Jury Info

Jurors perform a vital role in the American system of justice. The protection of our rights and liberties is largely achieved through the teamwork of judge and jury, who, working together in a common effort, put into practice the principles of our great heritage of freedom. The judge determines the law to be applied in the case while the jury decides the facts. Thus, in a very important way, jurors become a part of the Court itself.

Jurors must be men and women possessed of sound judgment, absolute honesty, and a complete sense of fairness. Jury service is a high duty of citizenship. Jurors aid in the maintenance of law and order and uphold justice among their fellow citizens. Their greatest reward is the knowledge that they have discharged this duty faithfully, honorably, and well.

The performance of jury service is the fulfillment of a high civic obligation. Conscientious service brings its own reward in the satisfaction of an important task well done. There is no more valuable work that the average citizen can perform in support of our Government than the full and honest discharge of jury duty.

The effectiveness of the democratic system itself is largely measured by the integrity, the intelligence, and the general quality of citizenship of the jurors who serve in our courts. To decide cases correctly, jurors must be honest and intelligent. They must have both integrity and good judgment. The jury system is based on these attributes. The continued vitality of the jury system depends on them.

To meet their responsibility, jurors must decide the facts and apply the law impartially. They must not favor the rich or the poor. They must treat alike all men and women, corporations and individuals. Justice should be rendered to all persons without regard to race, color, religion or sex. The effectiveness of the democratic system itself is largely measured by the integrity, the intelligence, and the general quality of citizenship of the jurors who serve in our courts.

 

Our online E-Juror application will allow you to fill out your questionnaire online.
Click here to access E-Juror

 

 

 

 

 

 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

We also have the following documents available for download. They are in PDF format so you will need Acrobat Reader to view them.
Acrobat reader cab be downloaded free at www.adobe.com

Petit Juror Handbook 

Grand Juror Handbook

The Jury Plan

 

( 1) Can an employer retaliate against a juror serving on jury duty?
( 2) Is there a penalty for failure to appear?
( 3) How are jurors selected?
( 4) How long is the Petit Juror's term of service?
( 5) What types of jury cases are held in United States District Court?
( 6) What is proper court etiquette?
( 7) Who is the juror’s contact person?
( 8) How will a juror know when to report?
( 9) What security measures are in place?
( 10) What if a juror cannot drive?
(11) Where do jurors park?
(12) How long will jury selection take?
(13) How many trials will a juror be required to hear?
(14) Requests to be excused?
(15) Is lunch provided by the Court?
(16) How are jurors paid?
(17) What if my employer requests proof of service?
(18) Are juror payments taxable?

Can an employer retaliate against a juror serving on jury duty?
Pursuant to 28 USC § 1875(b)(3), any employers who retaliate against employees who serve on jury duty or who are scheduled to attend in connection with jury service may face a civil penalty of $5,000. The court also has the option of requiring community service as a penalty.

Is there a penalty for failure to appear?
Title 28 United States Code §§ 1864(b) and 1866(g) of the Jury Act provides, “Any person summoned for jury service who fails to appear as directed shall be ordered by the District Court to appear forthwith and show cause for his/her failure to comply with the summons. Any person who fails to comply with the summons may be fined not more than $1,000, imprisoned not more than three days, ordered to perform community service, or any combination thereof”.

How are Jurors selected?
Names are randomly selected from voter registration lists. Prospective jurors receive a questionnaire by mail to be completed and returned to the court. The names of qualified persons are placed on a list from which the court randomly selects its prospective jurors.

How long is the Petit Juror's term of service?
A juror's term of service varies depending on which Division they are serving. Jurors will be called in at random during that period of time not to exceed 30 days of actual consecutive service. A juror's qualification and selection constitutes service for a maximum of 30 days actual consecutive attendance, although the term of service will be more, depending on divisional jurisdiction. Jurors are called randomly during their jury term.

What types of jury cases are held in United States District Court?
Cases in the United States District Courts are divided into two general classes. These are called criminal cases and civil cases. Criminal cases are those in which individuals or organizations are charged with breaking the criminal laws. Typical criminal charges in a federal court are those involving violation of the federal income tax and narcotics laws, mail theft, and counterfeiting.

