Welcome to United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia. As a juror, you play a significant role in ensuring that justice is carried out fairly and impartially, and you participate in one of the most important privileges of being a United States citizen.
Instructions to Jurors: Please NOTE: for security reasons, no one is allowed to enter the Federal Building without a valid photo ID.
PETIT (TRIAL) JURORS INSTRUCTIONS:
Prospective trial jurors, your reporting instructions are not available on-line. If you have any questions, please contact the Jury Manager at:
Returning the Juror Information Form
You must submit your Juror Information within five (5) days of receipt of the summons.
I don't live in that County?
The United States District Court, Southern District of Georgia, is made up of 43 Counties, which is further broken down into 6 Divisions. Click here to find out which Division you live in and where you would most likely report. There are 2 instances where you may be called to report in a different location. 1.) If selected for Grand Jury, you would report to Savannah, GA and 2.) If there is a need for a "District Wide" jury, you would report to the Division where the case was filed. If an overnight stay is required, you would be notified in advance and/or arrangements would be made.
What if I have a doctor’s appointment or a planned vacation ?
The Court realizes that from time to time jurors may need to request a temporary absence from jury service. These absences are generally for appointments with a physician, scheduled vacation time, business obligations, etc. Because the Court will make every effort to accommodate temporary absences during your jury term, these absences do not constitute a valid reason for being excused from the entire term. If such a request is necessary, the request must be made no later than five business days before your scheduled appearance date.
Each juror is assigned a JUROR NUMBER. Your number is located in the upper right-hand section of the summons. This juror number will be assigned to you throughout the entire jury term. When calling the toll-free number, it is very important that you listen carefully for specific instructions pertaining to your reporting location and juror number. If your juror number is not one of the number instructed to report on a specific date and time, please listen carefully to the remainder of the message for information on when you are to call the toll-free number again.
The Toll-Free Number
It is important for you to call the toll-free number noted on the summons the night before you are scheduled to report so you can confirm your reporting instructions. Please do not report for jury duty until instructed to do so by the toll-free message.
You will receive an attendance fee for $50.00 per day plus reimbursement of tolls and zone mileage at the rate approved by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.
Male jurors are expected to wear collar, tie, and coat while female jurors pantsuit, skirt or dress ... no jeans/shorts allowed.
Female jurors are advised that a jacket or sweater may be desirable because of air conditioning/heating temperature fluctuations.
Jury service is one of the most important civic duties. You do not need any knowledge of the legal system to be a juror. The protection of rights and liberties of litigants in federal courts is largely achieved through the teamwork of judge and jury.
There are two types of juries serving distinct functions in the federal trial courts: Trial Juries (also known as petit juries) and Grand Juries. Each of these juries has its own set of guidelines.
The Jury Selection and Service Act establishes the process for selecting jurors. It outlines qualifications a person must have to serve as a federal juror.
To be legally qualified for jury service, an individual must:
be a United States citizen;
be at least 18 years of age;
reside primarily in the judicial district for one year;
be adequately proficient in English;
have no disqualifying mental or physical condition;
not currently be subject to felony charges; and
never have been convicted of a felony (unless civil rights have been legally restored)
Be aware! In various parts of the United States, citizens have received bogus phone calls and have been threatened with prosecution for failing to comply with jury service in federal or state courts. These calls are not from real court officials.
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Your job is protected under Title 28 U.S.C.A. § 1875, which reads, in part:
No employer shall discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate, or coerce any permanent employee by reason of such employee's jury service, or the attendance or scheduled attendance in connection with such service, in any court of the United States.
Any Employer who violates the provision of this section
shall be liable for damages for any loss of wages or other benefits suffered by an employee by reason of such violation;
may be enjoined from further violation of this section and ordered to provide other appropriate relief, including but not limited to the reinstatement of any employee discharged by reason of his jury service; and
shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $1,000 for each violation as to each employee.
Proof of Attendance
If your employee is serving as a PETIT or GRAND juror and you would like a verification of this service, the juror may request a certificate of attendance at the time of dismissal, if not selected. If your employee is selected, the court will issue a certificate of attendance at the end of a trial, or weekly in the event of a lengthy trial, at the request of the juror.
Yes, it is legally required, and there are penalties for noncompliance. Jurors perform a vital role in the American system of justice. Jury service is an important civic function that supports one of the fundamental rights of citizens - the right to have their cases decided by a jury of their peers. More on Jury Service...
The Jury Act, which is set out at Title 28, U.S. Code, Sections 1861-1878, calls for random selection of citizens' names from voters lists or combined voters and drivers lists. (Because random selection is required, individuals may not volunteer for service.) More on Jury Service... The act states that individuals are legally disqualified from service:
if they are not a citizen of the United States 18 years old, who has resided for a period of one year within the judicial district;
if they are unable to read, write, and understand the English language with a degree of proficiency necessary to fill out a qualification form;
if they are unable to speak the English language;
if they are incapable by reason of mental or physical infirmity to render jury service; or
if they have felony charges pending against them or they have been convicted of a felony and their civil rights have not been restored.
In addition, the Jury Act lists three groups that are exempt from federal jury service:
members of the armed forces on active duty;
members of professional fire and police departments; and
"public officers" of federal, state or local governments, who are actively engaged in the performance of public duties.
Persons belonging to these groups may not serve on federal juries, even if they so desire.
Yes, federal jurors are paid $40 a day. (Employees of the federal government are paid their regular salary in lieu of this fee.) In most courts, jurors also are reimbursed for reasonable transportation expenses and parking fees. More on Jury Service... Your employer may continue to pay your salary during all or part of your jury service, but is not required to do so. Nonetheless, the Jury Act forbids any employer from firing, intimidating, or coercing any permanent employee because of their federal jury service.
The Jury Act allows courts to permanently excuse a juror from service at the time he or she is summoned on the grounds of "undue hardship or extreme inconvenience" if the distance to the courthouse makes it difficult for the juror to travel. The juror should write a letter to the chief judge of the court requesting an excuse with an explanation of hardship. As with temporary deferrals, whether to grant an excuse is a matter of discretion for the court and cannot be reviewed or appealed to Congress or any other entity. More on Jury Service...
The Jury Act allows courts to grant temporary deferrals of service on the grounds of "undue hardship or extreme inconvenience." The qualification questionnaire and juror summons provides specific information on how to request a deferral from your individual court. Whether to grant a deferral is a matter of discretion for the court and cannot be reviewed or appealed to Congress or any other entity. More on Jury Service...
Eligibility for federal jury service is dependent both upon an individual meeting the legal qualifications for service and upon the random chance of having one's name drawn from the source lists. More on Jury Service... Each judicial district must have a formal written plan for the selection of jurors, which provides for random selection from a fair cross-section of the community in the district, and which prohibits discrimination in the selection process. Voter records - either voter registration lists or lists of actual voters - are the required source of names for federal court juries. Some courts supplement voter lists with other sources, such as lists of licensed drivers. A copy of a district's jury plan is available for review in the clerk's office. In addition, many courts offer excuses from service, on individual request, to designated groups of persons or occupational classes. Such groups may include persons over age 70; persons who have, within the past two years, served on a federal jury; and persons who serve as volunteer fire fighters or members of a rescue squad or ambulance crew.
Before potential jurors are summoned for service, their names are randomly drawn from voters lists (and sometimes drivers lists) to receive a questionnaire to determine whether they meet the legal qualifications for jury service. Individuals who receive questionnaires are required to complete and return them to the clerk's office, which then screens the completed questionnaires to determine eligibility for jury service. (In some courts, qualification questionnaires and summonses are mailed together.) More on Jury Service...