HOW LONG IS JURY SERVICE?
Depending on trial activity, you will be subject to jury selection for a period of approximately four months. You are to report only when notified to appear by the court. Notification is sent by mail giving the next report date and instructions to call a recorded message the night before to confirm OR you may be advised in the Courtroom by the Judge. Please note--it is possible once you are selected to sit on a trial that the trial could start that very same day so please be prepared for a full day of service.
WHAT FEES DO JURORS RECEIVE?
Jurors are paid an attendance fee of $40 and 56.5 cents per mile (round-trip from home) for each day of service. Jurors who are Federal employees are paid for their mileage and parking fees only, except when serving on their day off. Jurors will also receive $3.00 a day for parking expenses. Be aware that parking on government property is NOT provided for jurors, and the court will not be responsible for parking tickets incurred by jurors.
WHEN WILL I GET PAID FOR MY SERVICE?
The Court will mail a check to you every two weeks or at the end of the trial, whichever occurs first. Please be sure the Jury Administrator has your correct mailing address as well as your home and work telephone numbers. If, after the jury draw, you were not selected to sit on a trial you can expect to receive your check in the mail within a few days.
HOW LONG DOES A TRIAL LAST?
Because each case is unique, it is very difficult to give an average of how long a trial can last. When you report, you will be informed as to the length of the trial in which you are to be selected.
WILL I SIT ON CIVIL AND CRIMINAL CASES?
Yes. You can be selected to sit on either a civil or criminal case. The Judge will inform you when you report as to which type of case is on the jury draw calendar.
HOW LONG IS A COURT DAY?
Jurors can expect to be in court from approximately 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with an hour for lunch. There will also be two 15 minute breaks, one mid-morning and one mid-afternoon. Any variation to this schedule will be explained by the Judge.
CAN I RECEIVE PROOF OF ATTENDANCE?
Yes. Upon request to the Courtroom Deputy Clerk, a certificate of attendance can be issued in your name for your employer stating the dates and fees of your service.
HOW WAS I SELECTED FOR JURY SERVICE?
The federal jury system for the District of Vermont draws juror names at random by computer from town/city voter registration checklists. The Southwestern Jury Division includes Addison, Rutland and Bennington counties.
HOW WILL I KNOW WHEN TO REPORT FOR THE NEXT DATE?
You will receive a letter in the mail to appear on a specific date, along with instructions to call the jury line the night before for updated information as to any changes or cancellations regarding the scheduled trial calendar. WHEN DIRECTED, YOU MUST PHONE THE RECORDED MESSAGE TO CONFIRM YOUR APPEARANCE IN COURT. You will not be paid for an appearance if you fail to call the recorded message and report in error. Please do not call the recorded message unless you are instructed to do so.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I ARRIVE LATE?
It is required that every juror be in attendance before a trial can begin/ continue, so it is extremely important to report on time as the trial WILL BE DELAYED until every juror has reported.
WILL I EVER HAVE TO SPEND THE NIGHT?
This is not likely as sequestration is very rare in this District. You can stay at a hotel at the court’s expense the night before service and the night after (if you have served a full day) as long as your residence is more than 50 miles away from the Courthouse. If you decide to acquire lodging, you will be paid $123 for each night you stay regardless of what you actually paid for lodging. If you acquire lodging the night before and/or the day after a full day of jury service, you will also be eligible to receive the $40 attendance fee for your travel days. To claim reimbursement, you must provide an original hotel receipt with your name on it to the courtroom deputy.
WHERE CAN I GO FOR LUNCH?
There are various sandwich shops and restaurants to choose from within walking distance from the courthouse. Jurors may also eat in the petit jury lounge where a microwave and refrigerator are available.
ARE MY JUROR FEES TAXABLE?
Yes–this applies only to your attendance fee, however, no taxes are withheld from your check so jurors should keep track of attendance fees received for income tax purposes. The Court will file with the IRS and mail you a 1099 form if your attendance fees reach or exceed $600 for the year (this excludes mileage and parking fees). If this occurs, the Courtroom Deputy Clerk will obtain your social security number to be used for tax purposes only.
CAN I SERVE ON MORE THAN ONE TRIAL DURING MY TERM?
Yes, this is possible. The Court cannot predict with certainty the number of trials a juror will be selected for during the term. The Court will excuse jurors for the remainder of the term if they sat on a trial over two weeks in length (10 court days). This, however, is subject to trial activity and the availability of other jurors on the panel.
CAN MY FAMILY REACH ME IN AN EMERGENCY?
Yes. Family can call the Clerk's Office at 773–0245 and leave a message for you. You will be contacted as soon as possible.
Appropriate casual dress is required. Smoking in the Courthouse building is prohibited. You CANNOT leave the Courtroom during jury selection. Note that fire exits are located next to the elevator and on the building’s westside (see signs).
Further questions you have will be answered during juror orientation on your first day of service.