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Jury Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where did you get my name?
2. Why does the questionnaire ask about my race and gender?
3. If I submit a request to be excused, do I still need to complete the juror questionnaire?
4. I feel like I need to be excused, but my reasons do not fit any of the listed reasons on the questionnaire.
5. Should I call the Court to be excused from service?
6. What if I have vacations or important events scheduled during my term?
7. Does my employer have to let me off for jury duty?
8. When am I supposed to serve on jury duty?
9. How long is my term of service?
10. After I have served a term, when can I be called back to serve again?
11. If I am not selected, how do I know what to do next?
12. What are the boundaries of the Eastern District of Arkansas?
13. What fees are paid to jurors?
14. When will I receive payment for my jury service?
15. My employer will not reimburse me for the amount you pay me. Do you have a stub on the check breaking the amount down?
16. Does my employer have to pay me or at least make up the difference when I serve on a jury?
17. What is the Automated Jury Information Line?
18. What is the Automated Jury Information Line number?
19. What if I live a long distance away and cannot possibly travel to court the same day?
20. If I am asked to come to Little Rock and must travel, where do I spend the night and how do I pay for it?
21. What is the subsistence rate?
22. On the first day of jury duty, what happens and how long will I be there?
23. Will I ever be required to serve late in the evening or be sequestered?
24. How many days do the trials last?
25. Where do I park?
26. Should I be concerned about my safety when returning to my vehicle after hours?
27. What is the difference between a petit juror and a grand juror?
28. What types of cases will jurors help to decide in federal court?
29. Who should I contact if I have additional questions?


Where did you get my name? The United States District Court randomly selects the names of our jurors from the voter registration lists for all of the counties located in our district. Anyone appearing on the voter registration list is subject to jury service; however, it is not a requirement that you be a registered voter to serve as a juror. If you have moved, but still reside in the boundaries of our district, you will be subject to jury service.

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Why does the questionnaire ask about my race and gender? Race and gender are not factors in determining your eligibility to serve as a juror. By answering this question, you help the federal courts check and observe the juror selection process so that discrimination cannot occur.

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If I submit a request to be excused, do I still need to complete the juror questionnaire? Yes. We need the information contained on your questionnaire for statistical purposes--even if you have been excused.

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I feel like I need to be excused, but my reasons do not fit any of the listed reasons on the questionnaire. If you have received a Questionnaire for jury service, the only requests for excuse that will be considered at this time are the three listed on the questionnaire. Once you receive a Summons, you may request an excuse on the reverse of the supplemental questionnaire. We will respond to your request in writing.

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Should I call the Court to be excused from service? No. You (not your employer) should submit a request to be excused in writing along with your questionnaire or Summons. The only time that you should call regarding an excuse is when you have a last minute emergency that cannot be handled through the mail.

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What if I have vacations or important events scheduled during my term? Advise jury administration, in writing, and temporary excuses may be granted for such matters.

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Does my employer have to let me off for jury duty? Under federal law, employers must allow their employees time off for jury duty. An employee cannot be punished by their employer in any way for jury service.

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When am I supposed to serve on jury duty? You should check your juror summons for a reporting date and time. If you receive this summons in the mail without a specific reporting date, you will receive a separate notice in the mail approximately one week before you are due to report.

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How long is my term of service? Your term of service depends on whether you are a petit juror or a grand juror, and where you have been summoned to serve. Term of Service for Petit Jurors All petit jurors serving in Little Rock are required to serve for a period of one month or report four times during their assigned month. All petit jurors serving in Batesville, Helena, Jonesboro, and Pine Bluff are required to serve two months or four times from their initial reporting date. Basically, four times means that you are required to report for four days. You could report four times and never be selected to serve on a jury, or you could serve on a jury which runs that long and, consequently, you will not be required to report back. If a trial runs longer than four days or longer than your month's term, you are required to complete your service for that trial. Term of Service for Grand Jurors If you are a grand juror, the term of serice is 12 months with no maximum number of times to report. In most instances, you will be required to report once a month until your term has expired.

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After I have served a term, when can I be called back to serve again? We change our jury wheels every year. Depending upon when your name was drawn in the current jury wheel, you could be summoned again in as little as a month or as long as two years. However, you do not have to serve a second time if you have served as a juror in federal or state court within the last two years and you will be excused upon request.

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If I am not selected, how do I know what to do next? You will be told before you leave when to report back or that you are excused until further notice. If you are excused until further notice, you will receive a letter notifying you when next to report.

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What are the boundaries of the Eastern District of Arkansas? The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas is comprised of five divisions, namely: Eastern, Western, Pine Bluff, Northern, and Jonesboro. Eastern Division The Eastern Division is comprised of the counties of Phillips, Lee, Cross, Woodruff, Monroe, St. Francis. Court in the Eastern Division is held in Helena. Western Division The Western Division is comprised of the counties of Pulaski, Perry, Prairie, Pope, Saline, Faulkner, Lonoke, Van Buren, White, Conway, and Yell. Court in the Western Division is held in Little Rock. Pine Bluff Division The Pine Bluff Division is comprised of the counties of Jefferson, Grant, Desha, Arkansas, Chicot, Cleveland, Dallas, Drew, and Lincoln. Court in the Pine Bluff Division is held in Pine Bluff. Jonesboro Division The Jonesboro Division is comprised of the counties of Craighead, Crittenden, Greene, Lawrence, Mississippi, Poinsett, Randolph, Clay. Court in the Jonesboro Division is held in Jonesboro. Northern Division The Northern Division is comprised of the counties of Fulton, Sharp, Izard, Stone, Cleburne, Independence, and Jackson. Court in the Northern Division is held in Batesville.

