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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

Northern District of Texas

Barbara M.G. Lynn, Chief Judge
Karen Mitchell, Clerk of Court

Instructions for Petit Jurors in the Dallas Division

You are here

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, Dallas Division at the Earle Cabell 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 Dallas division encompasses seven counties: Dallas, Ellis, Hunt, Kaufman, Johnson, Navarro, and Rockwall.

 

Jury Selection

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 cross-section of the community. You completed a qualification questionnaire, and the Court determined you were qualified to serve. You have now been summoned to appear for jury service for a term of approximately two weeks. After you complete this term, it is unlikely that you will be called again for at least two years.

 

Jury Service

During your two week term of service, you must call 1-800-488-0903 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 214-753-2280 or fax to 214-753-2279.) Once you report for service, your obligation ends at the completion of one day or one trial. If you are not selected after reporting, your term of service is over.

 

Reporting for Service

A person who fails to report for jury duty may be ordered to show good 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 a 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 begin 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.

 

Payment

You will be paid a $40.00 attendance fee for each day you report, whether or not you are selected to serve on a case. Federal government employees will not be paid this attendance fee. Regardless of the mode of transportation, all jurors will receive $0.535/per mile compensation round trip from home to the Earle Cabell Federal Building. (Bus fare is not reimbursed.) The maximum allowable reimbursement for parking is $20.00 per day with parking receipt. Additional parking information is on the back of theparking forms you were given when you checked in this morning.

Your jury fee check will be mailed to you within ten business days of the last day you served. The $40.00 attendance fee must be reported as income for tax purposes. If your attendance fees exceed $600.00, we will provide you a Form 1099. Keep a record of the amount you receive, as no tax has been withheld, and no W-2 forms are provided.

 

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.

 

Attendance Certificates

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

While you may use electronic devices in the jury assembly room, they are not allowed in a courtroom. 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.

 

Emergency Procedure

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. You will exit the building at the front entrance and gather across the street at the corner of Commerce/Griffin St. 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 the corner of Griffin/Wood St. until the “all clear” is sounded and they escort you back to the building.

 

Jury/Phone Scams

If you are contacted while serving on jury duty and asked for personal information, please contact the Jury Office immediately at 214-753-2280.

 

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, shorts, and t-shirts are not appropriate.
  • The Jury Assembly Room is available during your breaks and lunch, and restrooms, soda machine, refrigerator, microwave, and telephone are available for your use. (Coffee is also provided.) Snack shops are located on the first and sixth floors.
  • Food, drinks, gum, cell phones, pagers, cameras, laptops, etc. are NOT permitted in the Courtroom. You must leave electronic devices with the jury clerk.

We hope that you find your term of jury service an interesting and rewarding experience. If you have questions, feel free to ask the Jury Clerk.