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FAQs: jury

  • Is smoking allowed in the courthouse?

    No. All federal courthouses located in the Western District of Pennsylvania’s jurisdiction are smoke-free facilities.  In addition, jurors are not permitted to leave the assembly area or the courtroom unless specifically dismissed as a group by court personnel.  Jurors should plan accordingly.

  • Where do I report?

    Unless directed otherwise, jurors summoned in the Pittsburgh Division will report to room 3300, jury assembly room (third floor) in the United States Courthouse, 700 Grant Street, downtown Pittsburgh (across the street from the federal building).  Jurors summoned in the Erie Division will report to room A170, jury assembly room, United States Courthouse, 17 South Park Row, downtown Erie.  Jurors summoned in the Johnstown Division will report to room 116, jury assembly room, United States Courthouse, Penn Traffic Building, 319 Washington Street in downtown Johnstown.

  • Can I bring my cell phone and/or laptop into the courthouse?

    Yes, but there are restrictions.  Please read the 
    Court’s policy concerning electronic equipment
    All items must pass security clearance.

  • What are the procedures for inclement weather or courthouse emergencies?

    In all divisions, jurors should call the Court’s emergency toll free number, 1-866-602-3219 to determine if the court will be open, closed, or have a delayed opening during times of inclement weather or during any other emergency condition that may occur.  If the message does not specifically state that the courthouse is closed or a delayed opening, then the court is open for business as usual.  This toll free number is NOT to be confused with the AJIS toll free number that all jurors must call for reporting instructions.

  • Can my family reach me in case of emergency?

    Your family may contact the Jury Office in Pittsburgh at (412) 208-7540, in Erie at (814) 464-9600, in Johnstown at (814) 533-4504 in case of an extreme emergency, and a clerk will deliver a message to you. Please have the caller specify that you are on jury duty.

  • What if I have a sudden emergency?

    It is important that jurors report when they are required to and are prompt. Absences may delay or even jeopardize trials. If jurors are faced with an emergency such as a sudden illness or a death in the family, they should follow the instructions that they were given by the court. If they are unable to do so, they should telephone the Jury Office of the appropriate division.  In addition, if there is an emergency and someone needs to contact you during your service, they may call the Jury Office at the same number and a message will be delivered to you promptly. Please have them specify that you are on jury duty.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.