Civil cases are suits in which persons who disagree over their rights and duties come into court to settle the matter. A typical example of a civil case is one involving a broken contract. One party may claim that it should be paid under the terms of the contract, while the other side may assert a defense to the claim, such as the lack of a binding contract. The court is asked to decide who is right. This depends on the law as laid down by the judge and the facts as decided by the jury.

What is proper courtroom etiquette?
A court session begins when the court official raps for order. Everyone in the court rises. The judge takes his or her place on the bench, and the court official announces the opening of court. A similar procedure is used when court adjourns. Common courtesy and politeness are safe guides as to the way jurors should act. Of course, no juror will be permitted to read a newspaper or magazine in the courtroom. Nor should a juror carry on a conversation with another juror in the courtroom during the trial.

Jurors will be treated with consideration. Their comfort and convenience will be served whenever possible. They should bring to the attention of the judge any matter affecting their service and should notify the court of any emergencies. In the event of a personal emergency a juror may send word to the judge through any court personnel, or may ask to see the judge privately.

Jurors are expected to dress in a manner reflective of the formality of the court proceedings. Jurors should not loiter in the corridors or vestibules of the courthouse. Embarrassing contacts may occur there with persons interested in the case. Juror identification badges are provided, they should be worn in the courthouse at all times.

Who is the juror's contact person?
There is a different contact person for each Division in the District of South Dakota. The divisional offices are located in Sioux Falls, Pierre and Rapid City. When a juror is notified to report by letter they will be instructed to call the juror information line for that Division. The information on that recording will only be pertinent to jurors who have actually been ordered to report and will give date, time and reporting information. If a juror needs other information or has a special need concerning their duty, they should call the Divisional Clerk's Office where they have been called to serve and request to speak to a Jury Clerk in that division.

How will a juror know when to report for duty?
Jurors will receive a letter form the Jury Clerk approximately a week before they are to report. The letter will instruct them where and when, the approximate length of time they may need to serve, parking information, jury line instructions and other pertinent information.

What security procedures are in place?
For safety purposes, any individual entering the Federal Courthouse will need to pass through security and a metal detector which uses x-ray for purses and packages. The security guards have strict orders to screen all people entering the courthouse, and if all jurors can move through quickly, it is convenient and efficient for you and also the security guards.

Pursuant to Security Procedures, members of the public visiting a U.S. Courthouse shall not possess any knife regardless of blade length, or any implement that is reasonably capable of cutting or puncturing. Included in the prohibition are scissors, box cutters, and ice picks.

Audio and video recording devices are not allowed in the building. Cellular phones and portable devices that contain cellular phones will be permitted in the courthouse. Cellular devices must be turned off or in silent mode when taken into courtrooms. Individuals who take such devices into courtrooms may be asked by court security personnel to demonstrate that the device is either turned off or in silent mode.

Use of any camera feature inside the courthouse is prohibited unless specifically authorized.

What if a juror cannot drive?
Jurors are responsible for providing their own transportation to the courthouse. If you cannot drive yourself, you should arrange to take a bus, or have someone drive you. You will get reimbursed for your travel expenses, including mileage, bus fare, cab fare etc. If such arrangements cannot be made, the juror should contact a Jury Clerk.

Where do jurors park?
Each Division will furnish you with parking instructions when you are notified.

How long will jury selection take?
Jury selection will start approximately 9:00 a.m. and normally conclude before noon. The day that you are oriented, however, you will be asked to report about an hour before the selection process commences. Usually selection should be concluded by 12:00 noon. If you are not selected to be a juror, you are excused until further notice, unless otherwise directed by the Court or Jury Clerk. If there is more than one Court selecting jurors for trial, you will need to stay for the next jury trial.

How many trials will a juror be required to hear?
Jurors are always selected at random; therefore, there is not a way to predict how many trials a juror will be selected to hear. Some jurors seem to be selected more often than others, but that is unexplainable because of the necessity for random selection. If a juror finds that service becomes a hardship, consultation with a Jury Clerk will be helpful.

Requests to be excused.
When jurors need to be excused for a certain period of time, the jury clerks will make every effort to assist. It is very important that the jurors make the request to be excused in advance. You can contact the Clerk’s Office in writing, by phone or by email. Last minute requests can cause great inconvenience for the juror and for our office and result in a shortage or jurors reporting. Untimely requests sometimes are not granted, unless the need is a definite emergency.

