Before You Come to Court
Once a year, the Secretary of State will compile a list of citizens who may be eligible to serve on a jury. The names on the list are those people possessing a driver’s license or State of Michigan identification card. A certain number of those people identified on the list are mailed a Juror Qualification Questionnaire. Based on the responses indicated on the returned Questionnaires, a jury pool is selected.
If you have been selected to serve as a potential juror, you will have already received notification about the court in which you will be asked to serve, as well as the specific date and time you must appear. Please be sure to bring your notice with you when you come to Court.
If you have received a notice to appear at the 85th District Court and have questions or concerns about your service as a juror, please feel free to call the Court at the telephone number listed on your notice or put them in writing.
What to Expect if You Are Selected
As an active participant in the justice system, a citizen who serves as a juror can expect to:
- Be treated with dignity and respect
- Have court facilities and procedures identified and explained as needed throughout the assigned jury duty service period
- Have questions answered by the appropriate court staff member as allowed by law
- Be informed of and comply with rules and guidelines that are designed to ensure the integrity of our legal process.
Once a trial by jury begins, the potential jurors (sometimes called the "jury pool") are convened inside the courtroom. The jury pool sits in the gallery while the presiding judge introduces the parties, their attorneys, and Court staff present.
A juror’s name is then called out by the clerk. Names are selected at random. If your name is called, you are asked to move into a designated seat in the jury box. Once in the jury box, you will be asked questions by the judge and by the attorneys for both sides. The questions will include inquiries about your personal status (marital, residency, employment, etc.). You will also be asked questions by the attorneys which are designed to identify any preconceived notions you may have on a given issue. This process is known as "voir dire".
Each attorney has the right to excuse a certain number of jurors without giving a reason for doing so. If you are excused, you should not take it personally or be offended. Trial attorneys arrive at court with an idea, usually based on experience and careful study, but also on hunches, about the make-up of the jury which may be most sympathetic to their client’s position. If you are excused, you may leave; however, you are also welcome to remain in the gallery and watch as the trial proceeds.
The clerk will call other names and voir dire will continue until the jury box is completely filled and the lawyers have approved the members of the jury.
Currently, jurors are paid $12.50 per half day, $25 per full day, and mileage of 25 cents a mile. Additional days are $20 per half day and $40 per whole day for jury duty.