines:

First Day Reporting:  Please report to the Conference Center located directly across from the Scott County Government Center promptly at the time given during the telephone instructions. The Jury Management staff will take attendance, conduct a brief orientation and show an informational video about jury duty, after which jury selection will proceed as ordered by the Court.

Second and Subsequent Days:  Follow the instructions given by the Judge presiding over your trial or the Jury Management staff.
 

Hours of Operation

The normal hours of operation for Scott County Court Administration are 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. For initial panel selection, jurors may be asked to report so orientation can be completed by 9:00 a.m.  Once panel selection is complete, jurors will normally be asked to report around 9:00 a.m. when the daily court sessions begin.  

Occasionally, a Judge may ask the panel to stay after normal business hours, particularly if testimony of the current witness could be completed within a short period of time or if the panel is in deliberation.

In any event, if you are a seated juror, please follow the instructions of the Judge presiding over your case. If an emergency arises while you are on a case, promptly advise the bailiff or court staff.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to dress up if I'm a juror? 
Jurors are expected to be neat in appearance.  Slacks are acceptable for women; men are not required to wear coats or ties.  Jeans are acceptable as long as they are in good condition.  Shorts, muscle shirts, and halter tops are not acceptable courtroom apparel.

How long does a trial last? 
A trial can be completed in one day or go for weeks; however, the average trial lasts one to three days.  The Judge will advise you about the estimated length of the trial during the jury panel selection process.

Sherburne (Tenth District)

Sherburne County District Court
Sherburne County Govt Center
13880 Business Center Drive
Elk River, MN 55330-4608
Phone: (763) 765-4643
Fax: (763) 765-4606


Child Care Reimbursement

Jurors who are not employed outside the home may be reimbursed for child care expenses incurred as a result of jury services. Jurors who are employed outside the home are not entitled to child care reimbursement unless the expense, as a result of jury service, is greater than normally would be incurred. Payment will be made only for the amount over and above your normal child care expenditure. All requests for payment must be submitted within ten days after you complete jury service. Reimbursement claim forms can be picked up in the Jury Manager’s Office.


Courtroom Decorum

Casual or comfortable dress is acceptable. Jurors are not allowed to wear hats, drink beverages, chew gum or use tobacco products in the courtroom. Wireless internet is available for use in the Jury Assembly Room. Cell phones, computers and all internet accessible devises are NOT allowed in the courtroom and must be left in the Jury Managers office when reporting to the courtroom. If you are concerned about leaving these items in the Jury Managers office, you may choose to leave them at home. There are a limited number of lockers available for these types of items. All books, magazines and newspapers must be left in the Jury Assembly Room.


Juror Emergency

If an illness or family emergency prevents attendance at the courthouse, please inform court personnel by calling (763) 765-4643 at 8:00 a.m. The same phone number may be given to family members or daycare providers in case an emergency arises during the day.


Juror Hours

Normal hours for jurors hearing testimony in court cases are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There is usually a one to one and a half hour break for lunch. Jurors brought in to begin new cases will be required to stay at the courthouse until a jury has been selected for the case scheduled. Court personnel will inform jurors as to when they may leave the courthouse.


Juror Information Line

Jurors are required to call the Juror Information Line, (763) 765-4620, after 3:30 p.m. on the Friday before their term begins.  Weekend messages are made on Friday evening at 3:30 p.m. and run all weekend.  The Juror Information Line will instruct jurors of the time and place to report for jury duty if a trial is scheduled to start, or it will inform jurors of the time and day that they will need to call again Monday through Friday if trials are still pending (Common call-in times are "after 3:30 p.m." and "at 11:00 a.m.").  Jurors may be required to report within one and a half hours from call-in time.  The Juror Information Line will continue to give jurors instructions on when to report or when to call again.   The Juror Information Line will also tell you when you have completed your two week term.  Jurors who are not required to report for service at the Sherburne County Courthouse should go about their normal day's activities, i.e., go to their normal place of employment.  When you call the Juror Information Line, be sure you know your group number and listen to the entire message.


Juror Notes

Note pads and pens will be provided to jurors for the purpose of taking notes during trials.


Juror Sequestration

In any criminal case involving a jury, there is always the "possibility" that the jury could be sequestered (that is housed at a motel for a duration of the jury deliberation process). As a practical matter, rarely are jury panels actually sequestered. However, in the event that a jury is sequestered, the following information may be helpful:
  • Jurors will not be allowed to call their homes, but court personnel will take messages from jurors and call their families.
  • If it is anticipated that jurors may be sequestered, court personnel will request that jurors bring overnight bags with them to the Jury Assembly Room.

Smoking

This is a no smoking building and no smoking is allowed in the jury rooms during breaks or deliberation, the bailiff will assist in exiting the building.


Weapons

Weapons are not allowed in the courthouse.  This includes all firearms, except law enforcement on duty, and knives, including pocket knives.  Please be sure to lock any weapons in your vehicle before entering the courthouse.


Weather/Snow Emergency

In the event of inclement weather, such as a severe snowstorm, please call the Juror Information Line, (763) 765-4620, for a message regarding closing of the Sherburne County Courthouse or a special message for Sherburne County Jurors.


