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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT JURY SERVICE

 

Question: What have you mailed me?

·         Answer:  You have received a Juror Qualification Questionnaire and a Summons to appear for Jury Duty. You must complete the Questionnaire within 10 calendar days by going online at ja.ingham.org or mailing it back to Jury Administration, PO BOX 15247, Lansing, MI 48901.   Failure to obey a summons may be punishable by fine and/or imprisonment.

Your summons is at the top of the qualification questionnaire.  Please carefully tear it off of the questionnaire at the perforation.  The summons tells you the week you are to serve for jury duty and provides you with information on your specific reporting instructions.  The back of the summons also gives you information on how to contact the court if you have further questions.  Please bring your summons with you to court.

Question: I am unable to complete the questionnaire because of ill health or other physical or mental limitation. What should I do?

    • Answer: The questionnaire must be completed and returned within 10 calendar days. Please authorize an individual to act on your behalf to complete the questionnaire.  They can either go online to ja.ingham.org or mail the completed questionnaire back to Jury Administration, PO BOX 15247, Lansing, MI 48901. If you have a permanent physical or mental disability that would interfere with or prevent you from serving as a juror please complete question # 6 of the questionnaire. If you answer yes, a doctor's letter must be provided.

Question: How do I postpone my jury service?

    • Answer: Contact the Jury Clerk of the court that you are summonsed for.  Look at the back of your summons for the phone number or email address of that court.

Question: I am over 70 years of age. Do I have to serve?

    • Answer: That is up to you. Answer question #1 on your questionnaire, then, if you want to serve answer YES to question 1. If you do not wish to serve answer NO to question 1.  If you answer NO to question 1 then answer question 1(a) if you want to be permanently exempt from service.

Question: The person to whom the questionnaire is addressed is on an extended vacation or temporarily employed out of town. What should I do?

    • Answer: Forward all of the documentation received to him/her and have them return the completed questionnaire within 10 days. The questionnaire can be completed online at ja.ingham.org or mailed back to Jury Administration, PO BOX 15247, Lansing, MI 48901.  They can request a postponement of their service date as indicated on the summons by going online (at address provided above), or by email or telephone pursuant to the instructions provided on their summons.

Question: The questionnaire is addressed to my son/daughter who is away at college. What should I do?

·         Answer:  By law, the questionnaire must be completed and returned within10 calendar days. You have three options: have them go online at ja.ingham.org and complete their questionnaire; forward the questionnaire to him/her at college and have them return it; or you can fill out the questionnaire for him/her, sign your name indicating you are the parent, and return the questionnaire to Jury Administration.

·         If your son or daughter is attending college on the service date which appears on their summons, they can contact the appropriate court and request that the jury service be deferred to a more convenient time.

Question: I received a questionnaire, but I no longer live in Ingham County. What should I do?

    • Answer: By law you must still return the questionnaire. Answer question #2 then contact the court you are summonsed for to provide them with your new address.

Question: The questionnaire was sent to a family member who is deceased. What should I do?

    • Answer: By law the questionnaire must be returned. Please write "deceased" in large letters on the questionnaire and return it within 10 days. We take steps to avoid this situation. Please accept our apology for any distress this document may have caused you or your family.

Question: The party whose name is on the questionnaire doesn't live at this address. What should I do?

    • Answer: If you know the forwarding address, mark through the address shown on the questionnaire, write the new address, and place the questionnaire in the U.S. mail.
    • If you do not know the party's forwarding address, Mark through the address printed on the questionnaire, write “not at this address- return to sender," and place the questionnaire in the U.S. mail.

Question: I have already served jury duty. Can I be called to serve again?

    • Answer: Yes, under the law you are eligible every 12 months.

Question: How do we get your name?

    • Answer:  You were selected at random from a list provided by the Secretary of State of those who have a Michigan Driver’s License or State of Michigan I.D.

Question: By receiving this Jury Questionnaire do I have to report to jury duty?

    • Answer: You have received a summons with the questionnaire. If we determine, based on the responses provided on your questionnaire that you qualify for jury service, you must either report to jury duty as directed on your summons or make arrangements with the appropriate Court for postponement of your service date.

Question: What makes me qualified to be a juror?

    • Answer: You must: a) Be a United States citizen, 18 years of age or older, and a resident of Ingham County (exceptions for some residents of Eaton and Clinton Counties);
      b) Be able to communicate in the English language;
      c) Be physically and mentally able to carry out the functions of a juror (temporary inability shall not be considered  an exemption from service);
      d) Not have served as a juror in a court of record in the prior 12 months;
      e) Never have been convicted of a felony.

Question:  Why is jury service important?

    • Answer: Because the right to a jury trial by a jury of one’s peers is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Michigan Constitution.  Jury service is one of the most important duties that members of a free society are called upon to perform.

Question: Must my employer pay me while I am on jury service?

    • Answer: Your employer is not required to pay you while you are serving on jury service. However, employers are prohibited by law from firing, disciplining, or threatening an employee for serving as a juror.

Question: My employer wants to know the days and times that I serve. How will I obtain this information?

    • Answer:  Some companies require verification of your services as a juror.  The Jury Clerk prepares this information and gives it to you.