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Northern District of Texas

David C. Godbey, Chief Judge
Karen Mitchell, Clerk of Court

Instructions for Petit Jurors in the Fort Worth 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, Fort Worth Division at the Eldon B. Mahon U.S. Courthouse.

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 Fort Worth Division encompasses eight counties: Comanche, Erath, Hood, Jack, Palo Pinto, Parker, Tarrant, Wise.


Jury Selection

Your name was drawn from the voter registration list or the licensed driver list in your county according to guidelines that assure 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 two weeks. After you complete this term, it is unlikely that you will be called again for a period of two years.


Jury Service

During your two week term of service, you must call 800-488-0903 after 3:00 p.m. each Friday and Monday for instructions on whether you must report for jury service. Please note that you may be required to call on additional days. If you are calling the Jury Office for another reason, call 817-850-6620 or fax to 817-850-6633.

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 Title 28 United States Code, 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. 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 the current federal government travel mileage rate per mile round trip from your house to the courthouse. In addition, if you drive you will be reimbursed a maximum of $11.00 per day of parking with a valid receipt. 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.


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. If additional certificates are needed, you can access those on our website approximately 24 hrs after the trial ends (Request Certificate of Service). You may also request one from our Clerk’s Office.


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

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.
  • Jurors may not use 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 10th/Lamar St. (Burnett Park) 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.


Jury/Phone Scams

If you are contacted while serving on jury duty and asked for personal information, please contact the Jury Office immediately at 817-850-6620.


Other Helpful Information

  • 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 hours.
  • Food, beverages and chewing gum are NOT permitted in the courtroom.
  • Cell phones, pagers, cameras, laptops, etc. are NOT permitted in the courthouse.
  • Coffee is provided for jurors in the Jury Assembly Room.
  • A courtesy telephone is located in the hall on the 3rd Floor.
  • A vending machine and soft drink machine is located on the 1st Floor.

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.