How Was I selected?
The jury selection process is a random process from start to
finish. Initially, your name was among those from Washtenaw
County randomly selected from the State of Michigan drivers’ license and
state identification lists. From the initial pool of juror candidates
received from the State, the Washtenaw County Jury Commission issues
qualification and personal history questionnaires to a randomly selected
sample. Upon receipt of the completed qualification questionnaires,
the Jury Commission reviews and qualifies potential jurors according to
law. Questionnaires for a random pool of qualified jurors are then
forwarded to the 14A District Court for summoning.
What Can I Expect?
The Case Resolution Process:
The 14A District Court has three judges: the Honorable J.
Cedric Simpson, the Honorable Kirk
W. Tabbey and the Honorable
Richard E. Conlin. Each judge schedules jury trials at the
beginning of each month. Each judge may have as many as twenty
jury trials originally scheduled for a given jury week. Between the
time the cases are scheduled and the actual selection of a jury, the
judges do everything they can to resolve the cases short of jury
trial. Many of the cases are resolved by settlement, plea or
dismissal, which saves money for the community and time for prospective
jurors. Typically, only a few of the originally scheduled cases are
left for each judge on the day of jury selection.
- Your Presence is Important:
Of those cases that are left on jury selection day, many reach resolution
without an actual jury trial taking place. The fact that the jurors are in
the courthouse and ready for selection often drives parties to the
realization that reaching an agreement on their own – even with compromise –
is more attractive than leaving the decision to an objective third party
like a jury. In other words, your mere presence as a juror helps to
resolve disputes, even if you never get in the jury box.
- Arrival, Check-in and Orientation:
When you arrive at the 14A District Court on the date and time for
which you have been summoned, you will be checked in by the jury clerk and
provided a juror badge. Court staff will provide you with an
orientation program outlining specifics about what you can expect when you
are in the courtroom for selection.
What are the Responsibilities of
Jurors must be prompt in arriving at the court. A trial cannot begin
unless all jurors are present.
Jurors must give their undivided attention to the witnesses, attorneys,
and proceedings. Remember that the outcome of the case is very important to
The trial will begin with opening statements by the attorneys for both
sides. The examination of witnesses and presentation of evidence will begin
after opening statements.
In final arguments, both attorneys will have an opportunity to summarize
their positions and review the facts of the case. At the conclusion of the
final arguments, the judge will issue instructions to the jury concerning
the law and its application to the particular case.
The jurors will then proceed to the jury room to begin deliberation. The
jurors must select a foreperson who presides over these deliberations. You
will discuss the evidence and attempt to arrive at a fair and impartial
verdict based on the facts presented during the trial and the law as given
by the judge's instruction. When deliberations are complete, you will return
to the courtroom for the presentation of your verdict.
How Long Will It Take?
The 14A District Court conducts jury trials throughout the
month of service. This means that your term of service will last for
the duration of the selection process (typically 1 day) or the duration of
one trial if you are seated on a jury (typically 1-2 additional
days.) District Court trials are for misdemeanor criminal offenses
(offenses in which a convicted defendant may be sentenced up to a maximum of
1 year in jail) and civil law suits in which the amount in dispute is less
than $25,000. Jury trials for these types of cases generally
last anywhere from 1 day to 1 week, although occasionally a trial may
continue beyond 1 week.
How is a Jury Chosen?
When you arrive at the courthouse a jury clerk will meet
you at juror check-in and request your name
and address. Before the selection of jurors begins, you will be
asked to swear or affirm that you will truthfully answer the questions
concerning your fairness and ability to sit as a juror on a particular
case. As a prospective juror you will be questioned by the judge or
trial attorneys. This process, referred to as Voir Dire, is conducted to
determine whether you have opinions or attitudes which would bias you in
favor or disfavor of either side. While some questions may be personal in
nature, they are not intended to embarrass you even if that becomes the
result. They are asked to determine if there is a reason you should not sit
on the case. Jurors may be excused for cause for reasons such as a personal
or financial relationship with a party which would impair their ability to
be fair. In addition, each side may excuse a limited number of jurors by
peremptory challenge without any reason. Jurors who are excused from one
case may be eligible to sit on another.
If I have a schedule conflict
with when I’ve been summoned, can I get rescheduled?
If upon receiving your summons you realize you have a scheduling
conflict (for example, a pre-purchased or planned vacation, a scheduled
medical procedure, a business trip, etc.), you may email email@example.com to
request a deferral of your service. No more than one postponement
will be granted.
