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Is my job protected while I serve jury duty?
Your job is protected under Title 28 U.S.C.A. Section 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 service; and shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000.00 for each violation as to each employee, and may be ordered to perform community service.
What will I be paid for serving on a jury?
- The U.S. District Court will pay you an attendance fee of $40.00 per day (unless you are a federal employee), plus travel expenses for the round trip from your home based on the current General Services Administration (GSA) rate per mile (click HERE). Jurors who earn in excess of $600.00 in attendance fees in one calendar year will receive a form 1099.
- Payment can be expected sometime after the first week of the month following the month in which you served
- The travel reimbursement is not taxable.
What is a Grand Jury?
A Grand Jury does not determine guilt or innocence, but whether there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed. The evidence is normally presented only by an attorney for the government. The grand jury must determine from this evidence whether a person should have formal charges filed by the government. If the grand jury finds probable cause, then it will return a written statement of the charges, called an indictment. Grand jurors sit on a panel of 23 jurors and generally serve one day per month for 18 months. Grand jury terms can be extended if necessary.
What is a Petit Jury?
A Petit Jury is a trial jury for both civil and criminal cases. The Petit Jury listens to the evidence offered during the trial and returns a verdict. A verdict in a civil case may be a finding for the plaintiff or the defendant. A verdict in a criminal case finds the defendant involved guilty or not guilty.
Does the court reimburse for parking and toll fees?
Yes. Should you be called in for service, you will be provided with an envelope so that you may send all your receipts back to the court for reimbursement.
After receipt of summons from your office, when should I return the enclosed juror information card?
Once summoned, the information card should be returned as soon as possible and no later then 10 days after receipt.
How long will I be on call ?
The court summons jurors for a term of eligibility which is a 2 month term during which you may be randomly selected and assigned to come in for possible jury selection.
After a trial is over, am I finished or am I still on call?
If the case you served on went 5 days when that case ended your service will end for that term. If the case you served on went less then 5 days you would still be eligible to be randomly selected for another case in the same manner as your first. Once you have served 5 days, your service would end unless you happen to be assigned to a trial that lasts more then 5 days. Once you are selected as a juror, you are a juror in that matter until that case comes to its conclusion.
How will I be notified of my appearance date?
Once you have been notified of your 2 month term of eligibility, if you should be randomly selected, you will be assigned to a trial on a specific date before a specific judge. You will be notified in writing. Your letter will instruct you to call the courts Jury Information Line at 1-800-377-3772 prior to your reporting date. Making this call is extremely important and may save you a trip should your case be canceled.
Can I smoke?
Smoking is permitted only outside the building.
Can I leave the Jury Assembly Room or Courtroom?
Not without notifying the jury administrator or the presiding judge.
What if my employer wants proof that I was serving on jury duty?
You may request a Certificate of Attendance from the jury administrator. The certificate will be available before you leave the courthouse at the end of the day.
Can I be late?
No. It is extremely important that you be prompt both in the morning and when returning from lunch. It is particularly important when serving on a trial because the entire proceeding can be delayed due to the tardiness of one juror.
Will I serve on civil or criminal trials?
The Federal Court tries both civil and criminal cases and it is possible that you may be selected for either or both.
What happens if I fail to report for jury duty ?
Any juror who fails to report for jury duty and who is not excused by the Court may be served a Show Cause Order by the U.S. Marshal's Office. Subsequently, those jurors will be held in contempt of the Jury Selection Act. Contempt penalties may include a fine of $1,000.00, imprisonment of not more than three days, community service, or any combination thereof.
What should I wear for jury duty?
All jurors should attempt to wear appropriate attire for jury duty. Jeans, shorts, and T-shirts are not considered appropriate attire.
What should I bring with me when I report for jury duty?
You must bring a photo I.D. to gain entrance to the federal building. You should also bring your summons. You are permitted to bring your cell phone, however you must turn off and put away while in the courtroom.
I no longer live in Delaware, how do I notify the Court?
You may update your current address in eJuror, or you may enter your new address on your questionnaire or summons and mail it back to the Court.
I am over 70 years old, can I be excused?
Persons over 70 are not automatically exempt from service. However, if you are over 70 years old, you may request to be excused from serving as a juror. You can request the excuse through eJuror or enclose a written request with your questionnaire or summons.
I just completed jury duty at the State Court, can I be excused from serving again at the Federal Court?
If you have served as a juror in the past two years, you may request to be excused from serving again. You can request the excuse through eJuror or you can enclose a copy of your attendance certificate with your questionnaire or summons.
How am I selected for jury duty?
The Court compiles a list of all Delaware residents registered voters, licensed drivers and state I.D. holders over 18. Persons from this list are randomly sent juror qualification questionnaires. Qualified jurors may be sent a summons for a two month term of eligibility.