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 JURY SERVICE

Jury duty is defined as an obligation of a citizen to serve on a jury when called. One of the highest duties of citizenship, it accrues from the constitutional right to be tried by a panel of one's peers and involves direct participation in the administration of justice. When summoned for jury duty, a citizen must appear before the Court or be held in contempt of Court.

SECURITY MEASURES

Upon entering the Courthouse, you will be required to go through a metal detector. All briefcases, handbags, and parcels will be x-rayed by Court security officers. Due to security concerns, you will be required to surrender any items which could be used as a weapon. The following items are prohibited in the building: FIREARMS, KNIVES, CAMERAS, VIDEOCAMERAS, TAPE RECORDERS, WORK TOOLS, CHEMICAL SPRAY, and CIGARETTE LIGHTERS.

PARKING INSTRUCTIONS

You may park free of charge in the River Center Parking Garages (East or West Garage) located on the corner of Government Street and St. Louis Street. Please remember to bring the ticket that is issued to you when you enter the garage. The Jury Management Office will validate it.

You may also park free of charge at a parking meter. A parking meter permit is included at the bottom of your jury summons. Please remember to remove the permit, and place it face up in a visible position on the dash board of your car. DO NOT park in any commercial parking lots.

QUALIFICATIONS

In order to serve as a juror, a person must meet these requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be able to read, write, and speak the English language
  • Not be under interdiction or incapable of serving because of mental or physical infirmity
  • Not be under indictment for a felony nor have been convicted of a felony
  • Be a resident of East Baton Rouge Parish for at least one (1) year
  • Be a citizen of the United States
Exceptions

  • If you are seventy (70) years of age or older, you may opt out of service.
  • If you are currently enrolled as a full-time college student, you may opt out of service. Full-time college students must present a student enrollment verification form from the college registrar's office.
  • If you have served on a jury within the past two (2) years, you may be excused from service upon request.

ATTIRE

The dress code for Court is general business attire. Casual attire is acceptable. However, you should not wear tank tops, shorts, or flip-flops.

JURY SUMMONS

JURY SUMMONS is an order to appear in Court at the time and place stated. Until a few years ago, the law allowed the judges to excuse or exempt people whose jobs the legislature considered essential. That is no longer true. Now everyone who is qualified must participate in jury duty, unless the service would result in undue hardship. Contact the Jury Management Office when you get your summons, if you have concerns.  If you have actually served on a jury during the past two years, you may ask to be excused. You may be able to obtain permission not to appear at the time and place stated on your summons.  Remember you are NOT free from your obligation to appear unless you have received written verification from the Jury Management Office that your reason has been accepted.

PETIT JURY

Prospective jurors' names are pulled from the Voter's Registration list of East Baton Rouge Parish and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Citizens' names are drawn randomly by computer from a master list by the Jury Management Office. The list is called the General Venire. You are then mailed a qualification form to fill in and mail back. After it is determined by the Court that you are qualified to serve, you will receive a summons for jury duty. After you have completed your term, you will not be called again unless, by coincidence, your name is again drawn from the voter registration or DMV list in future years. If you are called again within two years after service in Nineteenth Judicial District Court, you may be excused upon request.

GRAND JURY

 A petit jury hears and decides a case and renders a verdict. A grand jury, on the other hand, has a different function. It is asked to decide only whether there is enough evidence to cause a person to be brought to trial for a crime. The grand jury hears only one side of the case -- the government's -- and it does not render a verdict. Its decision is an indictment, which is merely an accusation, or a decision that the person in question should stand trial to determine his/her innocence or guilt.  Grand jurors serve for period of one year, and they usually meet one day per week.

REPORTING FOR SERVICE

When you are summoned to jury duty, it is critical that you report on time. Due to the volume of cases scheduled and because no juror will be dismissed until all the judges have selected their juries, you should allow a full five days for jury service. You may wish to bring reading material during your stay. Please bring a sweater or jacket, since the courtrooms are often quite cool. If you have specific dietary needs, feel free to bring snacks, lunch, or juices for that purpose.

PAYMENT

Jurors will be paid $12 per day for each day of attendance, plus 16 cents per mile to and from the courthouse.  Once a juror is seated, sworn in, and trial has started by the judge to whom they were randomly assigned, payment then increases to $25 per day.  Mileage remains at 16 cents per mile.

EMPLOYMENT LETTER

If your employer requires a certificate of attendance, the Jury Management Office will provide a letter upon request. If your employer has its own attendance certificate which you must return to your payroll officer, bring it to the Jury Management Office to be completed and signed.

 
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