Where To Report

The Juror Information Line will instruct jurors of the time and place to report for jury assembly and orientation at the Sherburne County Government Center, 13880 Highway 10 West, 13880 Business Center Drive, Elk River, MN.  After jury orientation, Court personnel will escort jurors to the courtroom where individual juries will be selected.  The selection process includes being questioned by the attorneys on the case and the presiding Judge.  If a juror is not selected to serve on a trial, he or she may be released for the remainder of the day and will be instructed by the Judge or Court personnel of the next day and time that they will need to call the Juror Information Line for reporting instructions.

Sibley (First District)

Sibley County Court Administration
400 Court Avenue
P.O. Box 867
Gaylord, MN 55334
Phone: (507) 237-4054
Message Line: (507) 237-4065
Fax: (507) 237-4062

The Jury Division provides jurors for the Sibley County Courts. Trial by jury is a basic American right and the very essence of freedom under our Constitution. Participation of Sibley County citizens will help preserve this basic fundamental right. Residents are selected at random from voter registration, driver license and Minnesota State ID lists to serve as jurors. Approximately 400 Sibley County residents are summoned to serve as jurors every year.


Jury Information

To be qualified to serve as a Juror in the State of Minnesota, a prospective juror must be:
    1.  A citizen of the United States
    2.  At least 18 years old
    3.  A resident of the county
    4.  Able to communicate in the English language
    5.  Be physically and mentally capable of rendering satisfactory jury service
    6.  A person who has had their civil rights restored if they have been convicted of a felony
    7.  A person who has not served as a state or federal grand or petit juror in the past two years within the State of Minnesota 

The definition of service is:
     a)  Being available to report as required
     b)  Reporting as directed
     c)  Serving on a trial

To respond to your summons for jury service, request a postponement or make changes to your contact information online visit Jury Qualification Questionnaire

Jurors may be permanently excused for the following reasons ONLY:
  1. A person age 70 or over who requests to be excused
  2. A person who medically cannot serve with a doctor's statement verifying a permanent illness

Postponements

To better accommodate prospective jurors' work and personal schedules, jurors may request a postponement of their jury duty.  Jury Management will grant only one postponement request per juror.  A request for postponement of jury service may be done online or you may submit your request in writing to Sibley County District Court (address above), indicate the month that you prefer to serve.


Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Petit Jury Service

What time do I report each day?
On your first day, you report by 9:00 a.m. to receive orientation and instructions.   For following days, you generally report at 9:00 a.m. unless given other instructions either by a Judge or the recorded message you may be directed to call. 

Where do I report? 
Report to the Sibley County Courthouse, Gaylord, Minnesota.  You can enter either the south doors of the Courthouse or the west doors to the Courthouse Annex and proceed to the stairs or elevator and go to the 3rd Floor.  Follow the juror signs to Courtroom II where you can check in with the bailiff.

How long will I be there?
The hours of court are generally 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. each day.  If you are not selected on a trial, you may be released early.  If you are selected, you will be here until 4:30 p.m.  If you are deliberating on a case, you may be here late in the evening.

Where can I park? 
The county provides a free parking lot on the south side of the Courthouse or there is additional parking located on west side of the Courthouse Annex. There is also parking available on Court Avenue.

Do I have to come in every day? 
No, you do not report every day.  You will only report for jury duty when you receive a letter from the Court requesting you to report for jury duty on a certain date. DO NOT REPORT FOR JURY DUTY UNTIL YOU RECEIVE A SUBSEQUENT LETTER FROM THE COURT INFORMING YOU TO REPORT FOR JURY DUTY.   You will be instructed to call (507) 237-4065 or toll-free at 1-888-422-2779 after 4:30 p.m. on the Thursday before the scheduled day to report (please read the letter thoroughly for detailed instructions) or if you call after hours (Courthouse hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. M-F) listen to the recording.

What if I have moved out of the County?
You are not eligible to serve as a juror in Sibley County if you have moved out of the county.  However, we need this information in writing.  We ask that you complete the jury questionnaire and include your new address.  Once we receive this information, we will confirm that you are disqualified.  This also applies if you plan to move before your jury term.  In that case, give us the effective date of your move.

I am more than 70 years old and want to be excused.  Do I still have to fill in the entire form?
You are required to check off the question that asks, “Do you wish to be excused?”  Then on the reverse side of the summons, fill in your date of birth and sign the form.  We encourage you to complete the entire form for statistics purposes however, it is not required.

Do I have to provide a doctor’s statement to be excused?
You are required to submit a doctor’s statement to be excused.  If your condition is of a temporary nature, you will be granted an automatic postponement upon request.  A postponement does not require a doctor’s statement.

Do I have to dress up for jury service?  
Jurors are expected to have a neat appearance.  Slacks are acceptable for women.  Men are not required to wear coats or ties.  Jeans are allowed as long as they are neat and clean. Shorts are not allowed.

Is there an emergency telephone number to leave with my family?  
Yes, the number for Court Administration is (507) 237-4054.  A message will be relayed to you as soon as possible by our staff.

