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FAQs: JURY

  • If I am serving on a jury, will I get breaks?

    Yes. Your trial judge will tell you what schedule he or she expects to follow throughout the trial.

  • Does my employer have to let me off for jury duty? Does my employer have to pay my wage while I am serving?

    Under federal law, employers must allow their employees time off for jury duty.  An employee cannot be punished in any way for serving as a juror.  Click on the link and refer to page 16 for Protection of Juror Employment AmendedJuryPlan09_0.pdf Your employer however is not required by law to pay you while you are serving.  You should check with your employer’s personnel or human resource department concerning your company’s wage policy while serving as a juror. 

  • What if my employer wants proof that I am serving on jury duty?

    Proof of Attendance is prepared by the jury office and given to those jurors who request it. The certificate will be available before you leave the courthouse at the end of the day or at the end of your trial.  You may also print proof of attendance yourself online here.

  • When I have completed my service as a juror, will I be called again to serve?

    The Court's pool of juror names (the divisional "Master Jury Wheel") is replenished every two years. It is filled with enough names that no one should be called more than once during a single Wheel and it is unlikely you would be in the next Master Jury Wheel. If you are contacted again within two (2) years of your service in federal court, you may request excusal.  Jury service performed in your county court is not a consideration  in this excuse category.

  • I don't live in the county where the court is located, why was I selected as a prospective juror?

    The United States District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania consists of three divisions: Erie, Pittsburgh, and Johnstown. These three divisions include 25 counties in western Pennsylvania.  Depending on what county you live in will determine what division you report to.  See the map containing the counties in our jurisdiction.  Jurors are drawn from voter registrations in these 25 counties.  
     
    Counties by Office Western District of Pennsylvania

  • How much will I be paid and how will I receive payment for my jury service?

    You will receive $40 per day for service, be reimbursed up to $15.00 per day parking in the Pittsburgh Division, up to $10.00 per day parking in the Erie and Johnstown Divisions with a valid receipt, and roundtrip mileage from your home to the courthouse at the current government rate.  (Federal government employees will not be paid the $40.00 attendance fee.  This does not include the U.S. Postal Service)
     
    All jurors are paid twice a month by check that is mailed to the address provided on your completed juror information form.  If you serve anytime from the 21st through and including the 5th of the month, a check is prepared on the 10th  and  mailed.  If you serve anytime from the 6th  through and including the 20th of the month, a check is prepared on the 25th and mailed.

  • I live so far away. Will I be reimbursed if I come the day before?

    If you have to drive more than 60 miles from your home to the courthouse you are permitted to stay overnight in a hotel or with friends or family and receive subsistence reimbursement.  If you stay overnight, you MUST be needed in court the next day and provide a valid hotel receipt.  If staying with a  friend or family, you must provide the name, address and phone number of that person.  Consult the information accompanying your summons for the subsistence rate applicable in each division.  Any allowable subsistence is paid in the same manner as explained in #26.

  • Must I report my jury income to the Internal Revenue Service?

    Any income received for jury attendance must be reported as income for tax purposes. The court will issue you an IRS Form 1099 ONLY if your income from jury attendance is $600 or more.  This is also the reason we will require your social security number.  The IRS requires it when 1099’s are issued.  The court suggests that you  retain the sub-voucher you receive with your check as a reminder of the amount to report at the end of the year.   You do not need to report mileage and parking reimbursement or subsistence as income as these are incurred, reimbursed expenses.

  • What is the Automated Jury Information System (AJIS)?

    The Automated Jury Information System (AJIS) enables the court to provide specific, last-minute recorded information to jurors concerning whether or not you need to appear the next day; there is no attendant at this number. Generally you will be instructed to call in at a specific time (see your summons information for instructions) on a specific night and the message will advise you to either report as directed,  that there has been a change in court's schedule, or to call back in again at another designated date/time. If you don't call the AJIS number and appear and were not instructed to do so, you cannot be paid attendance or expense fees and will have to go back home or to work. The number for AJIS is 1-866-498-8562. Be sure to have your participant number ready when you call. Once selected to serve as a juror on a trial, you will then not have to call AJIS every night you are serving. 
    If you experience a problem when calling AJIS, please try again, as the system circuits may be overloaded with other callers.

  • 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 a 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.

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