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Jury Duty FAQ

Can I defer my jury duty?

Deferment is not always a possibility, but we try to accommodate your busy schedules as much as we can. To request a deferment, you should complete the appropriate section of the juror questionnaire. You will receive a letter from the court with either your new service dates or a denial of your request within four weeks of making the request.

Even though I have received a Summons, is it possible that I will not be required to come to court during the dates shown?

Yes. It is impossible to predict the number of trials that will take place each week. Some of the jury trials that are scheduled are settled, dismissed, or otherwise resolved without requiring a jury. For this reason, we have implemented the juror call-in system. Jurors need to call 785-832-5108 between 5:30 p.m. on Friday and 8:00 a.m. on Monday, the weekend before your beginning date. A recorded phone message will give reporting information based on your Group Number. You will be told when you are to report or when you are to call again.

How are jurors selected for a particular trial?

Cases will usually be heard by juries of six or twelve jurors. A larger group, called a panel, will be sent to the courtroom where the jurors will be questioned by the lawyers in a process called Voir Dire. A juror may be excused from the panel if it is shown that the juror cannot act impartially concerning the case to be heard. After Voir Dire is completed, each side is allowed to remove a given number of jurors from the panel without having to show any reason. The remaining panel members become the jurors for the case.
 

How can I get out of jury service?

We encourage everyone to serve jury duty when summoned. It is an interesting and rewarding experience, as well as being a civic duty. Before requesting to be excused, you should consider the following: If you were to be involved in a case that went to a jury of your peers, who would you want to be on that panel? You probably would want people, who, like yourself, are capable of making reasoned and informed decisions. So, it stands to reason that you should be willing to provide that service as well. However, for good cause shown, you may be excused from jury duty.

I haven't heard anything from the court about my requested deferment or excusal. What do I do?

You will be notified if your request has been granted or denied. You may contact the Jury Coordinator at (785) 832-5213 if you have not heard from the court within four weeks after making the request. You MUST report if you have not received a response to your request to be excused or deferred. Failure to report for jury duty can result in your being found in contempt of court.

I meet the eligibility requirements to be a juror, but am I actually qualified to be a juror?

Yes. Everyone is qualified to be a juror. You do not need any special skills, training, or legal knowledge to be a juror. As a juror, you will be responsible for impartially evaluating all the facts that are presented to you during the trial and, as the judge instructs, apply the law as it is written to the facts of the case. As a juror you will be expected to listen carefully, remain open minded, and follow instructions.