Failure to Appear

The Northern District of Georgia takes “no show” jurors very seriously. You will be sent a letter to show cause as to why you did not appear. If we do not hear from you, an order will be issued requiring you to appear at a hearing and explain before a judge the reason you failed to appear. The ultimate penalty could be a $1000 fine, three days in jail, community service, or a combination of all three.


Residents of the Northern District of Georgia continue to receive fraudulent phone calls claiming that the victim failed to appear for jury duty in federal court.  The scammer tells the victim that he or she can avoid arrest by purchasing a pre-paid card—such as a Green Dot card or gift card—and then giving the card number to the scammer.

The scammer may use real court addresses and real names of law enforcement officers, court officials, and federal judges to make the scam appear credible.  Scammers may even “spoof” the phone number on caller ID so that it falsely appears to be from the court or a government agency.

These phone calls are not from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia or the U.S. Marshals Service, and you should not provide the caller with any personal information, credit card numbers, pre-paid card numbers, or money.  Here are the facts about jury service:

  • A court will always send a jury summons by U.S. Mail and will never demand payment or sensitive information over the phone.
  • A prospective juror who disregards a summons will be contacted by the court clerk’s office and may, in certain circumstances, be ordered to appear before a judge.  
  • A fine will never be imposed until after the individual has appeared in court and been given the opportunity to explain a failure to appear.

If you have received a scam phone call, you should hang up and report it, even if you did not lose any money, by contacting the Northern District of Georgia jury office at 404-215-1640.  Provide as much information about the caller as you can, including any available caller ID information.