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Jury Service in the U.S. District Court
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Please Read: Juror Telephone Scam
Identity theft affects millions of Americans every year. In parts of the United States, thieves posing as court employees have contacted potential victims over the phone. Often, the caller demands a payment or financial information. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be a court employee, do not provide any financial information over the phone. If you are selected for jury service, we will never ask for personal financial information over the phone.
The courts have prepared a short video to protect against this type of identity theft. Click here to watch
How Jurors are Selected
First, a master jury wheel is created by randomly selecting names from a list of people who voted in the Western District of Wisconsin in the most recent presidential election. Periodically, names are randomly drawn from the master jury wheel to receive juror qualification questionnaires and summonses to report for grand or petit jury service. These questionnaires determine whether an individual is legally qualified to serve. Qualified individuals are expected to report for service pursuant to the court's instructions.
All selections are carried out through an electronic data processing system for randomized selection. This process ensures that the odds of any one person being selected for jury service are substantially equal.
Petit Jury Service
A petit jury is a trial jury, composed of 6 to 12 members, that hears a civil or criminal case and renders a verdict after hearing the evidence offered by the parties.
The purpose of this handbook is to acquaint trial jurors with the general nature and importance of their role as jurors. It explains some of the language and procedures used in court, and it offers some suggestions helpful to jurors in performing this important public service.
This document has information specific to your service as a federal petit juror in Madison, Wisconsin.
- This document has information specific to your service as a federal petit juror in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Grand Jury Service
A federal grand jury does not determine guilt or innocence, but whether there is probable cause to believe that a crime was committed by a specific person or persons. If a grand jury finds probable cause to believe that a crime was committed, it will return a written statement of charges called an indictment.
- This handbook will acquaint persons who have been selected to serve on a federal grand jury with the general nature and importance of their role as grand jurors. It explains some of the terms that grand jurors will encounter during their service and offers some suggestions helpful to them in performing this important public service.
- Specifics for grand jurors serving in the Western District of Wisconsin.
Confirming Your Reporting Status
If you receive a summons for jury service, you are "on call" for a period of one month. However, you are required to travel to the courthouse only if you receive notice to serve.
All prospective jurors are required to complete a JUROR INFORMATION FORM. The form must be completed and returned to the court within five days of receipt of a summons, either by returning the detachable portion of the summons, or by completing an online form on the court's e-Juror website, https://ecf.wiwd.uscourts.gov/ejuror. Please provide a current telephone number and address, as the court may need to contact you.
During your "on call" period, you are responsible for verifying your weekly reporting status by checking the e-Juror website or by calling (608) 264-5091 every Tuesday after 3:00 PM. You will need your participant number to access either the website or the automated phone system. Your participant number is located on your summons, above your name and address.
If you are asked to travel to the courthouse, it is strongly suggested that you confirm your reporting status before you leave, as last-minute changes may affect your scheduled appearance.
The court understands that jury service may be an inconvenience. If serving on a jury at any time during your "on call" period would result in undue hardship, you may request to be postponed or excused from service. Please submit such a request as early as possible before you are scheduled to report for service. Please note that you must complete a JUROR INFORMATION FORM before the court may consider any such request.