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What fees are paid to jurors? The attendance fee is $40.00 per day. Federal employees are paid an attendance fee only during the hours they would not be at work. This amount is calculated on an hourly basis at $5.00 per hour if the federal employee's service is less than a full day. Jurors will be reimbursed for their round trip mileage from their home to the courthouse at a rate of $0.535 a mile.

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When will I receive payment for my jury service? Jury checks are mailed to your home address weekly for that week's service. Checks are usually mailed on Friday.

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My employer will not reimburse me for the amount you pay me. Do you have a stub on the check breaking the amount down? We do not have a stub itemizing your days of service. However, upon request, the Clerk's Office will furnish you with a certificate stating the date you reported and that you were paid a $40 attendance fee. We do not list the mileage that you were paid since it is a direct reimbursement of your expenses and it is not recoverable by your employer.

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Does my employer have to pay me or at least make up the difference when I serve on a jury? At this time, there is no law requiring them to do so. The majority of employers at least make up the difference.

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What is the Automated Jury Information Line? The Automated Jury Information Line is a pre-recorded message machine which is used to inform our jury panels of their final reporting instructions. Jurors must call the Automated Jury Information Line, 1-800-653-6503, the evening before their scheduled reporting date to receive their reporting instructions. Messages will be available after 5:00 p.m. on weekdays and after 6:00 p.m. on Sundays and holidays. Each time you are given a reporting date, you should call the Automated Jury Information Line the evening before to see whether there have been any changes to your reporting instructions. You do not have to call the Automated Jury Information Line every night if you are serving on a trial unless you are specifically instructed by the judge to do so.

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What is the Automated Jury Information Line number? The Automated Jury Information Line number is 1-800-653-6503.

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What if I live a long distance away and cannot possibly travel to court the same day? If you live 100 miles or more from your requested reporting city, you may travel to court the evening before you are due to report and spend the night. You will be paid an attendance fee for the day you travel as well as the day you report, plus subsistence for that night. In some instances, if you live less than 100 miles, this requirement may be waived if you show good reason for having to travel the night before. You should make a request to Jury Administration for permission to waive this rule.

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If I am asked to come to Little Rock and must travel, where do I spend the night and how do I pay for it? There are several hotels in the general downtown area. You may wish to consult your local phone directory for the names of the hotels. The four nearest hotels to the United States Courthouse are: Wyndham Hotel Phone: (501) 371-9000 Location: Approximately three blocks from the courthouse on Broadway. The Legacy Hotel Phone: (501) 374-0100 Location: Directly across from the courthouse La Quinta Phone: (501) 374-9000 Location: Approximately three blocks from the courthouse on Broadway. The DoubleTree Hotel Phone: (501) 372-4371 Location: Approximately four blocks from the courthouse near Markham and Broadway The Marriott of Little Rock Phone: (501) 906-4000 Location: 3 Statehouse Plaza The Capital Hotel Phone: (501) 374-7474 Location: Approximately six blocks from the courthouse at 111 West Markham. You should make your own reservations and pay your own bill. When you make your reservations, please advise the hotel that you are a federal juror and you should receive the government rate. You will be reimbursed the subsistence rate on your jury check.

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What is the subsistence rate? The subsistence rate for Little Rock is $150, outside of Pulaski County is $140.

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On the first day of jury duty, what happens and how long will I be there? Juries will be selected on the first day you report for jury duty. If you are selected to serve, you will most likely begin the trial that day. There are no standard court hours. However, most trials run from 9:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. with at least an hour for lunch and breaks approximately every 1-1/2 hours during the trial. If you are not selected to serve, you could be dismissed by noon or early afternoon.

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Will I ever be required to serve late in the evening or be sequestered? Sometimes trials will run into the evening hours. If that happens, you will have ample time to make any necessary arrangements and advise your family. Sequestration is always a possibility, but in the last twenty years, we have not sequestered a single jury.

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How many days do the trials last? Jury trials can last anywhere from less than one day to many weeks in length. The majority of our trials in the Eastern District of Arkansas last two to three days. If you were subject to a lengthy trial, you may advise the court that this would cause a problem for you.

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Where do I park? There are a number of metered parking spots in the area surrounding the courthouse. Any parking tickets that you receive will be collected by the Clerk, stamped, and forwarded to the Little Rock Police Department. According to Arkansas State Law, jurors do not have to pay to park at a parking meter while performing jury duty. Please turn in any parking ticket to the jury administrator; do NOT ignore your parking ticket or throw it away. If you cannot find metered parking, you may park at any lot that allows daily parking and you will be reimbursed in your jury check for the actual amount. There are many monthly parking lots in the downtown area, which are rented by employees in the downtown buildings. Do not park in these lots since your car may be towed or booted. It will cost approximately $60 to reclaim your vehicle, and the Court cannot reimburse you for these charges.

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Should I be concerned about my safety when returning to my vehicle after hours? We have court security officers who will escort you to your vehicle after hours.

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What is the difference between a petit juror and a grand juror? Basically, a petit juror's function is to determine issues of fact in civil and criminal cases and to reach a verdict in conjunction with those findings. A grand juror's function is to determine whether the facts and accusations presented by the prosecutor warrant an indictment.

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What types of cases will jurors help to decide in federal court? We have civil and criminal trials in federal court. Criminal trials consist of juries composed of 12 to 18 jurors and civil trials are composed of 6 to 12 jurors. The number of jurors on a trial has no bearing on the significance of the trial. It is a matter of judicial preference and the desires of both parties to an action.

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Who should I contact If I have additional questions? You can telephone jury administration, Shauna Bostic (501) 604-5107 or Brandy Dunlap (501) 604-5319. If you would prefer to use electronic mail, you can send your questions to  Shauna or Brandy at jury@ared.uscourts.gov.

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