Jury Duty: Your Comprehensive Guide to Federal Court Service in South Florida (2023)


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.

Emergency Contact

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.

Jury Selection

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.

Employment Protection

Jurors' employment is protected by law, and employers are prohibited from threatening or terminating employees due to jury service.

Dress Code

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.

Juror Compensation

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.

Service Hours

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.

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