May I bring a cellular phone with me? 
Cellular phones are not allowed in the courtrooms so jurors may not bring them.

May I bring in my personal computer so I can do some work? 
Yes, there are electrical outlets but no telephone lines are available.

Will I immediately be assigned to a courtroom upon reporting?                               
Initially you will be sitting in a courtroom awaiting jury duty.   You are encouraged to bring reading materials, etc., to pass the time while waiting.  

How many trials may I serve on?
Once a juror has served 10 days (either on 1 trial or multiple trials), the juror's obligation is completed. This will provide an opportunity for a greater number of residents to participate in this patriotic service.  

May I go out to lunch when I am on jury service? 
If time permits, you may go out - we have information available on nearby eating establishments.

Can I still serve if I am hard of hearing?
Yes, we have a sound system in all of the courtrooms with headphones.  If you are hearing impaired, please contact us upon receipt of the summons, and we will schedule a sign language interpreter.

St. Louis Duluth (Sixth District)

St. Louis County Court Administration
100 North 5th Avenue West
Duluth, MN 55802-1285
Phone: (218) 726-2436  
Fax: (218) 726-2473


Selection of Jurors

Once a year, a computer merges the county’s driver license list, voter registration list, and Minnesota identification cardholders into one list. From this list, by random selection, jurors are chosen and sent a summons to appear for jury duty.

When the juror reports to the jury assembly room at the courthouse, court personnel will provide orientation and instructions. Following orientation, jurors will go to the courtroom to go through the jury selection process. Jurors will be provided information about the case and questioned by the court and the lawyers for each side. If during questioning, it appears that a juror cannot be fair and impartial, the attorney maychallenge the juror for cause. The judge decides whether the juror would not be able to serve. If the judge allows the challenge, the juror is excused from that case. Another type of challenge is the peremptory challenge.The peremptory challenge requires no reason for excusing a juror. Jurors not excused and seated will comprise the jury. Jurors are sworn in and then are responsible to hear the evidence and follow the case to completion of trial.


Telephone Call-in System

JURY INFORMATION LINE:To save tax dollars, the St. Louis County Court Administrator brings jurors to the courthouse ONLY when we are confident a trial will not settle or plead out. You are instructed on your summons when and where to call on the Jury Information Line. You will hear one of two possible recorded messages:
  1. All jurors are required to call back again on _________(date) after 5:00 p.m.
  2. The following jurors are required to report to the courthouse at ___________(date) and __________(time). (Then the names of the jurors randomly chosen will be listed.) All other jurors will be required to call back again on ____________(date) after 5:00 p.m.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT that you call as instructed. If you do not call and you are on the list and do not show up, you will be called that morning and required to report to the courthouse. If we are not able to reach you by phone, and do not hear from you, an Order to Show Cause may be issued. You will be summoned to the courthouse for a special hearing to explain to the judge why you failed to appear.

The jury call in number in Duluth is (218) 726-2552.

More thorough instructions regarding the call-in system will be provided if you contact the court administrator's office.

TRIAL DURATION:The length of a trial can be from 1 day to over 1 week.  It is very uncommon for a trial to last more than 3 days.  Throughout the year, there may be a trial that goes a full week or even 2 weeks.  The judge will advise you about the estimated length of the trial.

SICKNESS OR EMERGENCIES: If an illness or emergency prevents your attendance, please call the Court Administrator as soon as possible.

PRESCHEDULED COMMITMENTS: It is very difficult for us to excuse an absence at the last minute, especially after your name has been randomly selected for a trial and listed on the jury information line.  If you have a doctor's appointment, previously planned vacation or a legitimate excuse for an absence, we can temporarily pull your name from the jury list before a random list is chosen for a trial.

Please call the Court Administrator as soon as you are aware of a conflict that would prevent you from coming to the courthouse on any given day within your jury term.

OVERNIGHT STAY: Jurors are rarely detained overnight, but you may be sequestered while deliberating on a criminal verdict or for the duration of a highly publicized trial.   The Bailiff in charge will notify your family if you are sequestered.


Parking

There are parking lots on the west and north sides of the courthouse.


Jury Term

Jury service lasts for 1 month.

Within your jury term your service may result in:
  • Calling as instructed and then being discharged by phone at the end of your jury term.
  • Calling as instructed, being instructed by phone to come to the courthouse to potentially serve (no more than 3 times within your jury term) before you are discharged after the 3rd time you are brought in or at the end of your jury term, whichever comes first.
  • Calling as instructed, being instructed by phone to come to the courthouse and being chosen to serve on a case. At the end of the trial, you may be discharged from further service within your jury term.
Note: If you are selected to sit as a juror on a case that is set near the end of your scheduled jury term, you may be required to serve beyond the 1 month jury term.

Prospective jurors are not required to serve more than once every 4 years. On occasion, a person shows up on the jury list who has served within the past four years. If this is the case with you, please let the court administrator's office know as soon as possible.

St. Louis Hibbing (Sixth District)

Hibbing County Court Administration
1810 E. 12th Avenue
Hibbing, MN 55746-1680
Phone: (218) 262-0105


Selection of Jurors

Once a year, a computer merges the county’s driver license list, voter registration list, and Minnesota identification cardholders into one list. From this list, by random selection, jurors are chosen and sent a summons to appear for jury duty.

