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Frequently Asked Questions
Will I serve on civil or criminal trials and what happens if I'm selected to serve on a trial?
The court tries both civil and criminal cases, and it is possible that you may be selected for either type of case. If you are selected to serve on a trial, you must follow the instructions of your trial judge or courtroom deputy.
Is "in-house" counsel an adequate representative at a mediation or ENE for a corporate or other entity?
If "in-house" counsel meets the applicable criteria that they have the authority to resolve the case and is knowledgeable about the facts of the case, they are an adequate representative.
If I submit a request to be excused, do I still need to complete the juror questionnaire?
Yes. Even if you have requested to be excused, you must return the completed summons questionnaire or complete it online at the eJUROR link.
May I call or e-mail the court to be excused from jury service?
Phone requests for excuse are not accepted, however, you may submit requests via email, mail or fax.You can also request excuse on-line electronically through eJUROR. Consult the Petit Juror Guide sent with your summons for instructions. A decision will be made as promptly as possible. You are to check on the status of your request via the Automated Jury Information System (AJIS) at 1-866-498-8562 after 10 business days have elapsed. The court will not mail you its decision.
What if one of the parties does not participate in good faith?
Good faith participation is essential to the use of this program. If one side has a reasonable belief that the other party is not participating in good faith, they should address that issue to either the judge assigned to their case or the ADR Judge, who is the judge who serves as chair of the court's Standing Committee on Case Management/ADR.
What if I have vacations or other important events scheduled during my term?
All requests for temporary excuse of any nature or time, (one day, one week, entire term, etc.) must be made as soon as possible and well in advance of your first day of jury service. The court, at times, may grant a partial excuse or defer you from the entire term. The court allows for a juror to be deferred up to two times.
How can I become a neutral?
Once you have reviewed the Policies and Procedures for the ADR program found on the court's web site (www.pawd.uscourts.gov) and believe you are eligible to apply for any one or several of the categories (mediator, evaluator or arbitrator), there is an application form on the web site to complete and submit to the court for review and approval.
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.