Welcome to your guide on federal jury duty service in South Florida! If you've received a summons, this comprehensive article will answer all your questions and provide essential information to ensure a smooth experience.
Breaks and Lunch Facilities
Yes, jurors are given breaks during their service. For lunch, there are convenient options within walking distance of the courthouse. Notable cafeterias include Constitution Cafe at Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. United States Courthouse and Michelle’s Cafe at James Lawrence King Federal Justice Building.
Personal Items Allowed
Prospective jurors and seated jurors can bring cellular phones, laptops, tape recorders, cameras, or pagers. Electronic book readers like Kindles, Nooks, iPads, and tablets are also permitted.
Excusal and Postponement
If you need to be excused or have your service postponed, complete the questionnaire and mail it with your written request. Ensure submission at least 10 days before the reporting date. Contact the Jury Office if you haven't received a response by then.
In case of an emergency, your family can reach you by calling the Jury Office at (800) 865-1775, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Term of Service
Petit jury service lasts two weeks "on call." Jurors are generally called in two or three times during this period. Grand jurors serve one to three days a month for 18 months.
Completing the Questionnaire
Complete and mail the questionnaire within 10 days. Failure to comply without good cause may result in penalties.
Your name was randomly selected from the voter registration list in your county.
Special Accommodations for Disabilities
For information regarding special accommodations due to a disability, call 800-865-1775 and ask for the Jury Administrator.
Serving on Multiple Trials
If you serve on one trial, you're expected to call in for the rest of the two weeks and may be needed on another trial.
Previous Jury Service
The Federal Court does not excuse individuals who have served in County or Circuit Court. However, after serving in Federal Court, you will be excused for two years.
Mandatory Nature of Jury Duty
Jury duty is mandatory, and noncompliance without good cause may result in fines, imprisonment, community service, or a combination thereof.
Jurors' employment is protected by law, and employers are prohibited from threatening or terminating employees due to jury service.
Appropriate dress, casual business attire, is required. Shorts, jeans, and t-shirts are not considered appropriate.
Name and Address Corrections
If there are errors in your summons, indicate the changes on the questionnaire, including your telephone number.
Jurors are paid $50 per day plus mileage. Payments are mailed weekly.
Participant Number Issues
If you don't have a participant number, call (800) 865-1775, and Jury Staff will research it by your name.
"On Call" Explanation
Being "on call" means you'll only report if needed for jury selection. Call the toll-free number listed on the summons each night for two weeks to determine if you're required to report.
Language Barrier Solutions
If you don't speak English well, complete the questionnaire with assistance and explain the circumstances in the "Remarks" section.
Proof of Jury Service
Certificates of Attendance are available daily in the Jury Assembly Room upon request.
Petit vs. Grand Jury
A Petit jury is for trials, while a Grand jury determines probable cause for criminal charges.
Items to Bring
When reporting for jury service, bring your jury summons, photo identification, and parking stub.
Trials usually occur between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekdays.
Courthouse Location and Parking
Refer to the map provided with your summons for courthouse location and designated parking facilities.
Civil vs. Criminal Trials
The Court tries both civil and criminal cases, and you may be selected for either or both.
Parking and Tolls Reimbursement
Jurors reporting to specific locations can receive reimbursement for parking expenses.
In conclusion, this guide aims to equip you with all the necessary information for your federal jury duty service in South Florida. Remember to follow the guidelines, be prepared, and make the most of your civic duty experience.