Jury Service: Answers to Frequently asked Questions
Notice! Court employees will never ask you to
disclose confidential personal information such as social security number or
credit card number over the telephone.
people called for jury service?
use computers to randomly select prospective jurors from a jury pool source
list. The consolidated
source list is composed of names of citizens who are on either the current
voter registration list or the current motor vehicle operators list.
This list is maintained by state court
administration and annually updated. The
consolidated source list may be supplemented with names from any other
comprehensive list of persons residing in the county.
Does jury service take much time?
summons that is mailed to each person called to serve will indicate the general
term of jury service. Iowa law provides that a person shall not be required, in
any two-year period, to serve a term of more than three months unless to
complete service in a particular case; to serve on more than one grand jury; or
to serve as both a grand and petit juror.
In 1998, the
Iowa Judicial Branch streamlined the process for calling jurors. The new jury
management system allows courts to reduce the length of juror service, making
it more convenient for citizens. Courts using this procedure are able to
release jurors who report for service if the person is not selected for a
specific panel after one entire day. Those who are selected are only required
to serve on one trial. Please check with the local jury manager about your
specific term of service.
May I be
excused from jury service?
State law limits the circumstances for which
the court may excuse a person from jury duty. A person has the right to
be excused from service if the person submits written documentation to the
court's satisfaction that
person is solely responsible for the daily care of a person with a permanent
disability living in the person's home and that performance of jury service
would cause substantial risk of injury to the health of the disabled person; or
person is breast feeding her child and is not employed outside the home.
Also, the court has discretion to excuse
someone from jury service upon a finding of hardship, inconvenience, or public
If you want to be excused from jury service,
you should file a written request with the clerk of court as soon as possible
after you receive the summons to serve.
is an important responsibility. A person who makes a false claim for the
purpose of getting excused or helping someone else get excused may be found in
contempt of court and could be punished by the court.
the difference between a petit jury and a grand jury?
A grand jury
is a group of seven citizens convened for the purpose of determining whether
there is sufficient evidence for a person who is accused of a crime to be
brought to trial—as opposed to the county attorney filing a criminal charge.
jury shall meet at times specified by order of a district court judge, at the
request of the county attorney or at the request of the majority of the grand
jurors. The county attorney is responsible for presenting evidence to the
grand jury. Grand jury proceedings are closed to the public.
petit jury acts as the fact finder when a party in a civil case or a defendant
in a criminal case has requested a jury. In criminal trials, 12 jurors
sit on the jury; in civil trials, 8 jurors comprise the jury. If a jury
has not been requested, the judge acts as the fact finder.
Pursuant to Iowa law, jurors receive
$30 a day for serving up to seven days and are entitled to reimbursement for
travel to and from the courthouse and for parking expenses. Jurors receive $50 per day for each day that
exceeds seven days of service. While
employers are not required to pay the salaries of employees on jury duty, many
do so in recognition of the importance of jury service.
jury service interferes with my job?
Iowa law prohibits an
employer from threatening or coercing an employee or terminating the employment
of a person due to serving or being called to serve as a juror. An
employer who violates the law is subject to contempt of court and is also
subject to a lawsuit by the employee.