When the juror reports to the jury assembly room at the courthouse, court personnel will provide orientation and instructions. Following orientation, jurors will go to the courtroom to go through the jury selection process. Jurors will be provided information about the case and questioned by the court and the lawyers for each side. If during questioning, it appears that a juror cannot be fair and impartial, the attorney maychallenge the juror for cause. The judge decides whether the juror would not be able to serve. If the judge allows the challenge, the juror is excused from that case. Another type of challenge is the peremptory challenge.The peremptory challenge requires no reason for excusing a juror. Jurors not excused and seated will comprise the jury. Jurors are sworn in and then are responsible to hear the evidence and follow the case to completion of trial.


Telephone Call-in System

JURY INFORMATION LINE:  To save tax dollars, the St. Louis County Court Administrator brings jurors to the courthouse ONLY when we are confident a trial will not settle or plead out.  Your jury summons will indicate when and where to call.

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT that you call as instructed.  If you do not call and you are on the list and do not show up, you will be called that morning and required to report to the courthouse.  If we are not able to reach you by phone, and do not hear from you, an Order to Show Cause may be issued which will summon you to the courthouse for a special hearing to explain to the judge why you failed to appear.

More thorough instructions regarding the call-in system will be provided if you contact the Court Administrator's office.

TRIAL DURATION:The length of a trial can be from 1 day to over 1 week.  It is very uncommon for a trial to last more than 3 days.  Throughout the year, there may be a trial that goes a full week or even 2 weeks.  The judge will advise you about the estimated length of the trial.

SICKNESS OR EMERGENCIES: If an illness or emergency prevents your attendance, please call the Court Administrator as soon as possible.

PRESCHEDULED COMMITMENTS: It is very difficult for us to excuse an absence at the last minute, especially after your name has been randomly selected for a trial and listed on the jury information line.  If you have a doctor's appointment, previously planned vacation or a legitimate excuse for an absence, we can temporarily pull your name from the jury list before a random list is chosen for a trial.

Please call the Court Administrator as soon as you are aware of a conflict that would prevent you from coming to the courthouse on any given day within your jury term.

OVERNIGHT STAY:Jurors are rarely detained overnight, but you may be sequestered while deliberating on a criminal verdict or for the duration of a highly publicized trial.   The Bailiff in charge will notify your family if you are sequestered.


Parking

There is a parking lot directly to the west of the courthouse.


Jury Term

Jury service lasts for 10 court days or 3 months, whichever occurs first.

Note: if you are selected to sit as a juror on a case that is set near the end of your scheduled jury term, you may be required to serve beyond the 3 month jury term.

Prospective jurors are not required to serve more than once every 4 years.  On occasion, a person shows up on the jury list who has served within the past 4 years.  If this is the case with you, please let the Court Administrator's office know as soon as possible.

St. Louis Virginia (Sixth District)

Virginia County Court Administration
300 5th Avenue South
Virginia, MN 55792-2666
Phone: (218) 749-7106


Selection of Jurors

Once a year, a computer merges the county’s driver license list, voter registration list, and Minnesota identification cardholders into one list. From this list, by random selection, jurors are chosen and sent a summons to appear for jury duty.

When the juror reports to the jury assembly room at the courthouse, court personnel will provide orientation and instructions. Following orientation, jurors will go to the courtroom to go through the jury selection process. Jurors will be provided information about the case and questioned by the court and the lawyers for each side. If during questioning, it appears that a juror cannot be fair and impartial, the attorney maychallenge the juror for cause. The judge decides whether the juror would not be able to serve. If the judge allows the challenge, the juror is excused from that case. Another type of challenge is the peremptory challenge.The peremptory challenge requires no reason for excusing a juror. Jurors not excused and seated will comprise the jury. Jurors are sworn in and then are responsible to hear the evidence and follow the case to completion of trial.


Telephone Call-in System

JURY INFORMATION LINE: To save tax dollars, the St. Louis County Court Administrator brings jurors to the courthouse ONLY when we are confident a trial will not settle or plead out. You are instructed on your summons when and where to call on the Jury Information Line. You will hear one of two possible recorded messages:
  1. All jurors are required to call back again on _________(date) after 5:00 p.m.
  2. The following jurors are required to report to the courthouse at ___________(date) and __________(time). (Then the names of the jurors randomly chosen will be listed.) All other jurors will be required to call back again on ____________(date) after 5:00 p.m.

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT that you call as instructed. If you do not call and you are on the list and do not show up, you will be called that morning and required to report to the courthouse. If we are not able to reach you by phone, and do not hear from you, an Order to Show Cause may be issued. You will be summoned to the courthouse for a special hearing to explain to the judge why you failed to appear.

The jury call in number in Virginia is (218) 749-7124.

More thorough instructions regarding the call-in system will be provided if you contact the court administrator's office.

