Welcome to federal jury service for the United States District Court, Northern District of Texas. You are here because you have received a FEDERAL SUMMONS to report to the District Court, Amarillo Division at the J. Marvin Jones Federal Building.
The United States District Court, Northern District of Texas, is comprised of seven divisions including: Abilene, Amarillo, Dallas, Fort Worth, Lubbock, San Angelo, and Wichita Falls. The Amarillo division encompasses twenty six counties: Armstrong, Brisco, Carson, Castro, Childress, Collingsworth, Dallam, Deaf Smith, Donley, Gray, Hall, Hansford, Hartley, Hemphill, Hutchinson, Lipscomb, Moore, Ochiltree, Oldham, Parmer, Potter, Randall, Roberts, Sherman, Swisher, and Wheeler.
Your name was drawn from the voter registration list or the licensed driver list in your county according to the guidelines, which assures a random selection from a fair crosssection of the community. You completed a qualification questionnaire, and the Court determined that you were qualified to serve. You have now been summoned to appear for jury service for a term of approximately one month. After you complete this term, it is unlikely that you will be called again for at least two years.
During your one month term of service, you must call 800-488-0903 each day after 3:00 p.m. for instructions on whether you must report for jury service. (If you are calling the Jury Office for another reason, call 806-468-3831.) The term of the service is for the entire month and it is possible to be selected to serve on more than one trial.
Reporting for Service - A person who fails to report for jury duty may be ordered to show cause for failure to comply with the summons. According to 28 U.S.C. Section 1866(g), “Any person who fails to show cause for noncompliance with a summons may be fined not more than $1,000, imprisoned not more than three days, ordered to perform community service, or any combination thereof.”
It is critical that you report on time and allow for a full day of service. If you report for the purpose of being excused (e.g., essential appointment, travel, care of minor, etc.), you will not be paid if your request to be excused is granted.
Most trials last one to three days, but a trial may last longer. Proceedings typically begins at 9:00 a.m. each morning and adjourn by 5:00 p.m. However, each judge sets the schedule for his or her trial, so this is subject to change. The judge will notify empaneled jurors of the time to report on subsequent days.
You will be paid a $50.00 attendance fee for each day you are required to report for jury duty. However, you will not be paid if you appear and are excused for a reason that was well known to you at the time you received your jury summons. (Submit your request to be excused, disqualified, or deferred as soon as possible after receiving your jury summons.) Salaried federal government employees will not be paid an attendance fee (this does not include U.S. Postal Service employees). After ten days of jury service, petit jurors will be paid $60.00, unless the presiding judge decides otherwise. Your travel expenses will be reimbursed at $0.58 cents per mile round trip from your house to the courthouse. Jurors typically receive the attendance fee and travel reimbursement payment within 30 days of service.
An attendance fee must be reported as income, but you do not need to report travel and parking reimbursements for tax purposes. You must keep a record of the amount you receive as no tax is withheld and no W-2 form is provided. However, if your attendance fees exceed $600.00 in one calendar year, you will receive a Form 1099 from the court.
Change of Address, Telephone Number or Place of Employment
It is important to keep a current phone number on file with the jury clerk, so you may be contacted if the case settles, or there are problems with the recorded message. The post office will not forward checks, so it is also important to notify the jury clerk if your address changes.
You will receive an attendance certificate showing the dates you served, which you may provide to your employer or retain for your records.
Protection of Jurors' Employment
In accordance with Title 28, United States Code, Section 1875, no employer shall discharge, threaten to 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.
Technology and Social Media
Electronic devices are not allowed in a courthouse. The Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of a trial by an impartial jury requires that a jury’s verdict must be based on nothing else but by the evidence and law presented to them in court.
- Jurors must not talk about the case with others not on the jury, even their spouses or families, including via electronic communications and social networking on computers, notebooks, tablets, and smart phones.
- Jurors must not read about the case in the newspapers or on the internet. They should avoid radio, television, and internet broadcasts that might mention the case.
- Jurors should not conduct any outside research, including but not limited to, consulting dictionaries or reference materials, whether in paper from or on the internet.
- Jurors may not use any electronic device or media, such as a telephone, cell phone, smart phone, or computer; the internet, any internet service, or any text or instant messaging service, RSS feed, or other automatic alert that may transmit information regarding the case to the juror; or any internet chat room, blog, or website, to communicate to anyone information about the case, to obtain information about the case, about case processes or legal terms, or to conduct any research about the case.
If you are in the jury assembly room and the emergency alarm sounds, followed by a public announcement that you must evacuate the building, quickly gather your belongings and follow the jury clerk or court security officer. You will exit the building at the front entrance and gather across the street at the corner of East Fifth Avenue and Taylor Street (Potter County sidewalk) until the “all clear” is sounded and we may return to the building. Please do not leave the area.
If you are in a courtroom or deliberation room, follow the instructions of the courtroom deputy or court security officer. They will have you exit the building at the back entrance and cross the street to gather at Fillmore Street until the “all clear” is sounded and they escort you back to the building.
If you are contacted while serving on jury duty and asked for personal information, please contact the Jury Office immediately at 806-468-3831.
Other Helpful Information
- You may find other information of interest on the court’s website at www.txnd.uscourts.gov.
- You must wear appropriate business attire for jury duty. Jeans are permitted. Shorts and t-shirts are not appropriate.
- Vending machines are located in the basement of the federal courthouse building. Take the elevator and exit to the right once you reach the basement. (Coffee is provided.)
- Food, drinks, gum, etc. are NOT permitted in the Courtroom. Cell phones, pagers, cameras, recording equipment, laptops, radios, TVs, or any other electronic equipment are NOT allowed in the courthouse. Guns, knives, (pocket knives included) and any other type of sharp object are NOT permitted in the courthouse.
We hope that you find your term of jury service an interesting and rewarding experience. If you have any questions, feel free to ask the Jury Clerk.