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This Page Last Updated July 08, 2011

Frequently Asked Questions



ANSWERS

Will I ever have to spend the night?

It is VERY rare that you would ever need to spend the night. In general, jurors would be notified in advance if they were to be sequestered.

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How long do I serve on Jury duty?

You are “on call” for a two week period of time. Therefore, every night for two weeks (beginning after 5:00P.M. on the Friday before your term begins), you should call the report message system at (404)215-1501. If you hear your reporting number on the recording, then you would report to the courthouse on the following day.

If you serve on a case which concludes during your two-week term, you remain “on-call” and may serve again. If your case extends beyond the two-week period, you are required to serve for its entire duration (this occurs infrequently).

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How will I know which days to report?

You are “on call” for a two week period of time. Therefore, every night for two weeks (beginning after 5:00P.M. on the Friday before your term begins), you should call the report message system at (404)215-1501. If you hear your reporting number on the recording, then you would report to the courthouse on the following day.

If you serve on a case which concludes during your two-week term, you remain “on-call” and may serve again. If your case extends beyond the two-week period, you are required to serve for its entire duration (this occurs infrequently).

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If asked to report, how many hours will I be at the courthouse each day?

On the first day you report, you will be requested to be at the courthouse at 8:00 A.M. for jury orientation. Depending on how many cases are going that particular day, you could be at the courthouse until 4:30-5:00. When you are serving on a case, the hours are approximately 9:00-5:00 (depending on the judge).

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Where did you get my name for jury duty and who is considered “qualified?”

Names for all potential jurors are randomly chosen from voter registration lists obtained from the Secretary of State’s Office. You are qualified if you are over the age of 18, are a U.S. Citizen, and have been residing in the state of Georgia for at least one (1) year.

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What are the grounds for requesting a permanent excuse, and how do I request one?

There are several legal reasons for which you can be excused. All excuses must be made in writing to the U.S. District Court jury office. You can mail, fax, or email your request (If you are emailing a medical excuse, a doctor's letter will also be required). You can be excused if: A) You are 70 years of age or older; B) You provide full-time care to aged or infirm person; C) You provide full-time care to children under the age of 10; D) You are a volunteer firefighter or member of a rescue squad or ambulance crew; E) You have a grave medical condition or physical disability (for which a doctor’s letter is mandatory); F) You have served within two years in the Federal Court. You will receive a response to your inquiry via U.S. Mail.

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What are the grounds for requesting a temporary excuse, and how do I request one?

You may request a temporary postponement due to other commitments (vacation, work, health, school, etc.) that may conflict with your summons date. It will be necessary to submit a letter to the Jury Office with your request at least SEVEN business days prior to when your service is to begin. Please indicate in your letter when you will be able to serve within three (3) months. You can mail, fax, or email your request. You will receive a letter via U.S. Mail regarding the judge's decision and your new service date.

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What types of cases are tried in Federal Court?

You will be serving on cases involving federal laws. They can be either criminal or civil cases. Criminal cases include bank robbery, tax evasion, and drug distribution. Civil cases include civil rights, personal injury, and product liability.

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What is a petit jury?

A petit jury is a trial jury. It will be your responsibility to decide guilt or innocence of a defendant in a criminal case or whether a plaintiff or defendant should prevail in a civil case. As a petit juror, you will serve at one of our 4 divisional offices: Atlanta, Gainesville, Newnan & Rome (depending on where you live).

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What is a grand jury?

Grand jurors hear criminal cases only. It is the responsibility of the Grand Jury to determine if there is enough evidence to indict a defendant. It is not the Grand Jury’s responsibility to determine guilt or innocence. Grand Jurors are from all four of our divisions and meet in Atlanta once a month for 12-18 months.

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What if I am hearing impaired but still want to serve?

At their September 1995 meeting, the Judicial Conference of the United States adopted a policy that all federal courts are to provide accommodations to those persons with hearing difficulties. Therefore, the Court can provide sign language interpreters and does have available magnified hearing devices for those jurors qualified to serve.

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How much do you pay for jury duty?

You will receive $40.00 per day attendance fee plus 50 cents for round-trip mileage. You will receive a parking pass once you report for the parking lot located behind the Russell Building. Meals are not provided but there is a subsidized cafeteria in the building. If you earn more than $600.00 as a juror, we will send you a 1099 to complete for tax purposes. Otherwise, the pay is not taxed. Some common mileage distances include


City Miles City Miles
Acworth 35 Kennesaw 28
Alpharetta 28 Lawrenceville 30
College Park 8 Lilburn 24
Conyers 25 Marietta 20
Decatur 7 Powder Springs 26
Douglasville 25 Riverdale 20
Duluth 25 Sandy Springs 25
Dunwoody 15 Smyrna 15
Fairburn 19 Stone Mountain 16
Jonesboro 21 Woodstock 32


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Can I stay overnight the night before I have to report in Atlanta and where should I stay?

If you live more than 65 miles from the courthouse in which you are serving, you are entitled to a per diem subsistence rate. (Normally, this applies to Grand Jurors who live in other divisions besides Atlanta). There are hotels in and around the metro area including but not limited to:


Atlanta

Marriott-Atlanta
160 Spring St NW
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 688-8600
Rate: $129
Days Inn - (Downtown)
300 Spring St.
Atlanta, GA 30308
(404) 523-1144
Rate: $79 - $149

Ellis Hotel
176 Peachtree Street, NW
Atlanta, GA 30303
404-523-5155
Rate: $129

Hampton Inn & Suites
161 Spring St, NW.
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 589-1111
Rate: $129

Rome

Best Western
3375 Busbee Dr.
Kennesaw, GA 30144
(770) 424-7666
Rate: $56.95



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Does my employer have to pay me my normal wages if I’m serving on a jury?

No, there is no law enforcing employers to pay employees for the time they missed while on Jury Duty. Often times they will ask that you pay them your attendance fee(s) in order to maintain your bi-monthly, monthly, etc. salary. However, you should be able to keep your mileage.

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Can my employer fire me for not being at work due to jury duty?

Pursuant to Title 28, U.S.C. Section 1875 “No employer shall discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate, or coerce any permanent employee by reason of such employee’s jury service, or the attendance or scheduled attendance in connection with such service, in any court of the United States.”

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May I bring my children?

No. Please do not bring your children to court as there are no facilities for them.

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What should I wear?

Jurors should be comfortably dressed. We prefer that you do not come in tank tops, halters, flip-flops, etc. We encourage you to bring a sweater or jacket as the courtrooms can get cold.

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Can I bring a cell phone, laptop or pager into the Courthouse?

Cell phones and other electronic devices with cameras WILL NOT be allowed beyond the security check points. However, these devices WITHOUT cameras are allowed.

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