Is lunch provided by the Court?
Jurors are on their own for lunch other than during deliberation. During deliberation, jurors will be escorted by a U.S. Marshal or Security Guard to a restaurant or lunch or dinner will be ordered in if the deliberating jury requests. During the jury trial, jurors are provided with light snacks, soda, coffee and water. There are small refrigerators in each jury room where you can store your lunches or snacks if you choose.

How are jurors paid?
Jurors receive $40 per day attendance for each day reported, whether selected for a jury trial or not. Jurors shall be paid 50 cents per mile for round trip travel from their residence to the Federal Building in the division in which they have been called to serve. Mileage shall be computed from the address listed on the voter registration lists. Jurors are paid once a month.

Payments should be received within 10 days after the first of the month after the juror reports, i.e. jurors that serve in January should receive payment by February 10th. Jurors who serve on lengthy trials will be eligible to receive a $10 supplemental fee after 10 days of service on a trial.

What if my employer requests proof of service?
If a juror needs proof of service for his/her employer, they will be given a Certificate of Attendance noting the dates attended. If you do not obtain a certificate when present for duty and find out later that you need one, call the Clerk's Office and speak to a jury clerk.

Are juror payments taxable?
Attendance only is taxable and should be reported to the IRS as income on a yearly tax return. If you are unsure of your attendance amount, please call the Clerk's Office at (605) 330-6620 If you make over $600 in attendance fees during the year, the Financial Department will send you a 1099.

 

Court Locations
Southern Division | Central Division | Northern Division | Western Division

 

Southern Division - seated in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
United States District Court
Office of the Clerk
400 S. Phillips Ave, Room 128
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
Telephone: (605) 330-6620
Juror Information Number: 1-800-793-4367
E-Mail - sfjuryservice@sdd.uscourts.gov
Click Here for a Map

The Clerk's Office is located on the first floor of the Federal Building, Room 128.

Juror Pay Information:
Jurors receive $40.00 per day attendance for each day reporting whether selected for service or not. Jurors are allowed 56 cents per mile for round trip travel from their residence to the Federal Building. Mileage shall be computed from the address listed on the voter registration lists.

Subsistence is allowed in the amount of $123.00 for each day that a juror stays overnight while serving. If a juror lives a distance that constitutes an hour or more away (or 50 miles or more) from Sioux Falls, or if there are special circumstances or danger of inclement weather wherein a juror's safety or attendance may be jeopardized, they are urged to travel in the night before reporting.

It is acceptable if a juror feels they can arrive on time the day they are to report and would rather not travel to Sioux Falls the night before. The decision will be left to the juror's discretion. However, a juror should not put themselves in a situation where they will need to call a jury clerk the morning they are to report and advise that they will not be able to arrive in time or cannot report at all. The only time that would be acceptable would be in the case of an emergency.

A juror's attendance is very important. A juror should always advise the Clerk's Office if they stayed overnight. If you have incurred a hotel expense we do require a hotel receipt. If you choose to stay with family and/or friends, you will only be reimbursed $46.00 for your meals, incidentals and expenses.

Juror Parking:
Please do not park on government property. Do not park at the meters. If you choose to park at the meters and you get a parking ticket, the Clerk’s Office is not responsible for payment of the parking ticket.

There is a parking ramp directly across the street from the courthouse. The entrance is off 13th and Main. A juror should park on the top level of the ramp. There is a $3.00 fee to enter the ramp. You will be reimburse for parking fees.

 


CENTRAL DIVISION
is seated in Pierre, South Dakota
United States District Court
OFFICE OF THE CLERK
225 S. Pierre Street, Room 405
Pierre, SD 57501
Telephone: (605) 945-4600
Juror Information Number: 1-800-793-4365
email: pjuryservice@sdd.uscourts.gov
Click Here for a Map

The Clerk’s Office is located on the 4th floor of the Federal Building, Room 405.

Jurisdiction: Buffalo, Dewey, Faulk, Gregory, Haakon, Hand, Hughes, Hyde, Jerauld, Jones, Lyman, Mellette, Potter, Stanley, Sully, Todd, Tripp and Ziebach.

