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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a Petit Jury?

    A Petit jury is a trial jury for both civil and criminal cases. The Petit jury listens to the evidence offered during a trial, and returns a verdict. A verdict in a civil case may be a finding for the plaintiff or the defendant. A verdict in a criminal case finds the defendant involved guilty or not guilty.

  • What is a Grand Jury?

    A Grand jury does not determine guilt or innocence, but whether there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed. The evidence is normally presented only by an attorney for the government. The grand jury must determine from this evidence whether a person should have formal charges filed by the government. If the grand jury finds probable cause, then it will return a written statement of the charges, called an indictment. Grand jurors sit on a panel of 16 to 23 jurors and generally serve one to three days every other month for one year. Grand jury terms may be extended if necessary. For more information, see our Introduction for Grand Jury Service guide.

  • How Much Will I Be Paid for Serving on a Jury?

    The U.S. District Court will pay you an attendance fee of $50.00 per day (unless you are a federal government employee), plus travel expenses for mileage per mile round trip from your home. Jurors who earn in excess of $600.00 in attendance fees in one calendar year will receive a form 1099. *Mileage rate and subsistence are based on the current governmental Per Diem allowance.

  • Where do I report? How do I get there?

    Please follow the instructions as outlined on your summons. Please refer to our Court Locations page for locations, directions, and parking information.

  • How Long will I be On Call?

    Petit jurors for the Northern District of Mississippi are required to: (1) be on call for a period of one month or (2) serve on one trial. You are instructed to call the automated juror information phone line or check online through the E-Juror program as instructed on your summons. You will continue checking for instructions as directed for the duration of your jury term. If you are selected to serve for a trial which exceeds the service period, you will be required to serve until the completion of the trial. Many of the trials in this Court are anywhere from three to five days long.

    If you are selected to be on the grand jury, you will be required to serve for a period of one (1) year, reporting every other month (six (6) times during the year) with each session lasting from one (1) to three (3) days.

  • Can I get a Postponement or be Permanently Excused from Jury Service?

    If you would like to postpone your jury service, you may explain the reasons and the desired serving date on the sheet provided in the summons packet and return with the completed Juror Information form to the Court. If this conflicts with an already scheduled appointment, you may call the Jury department. If you would like to be permanently excused from Jury service, you must send the Jury Department a letter with a full explanation. If you would like to be excused for medical reasons, a letter from your doctor will be helpful. Also, you may request postponement or excusal through E-juror or via email.

  • What should I bring with me when I report?

    You will need to bring a valid picture ID (such as a driver's license) to go through security at the courthouse. Please be sure to bring your summons for check-in. Cell phones, laptops and pagers are not permitted in the building. Do not bring knitting needles, sewing needles, scissors or knives of any kind. Any types of wearable technology, such as smart glasses, watches, or bracelets with internet, cellular, or Bluetooth capability are also prohibited from the Courthouse.

  • What Should I Wear?

    Please refrain from dressing inappropriately. In defense to the Court, please dress neatly. We ask that jurors not wear t-shirts, tank-tops, halter tops, or shorts. Please see your summons packet for more information.

  • Why was I called for Petit Jury Duty?

    You may wonder how you came to be called for jury duty.  Your name was obtained from the voter registration list of your county, according to guidelines which assure a random selection of a fair cross-section of the community.  You were then mailed a qualification form to complete.  On the basis of your answers to the questions on that form you were found to be qualified to serve and were again randomly selected to be summoned as a prospective juror.

  • How am I selected for Jury Duty?

    You may wonder how you came to be called for jury duty.  Your name was obtained from the voter registration list of your county, according to guidelines which assure a random selection of a fair cross-section of the community.  You were then mailed a qualification form to complete.  On the basis of your answers to the questions on that form you were found to be qualified to serve and were again randomly selected to be summoned as a prospective juror.

  • Can I get proof of my jury service?

    After reporting for service, a certificate of attendance will be given to you upon request. This can be given to employers as proof of your service.

  • What if I fail to appear for Jury Service?

    Title 28 U.S.C. Section 1864 (b) states that persons who are summoned to appear for Federal Jury Service and fail to appear may then be ordered to show cause why they should not be held in contempt of court for noncompliance with the court summons. Persons then failing to appear or to show cause for nonappearance may be fined not more than $1000.00 or imprisoned for not more than three days, or both.

  • While I serve jury duty, is my job protected?
     
    Your job is protected under Title 28 U.S.C.A. Section 1875, which reads, in part:
     
      a. No employer shall discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate, or coerce any permanent employee by reason of such employees jury service, or the attendance or scheduled attendance in connection with such service, in any court of the United States.
     
      b. Any employer who violates the provision of this section:
    1. shall be liable for damages for any loss of wages or other benefits suffered by an employee by reason of such violation;
    2. may be enjoined from further violation of this section and ordered to provide other appropriate relief, including but not limited to the  reinstatement of any employee discharged by reason of his jury service; and
    3. shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $1,000.00 for each violation as to each employee.
  • I am having issues wih popup blockers. What do I do?

    In order to pay filing fees associated with pleadings filed in the Electronic Filing System, popup blockers must be temporarily disabled. If you have a popup blocker running, the following payment issues may occur:

    • You filed a pleading that required a fee, but never received a popup window showing the amount due.
    • You filed a pleading that required a fee and received a blank popup window after viewing the Notice of Electronic Filing.
    • You attempted to pay your fees by clicking Utilities>Internet Payments Due, but received a blank screen that showed “done” in the lower left hand corner of the browser. Listed below are instructions for disabling the most common pop-up blocking programs.

     

    To temporarily bypass the Popup Blocker

    • Google Toolbar - Hold down the Ctrl key and then click on the “Internet Payments Due” link under Utilities.
    • Yahoo Toolbar - Hold down the Ctrl key and then click on the “Internet Payments Due” link under Utilities.
    • Windows XP (Internet Explorer) – Hold down the Ctrl key and then click on the “Internet Payments Due” link under Utilities.

     

    Turn off Popup Blocker

    • Google Toolbar - Click on the Google button>Options and uncheck Popup Blocker under accessories.
    • Yahoo Toolbar - Click on the popup blocker button on the toolbar and uncheck Enable Popup Blocker.
    • Windows XP - Open Internet Explorer and click on Tools>Popup Blocker>Turn off Popup Blocker.

     

    Add certain web sites in the allow popup list

    • Yahoo Toolbar - Click on the popup blocker button and select “always allow popups from…”
    • Windows XP - Open Internet Explorer and click on Tools>Popup Blocker>Popup
    • Blocker Settings. You may also click on the Popup Blocked message displayed near the top of the page and select “Always allow Popups from this site”
    • Google Toolbar – Click on the popup blocker button. This will add the current web site to the allow popup list.

     

  • How do I redact text within a PDF document?

    Please click here for more instructions.