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Jury Frequently Asked Questions
Are there refreshments? Where should I go for lunch?
In the Jury Assembly Room, coffee and a filtered water dispenser are available, along with light snacks. Vending machines (soda/snacks/candy) are located on the first floor. You will be given a list of restaurants located within walking distance when you first report. The Jury Assembly Room has a refrigerator and microwave available for your use, so you are welcome to bring lunch.
In the Jury Assembly Room, coffee and bottled water are available along with light snacks. The room also has a refrigerator and microwave, so jurors are welcome to bring lunch. There is a list of restaurants within short driving distance in the Jury Assembly Room.
In the Jury Room, coffee and bottled water are available, along with light snacks. There are places for lunch located a short drive from the Court.
Can the needs of disabled persons serving as jurors be accommodated?
Yes, any juror who requires accommodations for a disability, including special arrangements for parking, should contact the jury clerk so that appropriate arrangements can be made in advance.
How long will I be serving?
St. Louis – the term of jury service is for a two-week period. Usually jurors only report one time for selection during the term, and trials average 3-4 days long. If you are selected to serve on a trial which exceeds the service period, you will be required to serve until the completion of the trial. You are instructed to call the Automated Jury Information phone (AJIS) or check your Current Status online through eJuror on the date and time indicated on your summons. You will either report on the summons date or be rescheduled to another date during the two-week time period and instructed to call after 4:30 pm on the last business day for further instructions or changes. Usually jury selections are held only on Mondays and Wednesdays. If the Monday is a federal holiday, jurors are scheduled to report on Tuesday.
Cape Girardeau – Petit jurors are on call for a three-month term.
Hannibal- Petit jurors are on call for a three-month term.
On-call means you may be called to serve during that time period. You are not expected to be available every day during the term, and the court can schedule your appearance around vacation dates and other conflicts. You do not need to report until you a notified by mail of a specific reporting date. The court sends out notices to report approximately 10 days to 2 weeks in advance. The written notice will contain information for reporting and calling the automated phone or checking online through eJuror to confirm whether or not you need to appear on the scheduled reporting date.
Grand Jurors – Grand jurors serve for one year and may be extended if necessary.
- St. Louis grand jurors normally meet 1-2 days every other week
- Cape Girardeau grand jurors usually convene once a month.
- Grand jurors scheduled vacations can be accommodated.
I don’t drive in the city – can I be excused?
If you have a valid driver’s license, the Court does not excuse jurors who are unfamiliar with the Court location since you would not have been issued a driver’s license if you were incapable of driving where you needed. If it is due to a medical condition, the Court requires a note from your doctor stating that you should be excused from service due to health reasons.
I don’t live in the city/county where I am being summoned. Why do I have to serve?
You have been summoned for the United States District Court, and jurors come from a number of counties to serve.
For the Eastern Division, the Courthouse is located in the city of St Louis but petit and grand jurors are summoned from the City of St. Louis and the following 13 counties: Crawford, Dent, Franklin, Gasconade, Jefferson, Lincoln, Maries, Phelps, St. Charles, St. Francois, St. Louis, Warren, and Washington.
For the Southeastern Division, the Courthouse is located in Cape Girardeau, but petit and grand jurors are summoned from the following 18 counties: Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Dunklin, Iron, Madison, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Perry, Reynolds, Ripley, Ste. Genevieve, Scott, Shannon, Stoddard, and Wayne.
For the Northern Division, the Courthouse is located in Hannibal, but petit and grand jurors are summoned from the following 17 counties: Adair, Audrain, Chariton, Clark, Knox, Lewis, Linn, Macon, Marion, Monroe, Montgomery, Pike, Ralls, Randolph, Schuyler, Scotland, and Shelby. For grand juries serving in St. Louis, jurors are summoned from both the Eastern and Northern Divisions.
I’m not a registered voter. Why was I summoned or sent a Juror Qualification notice?
You do not need to be a registered voter to serve as a juror. This is just one of the source lists used for gathering names at random for prospective jury service. Juror names are also randomly drawn from drivers’ license records and non-driver identification holders.
Must I fully complete the Juror Qualification Questionnaire even if I feel like I have a reason to be excused?
Federal law requires that you fully complete the Juror Qualification Questionnaire even though you may be exempted or are seeking to be excused. The Court may determine that you be excused from service, for example, if you have moved out of the district or you are not a citizen of the United States. Regardless of your circumstances, however, the Questionnaire must be completed as directed in the instructions.
My spouse (child, brother, etc) is a police officer (attorney, legal secretary). Am I excused?
Since the Federal Court has a wide range of civil and criminal cases, your relationship to someone in the legal or law enforcement field may or may not have any bearing on the trial you are sent to for jury selection. Those relationships are not grounds for being excused.
What if I have a serious hardship? What if I have a medical issue and want to be excused?
During your term of service, if you have a scheduled vacation or other specific dates you will be unable to serve, please notify:
For St. Louis or Hannibal-the jury clerks at (314) 244-7850 or toll free (866)510-1925.
For Cape Girardeau-the jury clerk at (573)331-8800.
You may write these dates on the Juror Information form which you return to the Court or submit a Partial Excuse request through eJuror after completing the Juror Information Form.
If you have a compelling reason to be excused from jury service or deferred to a later term, you must submit your request in writing along with your completed Juror Information Form. The request to be excused must detail the hardship.