TRIAL DURATION: The length of a trial can be from 1 day to over 4 weeks. It is very uncommon for a trial to last more than 3 days. Throughout the year, there may be a trial that goes a full week or even 2 weeks. The judge will advise you about the estimated length of the trial.

SICKNESS OR EMERGENCIES: If an illness or emergency prevents your attendance, please call the Court Administrator as soon as possible.

PRESCHEDULED COMMITMENTS: It is very difficult for us to excuse an absence at the last minute, especially after your name has been randomly selected for a trial and listed on the jury information line.  If you have a doctor's appointment, previously planned vacation or a legitimate excuse for an absence, we can temporarily pull your name from the jury list before a random list is chosen for a trial.

Please call the Court Administrator as soon as you are aware of a conflict that would prevent you from coming to the courthouse on any given day within your jury term.

OVERNIGHT STAY:Jurors are rarely detained overnight, but you may be sequestered while deliberating on a criminal verdict or for the duration of a highly publicized trial.   The Bailiff in charge will notify your family if you are sequestered.


Parking

There is a parking lot directly to the west of the courthouse.


Jury Term

Jury service lasts for 1 month.

Within your jury term your service may result in:
  • Calling as instructed and then being discharged by phone at the end of your jury term.
  • Calling as instructed, being instructed by phone to come to the courthouse to potentially serve (no more than 3 times within your jury term) before you are discharged after the 3rd time you are brought in or at the end of your jury term, whichever comes first.
  • Calling as instructed, being instructed by phone to come to the courthouse and being chosen to serve on a case. At the end of the trial, you may be discharged from further service within your jury term.
Note: If you are selected to sit as a juror on a case that is set near the end of your scheduled jury term, you may be required to serve beyond the 1 month jury term.

Prospective jurors are not required to serve more than once every 4 years. On occasion, a person shows up on the jury list who has served within the past four years. If this is the case with you, please let the court administrator's office know as soon as possible.

Stearns (Seventh District)

Stearns County Court Administration
725 Courthouse Square
St. Cloud, MN 56303
Phone: (320) 656-3620
Toll Free: (800) 450-5879
Fax: (320) 656-3626

Steele (Third District)

Steele County Court Administration
111 East Main Street
Owatonna, MN 55060 
Phone: (507) 444-7710

Stevens (Eighth District)

Fifth and Colorado 
P.O. Box 530
Morris, MN 56267
Phone: (320) 589-7287   
Fax: (320) 589-7288

Swift (Eighth District)

Swift County Courthouse
301 14th Street North, Suite 6
Benson, MN  56215
Phone: (320) 843-2744   
Fax: (320) 843-4124

Todd (Seventh District)

Todd County Court Administration
221 1st Avenue South, Suite 100
Long Prairie, MN 56347
Phone: (320) 732-7800
Fax: (320) 732-2506

Traverse (Eighth District)

Traverse County Courthouse
702 2nd Avenue North 
P.O. Box 867
Wheaton, MN  56296
Phone: (320) 563-4343   
Fax: (320) 563-4311

Wabasha (Third District)

Wabasha County Court Administration
848 17th St. E., Suite 4
Wabasha, MN  55981 
Phone: (651) 565-3087           
Fax: (651) 565-8214

Wadena (Seventh District)

Wadena County Court Administration
415 Jefferson Street South
Wadena, MN 56482
Phone: (218) 631-7633
Fax: (218) 631-7635

Waseca (Third District)

Waseca County Court Administration
307 North State Street
Waseca, MN 56093
Phone: (651) 565-3524 
Fax: (507) 837-5317

Washington (Tenth District)

Washington County District Court
Washington County Govt Center
14949 62nd Street N, Box 3802
Stillwater, MN 55082-9874
Phone:  (651) 430-6322
Fax: (651) 430-6300

Washington County District Court has implemented two significant improvements to jury service, effective Monday, August 24, 2009.  The court implemented a phone-in system for person summoned to appear for jury service.  In addition, summoned jurors will now be able to complete the required Qualification Questionnaire via the internet.

Prospective jurors are assigned a Group Number on their summons and instructed to call the court’s Juror Information Number (651) 430-6363 at various times throughout their term of service to find out if, when, how and when they need to report for a trial.  If jurors are called to the courthouse, they are given a short orientation regarding service and then sent directly to a courtroom for jury selection. The time spent waiting will be greatly reduced.

Jurors are randomly selected from a list of licensed drivers, state identification card holders and registered voters residing in your county.

SUMMONED JURORS - DIRECTIONS AND INFORMATION


Mandatory

Jurors are to call the Juror Information Number at 651-430-6363 after 4:30 p.m. Friday prior to the start date on your term and follow the instructions given for your group number.  Do not report UNLESS you are instructed to do so by the phone-in-system.


Length of Service

You are on call for 2 weeks. If you are serving on a trial that lasts longer, you will be required to serve until the trial concludes.


Phone in Procedure

You are required to call the Juror Information Number (651) 430-6363 after 4:30 p.m. on the Friday before your term begins, follow the instructions given for your Group Number. You will receive information for your Group Number, located on the top right hand side of your jury summons.  This is a three-digit number you will use during your jury service.


