HOW LONG IS JURY SERVICE?
Depending on trial activity, you will be subject to jury selection for a period of approximately five 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 day so please be prepared for a full day of service.
WHAT FEES DO JURORS RECEIVE?
You will receive an attendance fee of $50 for each day of service. You will also be paid 56 cents per mile round-trip from home to the courthouse. Jurors who are Federal employees are paid for mileage only, except when serving on their day off. Parking will be reimbursed at a rate of $5.00 for a half day of service and $10.00 for a full day of service. 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. Hotel reimbursement can also be obtained. See "Will I ever have to spend the night?" in the next column.
WHEN WILL I GET PAID FOR MY SERVICE?
The Court will mail a check every two weeks or at the end of the trial, whichever occurs first. If you were not selected to sit on a trial, you can expect to receive your juror check in the mail within two weeks.
HOW LONG DOES A TRIAL LAST?
Each case is unique, so it is very difficult to give an average of how long a trial can last. However, 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 as to which type of case you are being selected for when you report.
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 one 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. A certificate of attendance can be issued in your name for your employer stating the dates and fees of your service. You will be asked if you require this.
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 and motor vehicle registrations. The Northern Jury Division includes the counties of: Caledonia, Chittenden, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille, Orleans and Washington. A jury may be drawn from the entire judicial district (all jury divisions) when deemed necessary.
HOW WILL I KNOW WHEN TO REPORT FOR THE NEXT DATE?
You will receive notification in the mail to appear on a specific date, along with instructions to call after 5 p.m. the night before for updated reporting information regarding the scheduled jury selection(s). WHEN INSTRUCTED, YOU MUST PHONE THE RECORDED MESSAGE TO CONFIRM REPORTING. You will not be paid if you fail to call as instructed and report in error.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I ARRIVE LATE?
It is required that every juror be in attendance before a trial can begin or 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?
Sequestration is extremely rare in this District. You can, however, stay at a hotel of your choice 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 $166 for each night you stay regardless of what you actually paid for lodging. If you acquire lodging the night before and/or after a full day of jury service, you will also be eligible to receive the $50 attendance fee for your travel days. To claim reimbursement, you must provide an original hotel receipt with your name on it to the Jury Clerk.
WHERE CAN I GO FOR LUNCH?
Church Street Marketplace is within walking distance of the Courthouse with many restaurants and sandwich shops to choose from. Once you are selected for a trial, you may bring a lunch and eat in the jury lounge. Soda and snack vending machines are available on the first floor of the Federal Building.
ARE MY JUROR FEES TAXABLE?
Yes. This applies only to your $50 attendance fee and no taxes are withheld so jurors should keep track of attendance fees received for income tax purposes. The Court will file with the IRS and mail a 1099 form to you if your attendance fees reach or exceed $600 for the year (excluding mileage and parking fees). If you exceed $600, the Jury Administrator will need to obtain your social security number 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 try to 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 always subject to trial activity and the availability of other jurors in the pool.
CAN MY FAMILY REACH ME IN AN EMERGENCY?
Family can call 1-800-837-8718 or local at 951-6395 press 0 and leave a message for you with Clerk's Office staff. You will be contacted as soon as court is on a break.
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 near the stairwell next to the elevator and on the northern stairwell to the right of the Courtroom (see overhead exit signs).
Further questions you have will be answered during juror orientation on your first day of service.