If you have a physical or mental impairment which you believe would prevent you from serving as a juror, the Court requires a recent statement from your doctor stating your inability to serve as a juror, signed by a D.O., M.D., Nurse Practitioner, or Audiologist. Even if you are requesting to be excused for medical reasons, you must complete the Juror Qualification Questionnaire or if summoned, the Juror Information Form. The doctor’s note can be faxed to 314-244-7859, emailed to email@example.com, or mailed to the Court.
Please do NOT wait until you are to appear to submit a request to be excused or deferred from your term of service.
What if I want to stay in town for the night while serving?
Jurors who live 100 miles or more one way from the Court have the option of spending the night at a local hotel while serving on a jury and coming in the night before service. The subsistence allowance for meals and lodging for jurors in St. Louis is $205.00 per night and the subsistence allowance for jurors serving in Cape Girardeau and Hannibal is $155.00 per night. Jurors must provide a copy of the hotel receipt in order to be reimbursed. The subsistence allowance is a set allowance regardless of the exact cost of the hotel. Try to negotiate the best rate to ensure that you will not pay more than the amount that can be reimbursed. Ask for the federal government rate and if the hotel honors it for jurors, the hotel may require proof, such as your Summons at check-in. For more information, please contact the jury clerks.
What is the Court doing during the COVID-19 outbreak to keep jurors safe?
The Court has implemented 6-foot social distance seating in the Jury Assembly Room and Courtrooms, will provide you with a mask or you can bring your own, and has gloves available for your use. There are hand sanitizing stations in high traffic areas, and hand sanitizer is available inside the jury assembly room. Daily sanitizing of common areas is also being performed.
What is the penalty for not responding to a summons?
Any person who fails to show good cause for noncompliance with a summons may be fined not more than $1,000, imprisoned not more than 3 days, ordered to perform community service, or any combination thereof.
What kinds of cases are tried in Federal Court?
Both civil and criminal cases are tried in Federal Court. Civil cases can include personal injury claims, medical malpractice claims, claims for breach of contract, and claims for the violation of civil rights. Criminal cases can include drug charges and fraud.
What protects my employment while serving on jury duty?
Jurors are protected by federal statute, Title 28 U.S.C. 1875 which states “No employer shall discharge, intimidate, or coerce any permanent employee by reason of such employee’s jury service or the attendance or scheduled attendance in connection with such service, in any court of the United States”.
What should I bring with me when I report? What items are prohibited?
You will need to bring a valid photo ID to go through security at the Courthouse. Please be sure to bring your summons for check-in. Cell phones and laptops are permitted in the building, but they MUST be completely turned off when you are in the Courtroom and during juror orientation. You may bring food and drink, books, and magazines. Some items not permitted in the Courthouse include knitting needles, scissors, sewing needles, mace, and knives of any kind.
What should I wear?
Shorts, tank tops, and sweatpants are NOT permitted in the Courtroom. You will be sent home without being paid or directed to return home and change at your expense if inappropriate attire is worn. You may wish to bring a sweater or light jacket to wear if needed in the Courtroom.
What will I be paid for serving? Are juror attendance fees reportable income?
A $50.00 attendance fee is paid for each day you are required to and do report for duty, whether or not you are selected to serve on a trial. You will be paid 58.5 cents per mile round trip from your home to the Courthouse as reimbursement for your travel expense. The Court has an automated program to determine the miles from your address to the Courthouse, so you do not need to track your mileage. Checks are mailed to jurors twice a month. The jury payment files are sent to a central check facility in Kansas City on the 15th and the last day of the month and checks usually issue about 3 business days later. Federal employees receive attendance fees only on their regularly scheduled day(s) off.
Juror attendance fees are considered income and should be reported to the IRS on your tax form. The Court issues a 1099 MISC tax form to all jurors who have earned $600.00 or more in jury service fees during a calendar year. However, if you earned less than $600.00 in fees, this income should be reported on your tax form. Payments for mileage, parking, and subsistence are not considered income, but expense reimbursements and are not taxable.
Where do I report? / How do I get there?
The Thomas F. Eagleton Courthouse is located at 111 South Tenth Street in St. Louis. The Courthouse is easily accessible from Highways 40, 44, 55 and 70.
Public transportation is also available: Bi-State MetroBus has stops near the Courthouse, and the MetroLink Busch Stadium stop leaves you at 8th Street, between Spruce and Clark Streets. The Court reimburses for mileage from you home to the Courthouse by the shortest practical route, regardless of your means of transportation. Distance from your home to Court is not a valid excuse for not serving as a juror. If you are prevented from driving to Court due to a health condition, you will need to send a note from your doctor regarding your inability to serve. You will report to Jury Assembly Room 1.300 which is located on the first floor, unless otherwise directed.
The Rush Hudson Limbaugh, Sr. United States Courthouse is located at 555 Independence Street, at the intersection of Frederick and Independence Streets, in Cape Girardeau. It is accessible from Highway 61 and Interstate 55. The Jury Assembly Room is located on the first floor of the Courthouse.
The Court is located in the Federal Building (Post Office) at 801 Broadway in Hannibal (8th Street and Broadway). You will report to Room 346, unless otherwise directed.
Why do I have to wait until 4:30pm to call/check online for reporting instructions?
Trials in this Court have up until 4:30p.m. on the last business day before trial to be settled, disposed, or continued. This Court only summons the number of jurors needed for the cases that are actually going to trial. In this way the Court can avoid having jurors report who will not go to a Courtroom for jury selection.
Will I be sequestered?
It is extremely rare that jurors in this Court are sequestered. If this would occur, your hotel and meals would be provided by the Court.
Will I receive proof of attendance?
If an employer requires written verification of your attendance for jury service, you may obtain a Certificate of Attendance for each day you are required to report.