Juror Hours

Normal hours for jurors are Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Lunch break is on your own unless you are deliberating on a case. Jurors brought in to begin new cases will be required to stay at the courthouse throughout the day or until juries have been selected for all cases scheduled. Court personnel will keep you informed of the schedule. Once on a jury the Judge determines the schedule.


Where to Report

Stillwater Courthouse 14949 62nd Street North in Stillwater, MN 55082.  Only report when directed to by the phone-in system (651) 430-6363. You will be required to pass through a metal detection device. You may not bring snacks and beverages through the metal detector. You may bring in an empty plastic container to fill later.


Courtroom Decorum

Casual or comfortable dress is acceptable. Hats are not allowed. There is no talking, chewing gum, or reading of newspapers, books or magazines in the courtroom. You may bring in personal electronics to use while waiting in the Jury Assembly Room only, these items will not be allowed in the Courtroom or Deliberation rooms. The Jury Assembly Room has free lockers available for your use. Jurors should place their valuables in a locker or leave them in their vehicle. 


What to Expect

On reporting day, you will receive an orientation explaining the jury process. The average jury trial in Washington County is 2-3 days in length.  In addition, you may watch a jury orientation video prior to reporting to the courthouse.


Building Access

Washington County has several security measures in place that restrict access to the Government Center and County Courthouse by visitors and jurors. Due to these restrictions, you will have access to these buildings only through the visitor entrances from the Public Parking Lot. All other doors are locked and require entry by electronic key.


Parking

The Public Parking Lot is designated for visitors and jurors at the Government Center and County Courthouse. Parking is also permitted on the street with the exception of areas posted as no parking. Handicapped parking spaces are also available. Applicable handicap permit must be displayed. Please do not park in areas identified as "Permit Parking". Parking is limited and it is recommended you arrive early to ensure a parking space. Other parking lots on the north side of the building are designated as employee and LEC visitor parking only.  All parking is free.


Snacks and Beverages

Are allowed in the jury waiting room only.  You may not bring snacks and beverages through the metal detector. You may bring in an empty plastic container to fill at a later time.  There are vending machines with beverages and snacks across the hall from the Jury Assembly Room.   You may purchase coffee, soda, etc. from the Cafeteria located in the Government Center. The Cafeteria also serves breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday.


Payment and Mileage Reimbursement

Reimbursement for jury service is $10.00 per day, plus round trip mileage of $0.27 per mile from your residence. Please make sure to check your mileage to the Government Center on your date of service. You will be asked for this information when you check in.


Daycare Reimbursement

Reimbursement for daycare costs is available only if the expense is one that normally and would not be incurred. Reimbursement for unlicensed daycare is a maximum of $40.00 per day and licensed daycare is a maximum of $50.00 per day. Daycare Reimbursement Form 


Postponement Information

Requests to postpone jury services can be made by completing the questionnaire via the internet or by completing the questionnaire manually and stating the reason for postponement on the backside of the form with an alternate date.  Requests to postpone within 10 days of jury service must be made in writing with an explanation and an alternate date that you are able to serve. The Washington County Jury reporting dates for July 2015 - June 2016 and January - December 2016.  Send requests to Washington County Court Administration, Attn: Jury Office at 14949 62nd Street North, Stillwater, MN 55082. If you are the parent of a college age child who has been summoned for jury service and your child is not a resident of Washington County during the school year but is a resident during the summer months you may request a postponement on behalf on your child. This type of postponement must also be made per the instructions above.


Medical Excuse Postponements

All medical excuses must have a written statement of ineligibility for jury duty from your physician or you will be expected to report. All postponements must be in writing; no phone postponements excusals for medical will be accepted.


No Longer a Resident of Washington County

If you received a questionnaire and you are no longer a resident of Washington County you must indicate your current address on the questionnaire and return it in the envelope provided to Court Administration. Upon receipt of your questionnaire and verification that you are no longer a Washington County resident, you will be excused. 


Additional Information

You will receive information on your responsibilities as a juror the first day you report for service.  If you have a disability and anticipate needing an accommodation, please contact the Jury Office at (651) 430-6322.

PLEASE BE AWARE:  There is currently a nationwide identity theft scam where callers try to get personal information under the guise of missed jury duty.  Minnesota court staff will never ask prospective jurors for financial information such as credit card or bank account information.  We will also never ask for social security numbers over the phone.  Do not provide this kind of information to anyone claiming to represent the court system.  If you receive this kind of request, hang up and contact your local jury office directly.

Watonwan (Fifth District)

Watonwan County Court Administration
710 Second Avenue South 
P.O. Box 518 
St. James, MN 56081 
Phone: (507) 375-1238           
Fax: (507) 375-5010


Voir Dire: Jury Selection

Potential jurors are randomly selected from driver’s license, state ID, and voter registration records.  The length of jury service depends on the county in which a juror lives, but cannot exceed four months.  Jurors receive a summons that tells them to appear at the courthouse for jury service.

