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FAQs: JURY

  • 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 (U. S. Attorney’s Office). The grand jury must determine from this evidence whether a person should have formal charges filed against him or her 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 are on a panel of 23 jurors and generally serve one to two consecutive days per month for 18 months. Grand jury terms may be extended for 6 months if necessary.

  • What types of cases will jurors decide in federal court?

    Jurors may be called to serve on both civil and criminal trials. Examples of civil cases are contract disputes, civil rights violations, etc. Criminal trials involve a party or parties who are alleged to have violated a federal law and who have been indicted by a grand jury.

  • Who is the contact person if I have additional questions?

    If after reviewing the questions and answers on this page you still have questions, you can call the jury office in Pittsburgh at (412) 208-7540, in Erie at (814) 464-9600 and in Johnstown at (814) 533-4504.  You may also e-mail your question. Just click on the appropriate address.
    Erie Division
    Pittsburgh Division
    Johnstown Division

  • I received a Juror Exit Questionnaire - do I have to fill it out?

    Please do take a few moments to complete the Juror Exit Questionnaire mailed to you with your check. A self-addressed stamped envelope is provided for your convenience.  You may also complete the questionnaire on-line at http://www2.pawd.uscourts.gov/Applications/pawd3/ejuror/SurveyeJuror.cfm
    Or, click on the Jury Page, the click on the Juror Exit Questionnaire link.  The purpose of the questionnaire is to help us make jury service a more positive experience for those who are summoned for jury service for the United States District Court- Western District of Pennsylvania.  Your input and opinion is important to us.  Your answers are confidential and anonymous.

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