Your name was randomly selected from a list maintained by the State of Michigan of registered voters, licensed drivers and state-issued ID cardholders. Subsequently, you were mailed a jury summons and qualification questionnaire to complete and return to the Court.
Both civil and criminal cases are tried in federal court. A civil case involves a dispute between two or more individuals or corporations. The party bringing the action may request monetary damages or may ask the court to order the defendant to perform or stop performing certain actions or both. In a civil case a person called the plaintiff files a complaint against another party, the defendant, who then must file an answer to the complaint.
Criminal cases are also tried in federal court if they involve breaking a federal law. In the federal court, a criminal case must be brought by the U.S. Attorney who serves as the attorney for the government. The evidence alleging the individual committed a federal crime must be presented to a grand jury and if the citizens on the grand jury agree, they issue an indictment. The person is then arrested and required to plead "guilty" or "not guilty" to the crime. If the person pleads "not guilty," he or she must have a trial.
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 instruction on the applicable law from the judge, 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. More information is available in the Handbook for Trial Jurors Serving in the United States District Courts.
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 23 jurors. In Detroit grand jurors generally serve four to six days per month for 18 months. In divisional offices grand jurors generally serve two to three days per month for 18 months. Grand jury terms may be extended if necessary. More information is available in the Handbook for Federal Grand Jurors.
Jury duty in state court does not exempt you from jury duty in Federal Court.
If you receive a jury summons, and have served on a grand or petit jury in a federal court within the last two years, you may request to be excused. You must indicate your request on your juror qualification questionnaire. Please include the location of the federal court in which you served.
Jurors are expected to dress in a manner reflective of the formality of the court proceedings and to preserve the dignity of the Court. Business casual attire is acceptable. Clothing such as tank or halter tops, plunging necklines, shorts, t-shirts, blue jeans, sweatpants, flip-flops, or sneakers is not appropriate wear while you are sitting as a juror. You may wish to bring a sweater or jacket as temperatures vary in the courtrooms. No hats are permitted in the courtroom during any proceedings.
Grand jury members, petit jury members, and persons appearing as directed pursuant to a jury summons may carry a Personal Electronic Device, but may not use the device in any way except upon permission of a judicial officer. A Personal Electronic Device includes any cellular telephone, smart phone, and any other comparable device.
Laptops, iPads, or similar tablets/computing devices are prohibited in the courthouse. Please leave these items at home or in your car. See Local Rule 83.32 for more information.
Not driving does not excuse you from jury service. Public transportation may be available. If you have someone drive you, he/she is welcome to wait in the jury assembly room while you are in the courtroom. Please be advised taxi fare is not a reimbursable expense.
If you fail to report when summoned for jury duty, the Court may issue an Order to Show
Cause. The order will require you to explain why you did not obey the summons. The
Court may hold a hearing on the Order to Show Cause.
As a result of the Order to Show Cause, a person who does not report for jury service may
be subject to prosecution under 28 U.S.C. § 1866(g). Penalties range from a fine of not
more than $1,000, up to three days in jail, community service, or any combination thereof.
You will be paid an attendance fee of $50.00 per day and mileage for traveling to and from the federal court facility. Mileage is computed from the center of the zip code in which you reside to the court location. A check for your attendance fee, mileage and if applicable, parking reimbursement will be sent your home address approximately two weeks after jury service has been completed.
No, but you may bring a snack or lunch with you. The lunch hour is usually between 1 - 2 p.m. but this may vary. None of the court locations have any formal eating facilities. There are vending areas and a small snack shop located in the Detroit courthouse. The jury clerk can provide you with information on various restaurants. If you do wish to drive to a restaurant, please note that you will not be reimbursed for your parking a second time.
The court has taken steps to minimize the amount of time that jurors must wait in the jury room and to make that room as comfortable as possible. Unfortunately delays are sometimes unavoidable so it's a good idea to bring along a book or some other form of quiet entertainment.
It is possible, but rare for someone to serve on more than one jury during their term of service. If someone serves on a short trial or is selected for a jury and the case settles, he or she may still be required to call in for the rest of their term of service.