When a jury case is called, court administrators randomly choose potential jurors and send them to a courtroom for interviews, known as voir dire [vwahr deer].  In the courtroom, you will learn more about the case and be questioned by the judge and attorneys so they may determine whether you are qualified to serve.  Depending on the type of case or the procedures used in your county, you may be questioned individually or in a group.  If you feel you should not serve as a juror, or if you know the parties, witnesses or attorneys involved in the case, tell the judge and attorneys as soon as possible.

During the interview, an attorney may challenge for cause if the attorney feels that a potential juror cannot be fair and impartial.  The judge must then decide whether to allow the challenge and excuse the juror.  Attorneys may also excuse a juror by using a peremptory challenge, which does not require the attorney to give a reason for excusing a juror.  Do not take offense if you are challenged.  This is a normal part of voir dire.

If you are not excused, you will become a member of the jury and will take an oath before hearing the case.  In criminal cases, alternate jurors may be assigned to a case.

Wilkin (Eighth District)

Wilkin County Courthouse
300 South 5th Street 
P.O. Box 219
Breckenridge, MN  56520
Phone: (218) 643-7172   
Fax: (218) 643-7167

Winona (Third District)

Winona County Court Administration
171 West Third Street
Winona, MN 55987
Phone: (507) 457-6385  



 

Wright (Tenth District)

Wright County District Court
Wright County Govt Center
10 2nd Street NW, Room 201
Buffalo, MN 55313-1192
Phone: (763) 684-8416
Toll Free (800) 362-3667 ext. 7554
Fax: (763) 682-7300

Yellow Medicine (Eighth District)

Yellow Medicine County Courthouse
415 9th Avenue, Suite 103
Granite Falls, MN 56241
Phone: (320) 564-3325   
Fax: (320) 564-4435

Minnesota citizens who receive a summons for jury service are required by law to complete a Juror Qualification Questionnaire and return it to the court within ten (10) days from receipt of a summons for qualification determination. 

Important: If you have already completed and mailed your paper Juror Qualification Questionnaire back to the court, do not complete the online questionnaire.
 

How to Complete Your Online Juror Qualification Questionnaire:

Completing the Juror Qualification Questionnaire accurately and completely will help the courts determine if you are qualified to serve as a juror. 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 questionnaire. Any incorrect information may cause delays in receiving important jury notices or your payment after you complete your jury service.

This website allows you to respond to your summons for jury service online, and also allows you to make changes, request a postponement, and update your contact information.
  1. Click Juror Qualification Questionnaire to begin completing and submitting your questionnaire online.
  2. Further instructions on how to complete and submit your questionnaire to the court will appear within the online Juror Qualification Questionnaire service.
NOTE: Internet Explorer and Firefox are recommended to use the online Juror Qualification Questionnaire service. Performance with other browsers may be inconsistent. If you do not have one of the recommended browsers, you can download one here: Internet Explorer and Firefox.

If you do not wish to use this website or do not choose to download one of the recommended browsers, you should tear-off, complete, sign, and mail your paper Juror Qualification Questionnaire to the court in the envelope provided with the jury summons.

If you have questions about completing a questionnaire or if you encounter technical problems with the online questionnaire, please visit the County Jury Info tab on this page.
 

No Automatic Exemptions from Jury Duty

There are no automatic exemptions from jury duty. All who are summoned must serve on jury duty unless they are disqualified or excused by the court for the following reasons:
  • You are not a citizen of the United States
  • You are under 18 years of age
  • You are not a resident of the county that summoned you for service
  • You are not able to communicate in English
  • You have a mental or physical disability that would affect your ability to serve
  • You have been convicted of a felony and are still on parole or under the supervision of the court, probation, or corrections
  • You have served on jury duty within the past 4 years
  • You are a judge in the judicial branch of government
  • You are over 70 years of age and request to be excused
If you have questions relating to your jury service, click the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) tab on this page.
 

Voir Dire: Jury Selection

Potential jurors are randomly selected from driver’s license, state ID, and voter registration records.  The length of jury service depends on the county in which a juror lives, but cannot exceed four months.  Jurors receive a summons that tells them to appear at the courthouse for jury service.

When a jury case is called, court administrators randomly choose potential jurors and send them to a courtroom for interviews, known as voir dire [vwahr deer].  In the courtroom, you will learn more about the case and be questioned by the judge and attorneys so they may determine whether you are qualified to serve.  Depending on the type of case or the procedures used in your county, you may be questioned individually or in a group.  If you feel you should not serve as a juror, or if you know the parties, witnesses or attorneys involved in the case, tell the judge and attorneys as soon as possible.

During the interview, an attorney may challenge for cause if the attorney feels that a potential juror cannot be fair and impartial.  The judge must then decide whether to allow the challenge and excuse the juror.  Attorneys may also excuse a juror by using a peremptory challenge, which does not require the attorney to give a reason for excusing a juror.  Do not take offense if you are challenged.  This is a normal part of voir dire.

If you are not excused, you will become a member of the jury and will take an oath before hearing the case.  In criminal cases, alternate jurors may be assigned to a case.

Jury Handbook

All Rise: Jury Service in Minnesota (Jury Orientation Video, captioned)

Once the jury has taken the oath, attorneys on each side of the case may make opening statements.  Opening statements should not be considered evidence.  Opening statements introduce the attorney’s theory of the case to the jurors.

