Skip to main content
Home

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 Abilene 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, Abilene Division at the Federal Building U.S. Post Office and Courthouse. If your summons is not a federal summons please see the Jury Clerk.

 

Jury Selection

Your name was taken from the voter registration list or the licensed driver list in your county. Subsequently, you were mailed a qualification questionnaire form to complete and return to the Court. After the Court determined that you were qualified to serve, you were summoned to serve a term of approximately two weeks. After you have completed the term, it is unlikely that you will be called again for a period of two years unless, by coincidence, your name is drawn again from either the voter registration list or the licensed driver list.

The U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, is comprised of seven divisions including: Abilene, Amarillo, Dallas, Fort Worth, Lubbock, San Angelo, and Wichita Falls. The Abilene division encompasses thirteen counties: Callahan, Eastland, Fisher, Haskell, Howard, Jones, Mitchell, Nolan, Shackelford, Stephens, Stonewall, Taylor, and Throckmorton.

 

Jury Service

Your term of service begins the day you are instructed to begin calling the recorded message and continues for approximately two weeks, unless otherwise instructed by a Judge or the recorded message. The term of service is for the entire two weeks and it is possible to be selected to serve on more than one trial. All jurors are required to call the recorded message daily. You can call the recorded message any time after 3:00 p.m. The toll-free number is 1-800-488-0903. The number may be busy so keep trying as often as necessary to receive your instructions. If you are calling the Jury Office for other information dial (325)677-6311 or (888)548-4730.

 

Reporting for Service

Jury service may require early attendance in our Court and it is critical that you report on time. Most of our trials last between 1 and 3 days; however, on occasion, a trial may last longer. The Judges typically open court each morning at 9:00 a.m. and adjourn for the evening between 5:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Each Judge will release his/her jury each evening and will tell you exactly what time you must return the following morning.

No juror will be released until all the Judges have selected their juries, so allow a full day for jury service. If you report for jury service for the purpose of being excused (e.g. doctor / dentist appointments, essential business meetings, out-of-town travel, training, care of a minor, etc.), you will not be paid. If you have reported for jury service as requested and you are not selected to serve, you are still required to call the recorded message every day between 3:00 p.m. and the following morning for further instructions. The recording is updated every day by 3:00 p.m.

"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 three days, ordered to perform community service, or any combination thereof." 28 U.S.C. § 1866(g)

 

Payment

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 54.5 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

Jurors who have a change of address, phone number, or place of employment should submit their changes to the Jury Clerk as soon as possible. A current address is important for receiving your jury fee check (the Post Office will not forward checks). It is also important to keep a current phone number on file with the Jury Clerk so you may be contacted in the event the case settles, or there are problems with the recorded message.

 

Attendance Certificates

The Jury Clerk will give you an attendance certificate showing the dates and length of time you served. You may need this certificate as proof of attendance for your employer or for your own 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.

 

Other Helpful Information

  • All jurors must wear appropriate business attire for jury duty. Jeans are permitted. Shorts and T-shirts are not considered appropriate attire.
  • Vending machines are located in the basement of the federal courthouse building. Take the south elevator (by men’s restroom) and exit to the right once you reach the basement.
  • Restrooms are available on the 2nd floor, including one for wheelchair access. The ladies’ restroom is to the right as you exit the courtroom.
  • Food, beverages, and chewing gum are NOT permitted in the Courtroom.
  • Cameras, recording equipment, laptop computers, radios, TV’s, cellular phones, or any other electronic equipment is NOT permitted in the courtroom..
  • Guns, pepper spray and sharp objects are NOT permitted in the federal building.
  • Web site address - www.txnd.uscourts.gov.

We hope that you will find your term of jury service an interesting and rewarding experience. If you have any questions in connection with your service in this Court, feel free to ask the Jury Clerk.