Will Serving on Jury Duty Affect
Your employer is required by law to release you for jury
service. An employer who discharges or disciplines or threatens to
discharge or discipline an employee because that person is summoned for
jury service may be charged with a misdemeanor and also may be punished
for contempt of court. In addition, an employer may be charged with a
misdemeanor if he/she forces an employee to work any number of hours during
a day which, in combination with the hours served as a juror that day,
exceeds the number of hours normally and customarily worked by the person
during a day (unless otherwise provided in a collective bargaining
Although not mandated by State law, many employers today will continue to
pay you during your jury service. As mandated by law, jurors receive
not less than $25/day ($12.50/half day) for the first day of jury service;
$40/day for each subsequent day ($20/half day). Also jurors are paid
$0.10 per mile for roundtrip travel from home to the 14A District
Court. Should your employer continue to pay you during jury service,
he/she may require you to remit your juror compensation.
How Do I Get to the 14A District
Parking is available in the lot located behind (North of) the 14A-1
Courthouse. The lot is accessible from Hogback Road at the entrance to
the County Service Center.
Limited parking is available in the lot adjacent to the 14A-2 Courthouse. If
that lot is full, there is an overflow lot located on the West side of
the Fire Department.
Parking is available in the lot located on Park
St. behind Chelsea Market. Limited street parking is
available on South St. (Park St. and South St. are located at opposite sides
of the same traffic light intersection of Main St.)
What Do I Get Paid to Serve on a
You will receive $12.50 for the first half-day, and $25.00 for the
first full-day of jury service. Subsequent days (if any) will be
compensated at a rate of $20.00 for subsequent half-days and $40.00 for
subsequent full-days. You will also receive mileage in the amount of
$0.10 per mile (round trip) for each full or half day of jury
service. Juror payments are only processed once per month and
you may not receive your check until the end of the month following
your month of service (almost two months after service.)
Does the Court Pay
for My Transportation Costs?
Yes. You will be paid for mileage at the rate of $0.10 per mile
I am a Student and Don't Want
to Miss Any of My Classes
If you are a college student, please provide verification that you
will be in school during the month you are on call for jury service. With
verification, your jury service could be changed to a month when you are
available. Contact the 14A District
Court Jury Clerk for information on rescheduling your
My Religion Prohibits Me from
Judging Another Person
If you are requesting to be excused on religious grounds, please
submit a written statement in support of this request to the 14A District
Court Jury Clerk.
Are There Day Care Services
The Court does not offer any day care services.
What Should I
Please wear clothing that is conservative, clean and comfortable.
Shorts, tank tops and bare midriffs are not appropriate.
Can I Bring a Laptop, Tablet, Pager or Cell Phone With
These items are prohibited in all 14A District Court
Can I Bring Food With Me?
Some beverages and snacks are provided in the jury assembly area.
You may bring your own food especially if you are a diabetic or on a special
diet. Open food and beverages are not allowed in the courtrooms.
What Happens If I Fail to Show Up for Jury Service?
Those selected as potential jurors who fail to appear when called
to jury service may be held in contempt of court. Thus, it is
vitally important for those unable to attend for any reason to contact
District Court Jury Clerk in advance of the session to be
Who do I contact if I have questions or concerns about
Please contact the 14A Jury Clerk at the location for which
you have been summoned for jury service with any questions or concerns about
jury service. All requests for deferrals and dismissals must be made in
writing and contain the juror's original signature.
Where Can I Read the Juror's Manual Prepared by the State Bar of
14A-1 Jury Clerk
4133 Washtenaw Ave.
PO Box 8645
Ann Arbor, MI 48107-4865
14A-2 Jury Clerk
415 W. Michigan Ave.
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
14A-3 Jury Clerk
122 S. Main St.
Chelsea, MI 48118
(734) 475-8606 ext. 2120
view a pdf version here.
Special Warning About
Scam Artists Trying to Obtain Your Personal Information By Claiming That You
Failed to Show Up for Assigned Jury Service
All correspondence from the court will be in writing.
Identity thieves posing as court workers are calling people around the
country -- including Michigan -- to tell them they failed to report for jury
service, that a warrant has been issued for their arrest and then ask for a
Social Security number and other personal information. Detroit Free Press,
August 19, 2005).