The next step in the trial is the presentation of evidence.  Usually the plaintiff’s attorney in a civil case or the prosecutor in a criminal case will begin.  When the presentation is complete, the plaintiff or prosecutor will rest and the defense may then present its evidence. 
 

Presenting Evidence

Evidence may include physical exhibits, such as photographs, objects, or documents.  It can also include a spoken statement from someone under oath, also known as testimony.  On occasion, people may testify before the trial begins.  When the testimony is written down or videotaped and submitted to the court, it is known as a deposition.  The judge will decide what evidence the law allows jurors to consider.

Many things should not be considered as evidence, including the statements and arguments of the attorneys.  Testimony the jury has heard but the judge has ordered stricken from the record should not be considered.  In fact, the jury must treat this testimony as if it was never given.  In addition, things that an attorney offers to prove but which the judge will not allow to be presented, should not be considered as evidence.

It is important that jurors only consider evidence presented during the trial and approved by the judge when making their final decision.  Do not conduct your own research by visiting the location referred to in the case, looking for additional information elsewhere, or using personal knowledge you may have about a person or place involved in the case.
 

Examining Witnesses

During the trial, attorneys will often call witnesses to testify.  Each witness is sworn in and promises to tell the truth.  A witness may be the attorney’s own client or someone else who can testify on behalf of the client.  In civil cases, attorneys may require the opposing party or someone close to that party to testify.  This person is known as an adverse witness.

When attorneys question their own witnesses, it is called direct examination.  When attorneys question an adverse witness, it is called cross-examination.  Once direct examination is complete, the opposing attorney may cross-examine the witness.  Following those questions, the first attorney can conduct redirect examination.

If a witness says something that fails to answer a question or should not be allowed in the case, the judge may strike the remark from the record.  If this happens, you must disregard the testimony as if it was not given.
 

Making Objections

Court rules set the guidelines for conducting a fair and orderly trial.  Sometimes, however, one of the attorneys may feel that the questions or evidence presented by the opposing attorney is improper or should not be considered by the jury.  It is the attorney’s responsibility in these instances to make objections to the judge.  If the judge considers the question improper or the evidence inadmissible, the objection will be sustained.  Otherwise, the objection will be overruled. 

The judge’s ruling does not mean that the judge favors one side or attorney over the other, and jurors should not allow themselves to be influenced by the rulings. 
 

Private Conferences

On occasion, the attorneys may speak to the judge privately at the bench or in the judge’s chambers, or the judge may excuse the jury from the courtroom.  Usually, the judge will explain the reasons for these delays.  No matter how or when this occurs, do not feel slighted or attempt to guess what is being discussed.  Generally, the attorneys and judge are discussing legal matters about the case, covering sensitive matters beforehand to minimize the possibility of a mistrial, or clarifying issues that could lead to an appeal and possible retrial.  Sometimes, the parties reach a settlement during these conferences.  While it may seem that time is being wasted, these conferences often avoid longer trials or any trial at all, which saves juror and court time, and considerable public expense.
 

Closing Arguments

After the attorneys have presented the evidence, they make closing arguments.  Closing arguments provide a summary of the attorneys’ arguments and evidence, but are not evidence themselves and should not be considered as such. 

Judge’s Instructions

When testimony is completed, the judge will review the laws that apply to the case.  This is important information because it provides you with direction about how you must apply the law to the facts.  Please listen carefully.  Remember that you are governed by the law as the judge explains it to you.  Do not attempt to change it or ignore it, even if you disagree with the law.  You and the judge are under oath to apply the laws of the state accurately and fairly.
 

Jury Deliberations

Once closing arguments are completed and the judge gives the jury instructions about the laws to consider in the case, the jury will be excused to the jury room to deliberate or discuss the case.

The jury’s first task is to choose a foreperson that will monitor the deliberations and take the verdict into court.  Jurors may choose a foreperson by ballot or by verbally nominating someone.

The foreperson makes sure that each juror has a chance to participate in deliberations and that the jury discusses the issues completely while making its decision.  In turn, each juror should listen to and consider the views of other jurors.  Understand that your opinion may change during deliberations, but do not feel obligated to change your mind unless you are convinced it is the right thing to do.  In the end, your final vote should represent your own opinion. 

You must base your decisions about the case facts on the evidence presented during trial.  But you should also remember the judge’s instructions about weighing the evidence, how to decide what evidence to believe, and the burden of proof.  Also, consider the arguments of the attorneys if you feel they were fair and reasonable.  And, of course, consider the laws explained to you by the judge.

While you will not be given a transcript of the proceedings, you may take notes during the trial.  Follow the judge’s instructions at the time of your service.
 

The Verdict

In a criminal case, all jurors must agree on the verdict.  In a civil case, Minnesota law says that if all jurors cannot agree on a verdict within six hours, then it is only necessary that a certain number of jurors agree, as the judge will instruct you.

Your findings on questions of fact are almost always final.  Very seldom is a verdict set aside.  Therefore, it is important that you listen carefully to the judge, witnesses and attorneys, deliberate calmly and fairly, and make the best decision you can.