Juror Pay Information:
Jurors receive $40.00 per day attendance for each day reporting whether selected for service or not. Jurors are allowed 56 cents per mile for round trip travel from their residence to the Federal Building. Mileage shall be computed from the address listed on the voter registration lists.

Subsistence is allowed in the amount of $123.00 for each day that a juror stays overnight while serving. If a juror lives a distance that constitutes an hour or more away (or 50 miles or more) from Pierre, or if there are special circumstances or danger of inclement weather wherein a juror's safety or attendance may be jeopardized, they are urged to travel in the night before reporting.

It is acceptable if a juror feels they can arrive on time the day they are to report and would rather not travel to Pierre the night before. The decision will be left to the juror's discretion. However, a juror should not put themselves in a situation where they will need to call a jury clerk the morning they are to report and advise that they will not be able to arrive in time or cannot report at all. The only time that would be acceptable would be in the case of an emergency.

A juror's attendance is very important. A juror should always advise the Clerk's Office if they stayed overnight. If you have incurred a hotel expense we will require a hotel receipt. If you choose to stay with family and/or friends, you will only be reimbursed $46.00 for your meals, incidentals and expenses.

Juror Parking:
Each Division will furnish you with parking instructions when you are notified

 

Northern Division is seated in Aberdeen, South Dakota
United States District Court
OFFICE OF THE CLERK
Room 414 102 - 4th Avenue SE
Aberdeen, SD 57401
Telephone: (605) 945-4600 (Pierre Office)
Juror Information Number: 1-800-793-4365
email- abjuryservice@sdd.uscourts.gov
Click Here for a Map

The Clerk’s office is located on the 4th floor of the Federal Building, Room 414.

Jurisdiction:
Brown, Campbell, Clark, Codington, Corson, Day, Deuel, Edmunds, Grant, Hamlin, McPherson, Marshall, Roberts, Spink and Walworth.

Due to the Aberdeen Clerk's Office not being staffed, any requests or inquiries should be directed to the Pierre Clerk's Office at the telephone number listed above. Any written requests or inquiries should be sent to the Pierre Clerk's Office at the following address:
United States District Court District of South Dakota
OFFICE OF THE CLERK
Room 405 225 S. Pierre Street
Pierre, SD 57501

 

WESTERN DIVISION
Western division is seated in Rapid City, South Dakota
United States District Court
OFFICE OF THE CLERK Room 302, Federal Building
515 Ninth Street Rapid City, SD 57701
Telephone: (605) 399-6000
Juror Information Number: 1-800-793-4368

email -juryservice@sdd.uscourts.gov

Click Here for a Map
The Clerk’s office is located on the 3rd Floor of the Federal Building, Room 302.

Jurisdiction:
Bennett, Butte, Custer, Fall River, Harding, Jackson, Lawrence, Meade, Pennington, Perkins and Shannon counties.

Juror Pay Information:
Jurors receive $40.00 per day attendance for each day reporting whether selected for service or not. Jurors are allowed 50 cents per mile for round trip travel from their residence to the Federal Building. Mileage shall be computed from the address listed on the voter registration lists.

Subsistence is allowed in the amount of $123.00 for each day that a juror stays overnight while serving from September 1 through May 31; and $177.00 from June 1 through August 31. If a juror lives a distance that constitutes an hour or more away (or 50 miles or more) from Rapid City, or if there are special circumstances or danger of inclement weather wherein a juror's safety or attendance may be jeopardized, they are urged to travel in the night before reporting.

It is acceptable if a juror feels they can arrive on time the day they are to report and would rather not travel to Rapid City the night before. The decision will be left to the juror's discretion. However, a juror should not put themselves in a situation where they will need to call a jury clerk the morning they are to report and advise that they will not be able to arrive in time or cannot report at all. The only time that would be acceptable would be in the case of an emergency.

A juror's attendance is very important. A juror should always advise the Clerk's Office if they stayed overnight. If you have incurred a hotel expense we will require a hotel receipt. If you choose to stay with family and/or friends, you will only be reimbursed $51.00 for your meals, incidentals and expenses.