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FAQs: Jury FAQ Before Service
How do I get notified to appear for service?
Summons for jury service are sent via first-class mail. Petit jurors in all divisions receive instructions with their summons concerning how and when to call the Court’s Automated Jury Information System, a/k/a AJIS for reporting instructions. Summoned jurors for grand jury service however, do not call in before reporting for selection. They report on the time and date indicated on their summons.
Where did you get my name for jury service?
Every two years prospective jurors are selected randomly from the voter registration lists in the respective counties within the court’s jurisdiction and their names are put into what is known as the divisional "Master Jury Wheel.” After the creation of the Master Jury Wheel prospective jurors are sent a juror qualification questionnaire. This questionnaire must be completed and returned to the court to determine if the juror is qualified for jury service. Those individuals who "qualify" for service may eventually be summoned to report for service.
Why do I have to provide information about my race and gender?
Race and gender are not factors in determining eligibility to serve as a juror. Federal law requires a prospective juror to indicate his/her race. This information is required solely to avoid discrimination in juror selection and has absolutely no bearing on qualifications for jury service. By answering this question, you help the federal court ensure that discrimination cannot occur during the juror selection process.
How long does a juror serve?
Jurors for the United States District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania are "on call" to appear for possible selection. Jurors can be instructed to appear up to two times or serve on one trial, whichever comes first. All jurors are excused as served at the end of the on-call period OR at the end of a trial if selected.
Erie Division: thirty days - generally call for a recorded message once a week after 5:00 pm
Pittsburgh Division: two weeks - call for a recorded message on Fridays, Mondays and Tuesdays after 4:00 pm
Johnstown Division: thirty days - generally call for a recorded message once or twice a week after 6:00 pm
What does "on call" mean?
Jurors for the United States District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania will be expected to be available to appear at the courthouse whenever instructed during their term of service. This does not mean that the juror will actually report in person at the courthouse every day, but rather, the juror is expected to call in as instructed and be ready to appear when directed to do so.
What do I need to bring when I report for jury service?
Be sure to bring your FEDERAL JURY SUMMONS with you when you report for jury duty. Since there can be extended periods of time when you will not be required in the courtroom, you may want to bring a book, magazine, or crossword puzzles, etc. as well as a snack.
What are the restrictions regarding what can be brought into the courthouse?
The entrances to the United States District Court in the Western District of Pennsylvania are guarded for your safety and protection. Cameras, recording equipment, weapons, pepper spray and sharp objects, and anything that can be construed as a weapon are prohibited. Please leave any of these types of items at home or in your vehicle.
What should I wear for jury service?
All jurors must wear appropriate business attire for jury duty. Shorts, tank tops, flip flops, tee shirts, etc. are examples of what not to wear. The Court asks that the rules of etiquette be followed in the courtroom.
Where do I park?
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.