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Summons for Jury Service

If you received a Summons for Jury Service you must complete the Jury Information Form (bottom half of your Summons for Jury Service) within 5 days of receipt, and return it to the Court in the postage-paid envelope enclosed with your summons.  If you did not receive a postage-paid envelope, please mail your form to: U.S. District Court, ATTN:  Jury Office, 1729 5th Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203.   You may also fax your form to (205) 278-1771.  

 

Please read your summons carefully for important details regarding your service.  You will not receive any further notice to appear. 

 

Reporting for duty

You must call 1-800-222-8715 on the date and time printed on your Summons for Jury Service.  It is important that you follow these instructions as there are many reasons why jury trials may not go forward as scheduled.  Last minute guilty pleas and settlements are two of the most common reasons why you may be told not to report on the day you have been summoned.  Your instructions may tell you to report on the date and time as summoned, or they may tell you to call back at another time, reschedule your service to a future date, or your service may be canceled entirely.  We apologize for any difficulties this process may cause.  The Judges of this Court greatly appreciate both your time and your willingness to serve.  

 

Arriving at the courthouse

Upon arriving at the courthouse you will be required to pass through our security screening.  Do not attempt to bring cameras, recording devices, or weapons into the courthouse.  It is permissible to bring your laptop, tablet, and cell phone.  All purses, bags, etc. will be searched.  After all jurors have arrived the roll will be called and a brief orientation will be given.  Please be prepared to give the clerk your round-trip mileage. 

 

Requests for excuse or deferral from service

If you feel you are unable to report for jury service and need to be excused or postponed, please make your request with the Court as soon as possible after receiving your summons.  Please do not cancel medical procedures,  important medical appointments, or prepaid travel plans without first requesting a postponement.  The Jury Office may be able to accommodate your plans or may be able to defer your service to a later date.  All requests must be submitted by the person summoned for jury service, a physician, or, in the case of a deceased or infirm person, a spouse/relative.  All requests submitted by an employer will automatically be denied.

 

Please do not call the Jury Office requesting to be excused as all requests must be made in writing or online.  

 

To request an excuse or deferral you must submit a completed copy of your “Jury Information Form.” form with your written request.  If you don’t have a copy of your form, you must write your 9-digit participant number on the request.

 

On individual request, a person may be excused from jury service indefinitely or for a particular term or terms of court if such person:  (1) is an actively practicing physician, dentist, or registered nurse; (2) is 70 years of age or older; (3) has active care and custody of a child under 10 years of age, or of an aged or infirm person, whose health or safety would be jeopardized by the person’s absence; (4) within the preceding two years has, either in federal or state court, (a) actually served on more than one grand jury, (b) actually served as a grand juror and a petit juror, or (c) actually attended court for service or prospective service as a petit juror for a total of more than twelve days; (5) will be actively engaged during the period of service as a full-time teacher or student; (6) serves a public agency in an official capacity, without compensation, as a firefighter or member of a rescue squad or ambulance crew; or (7) otherwise demonstrates that such jury service will entail undue hardship or extreme inconvenience.  PLEASE NOTE: THESE ARE NOT AUTOMATIC EXCUSES FROM JURY SERVICE.  YOU MUST SHOW GOOD CAUSE  AS TO WHY YOU ARE REQUESTING AN EXCUSE OR DEFERRAL.

 

A person is exempt and shall be barred from jury service pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1863(b)(6), if that person:

(1) is a member in active service in the Armed Forces of the United States; (2) is a member of the fire or police department of any state or subdivision of a state; or (3) is a public official in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States or of any state or subdivision of a state who is actively engaged on a full-time basis in the performance of official duties.

 

 

DO NOT ASSUME YOU ARE AUTOMATICALLY EXCUSED OR DEFERRED.  You may obtain the status of your request at any time by calling 1-800-222-8715.  You will need your 9-digit participant number in order to access your information.  You will not receive any correspondence from the Court. 

 

Jury Payment

You will be paid a $40 attendance fee for each day you report as instructed for jury duty, even if you are not selected to serve.  Federal employees, not including postal service employees, do not receive the attendance fee. You will be paid 0.535 cents per mile for each round-trip from your home to the courthouse.  A check for your service will be mailed to your home address along with a letter reflecting the date(s) of your jury service.  If required, you may give your employer a copy of this letter as proof of jury service.

 

Overnight Stays

Jurors who live 50 miles or more one-way from the courthouse may stay overnight in a hotel, or if you have family/friends in the area you may stay with them.  Please refer to the “Courthouse Locations, Parking, and Hotel Info for Jurors,” section for information on the latest payment information for staying at a hotel or with family/friends.