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Austin Jury Instructions

Juror Instructions:

Notice Regarding Recent Federal Juror Summons
Posted: 11/21/2014

Attention Jurors:

If you are serving on a panel or have recently served on a panel, please disregard any federal juror summons asking you to report for January 2015. You may have inadvertently received a summons. Please note this only applies to jurors that are currently serving or have recently served.

Should you have any questions, please contact the Jury Clerk from your local courthouse.

Thank you.

 

JURY INFORMATION AVAILABLE 24 HOURS A DAY AT:

Check Reporting Instructions or call either:

  • 1-888-587-9329 (toll-free), or
  • 1-210-472-4912 (direct)

Attention New Jurors:

Jurors scheduled for service beginning in January 2015, your reporting instructions will not be available until December 29, 2014.

Attention New Jurors:

Jurors scheduled for service beginning January 2015, please submit your postponement or excuse request at the address listed on the summons.

INFORMATION ABOUT FEDERAL JURY SERVICE

LOCATION:
United States District Courthouse
501 West 5th Street
Austin, Texas 78701
Main Courthouse Location

Homer Thornberry Judicial Building
903 San Jacinto Street, Room 360
Austin, Texas 78701
Thornberry Courthouse Location

Unless notified otherwise, you will report for jury duty to the Jury Assembly Room on the first floor of the U.S. District Courthouse. The Jury Assembly Room is located in Suite 1400.

Get Driving Directions to the Austin Courthouse:

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From:
ENTERING COURTHOUSE:
Please have a photo identification card available to present when entering the courthouse building.
PARKING:
If you choose to travel by personal vehicle, there are parking lots located at:
  • AMPCO Parking - 504 Lavaca Plaza
  • Parking Systems of America Garage - Corner of 2nd Street and Violet Crown
  • Parking Systems of America Surface Garage - Corner of 4th and Guadalupe Street
You may park at any bank garage if public spaces are available. Do not park at parking meters. We cannot dismiss parking tickets. You may also access the Capital Metro's website at Capital Metro to get information on available bus service in your area.
YOUR SUMMONS:
Your summons includes important information about your jury service in Federal Court.
How long will I serve?
Your jury panel is subject to being called during the next TWO MONTHS, starting from the day listed on your summons.

Prospective Grand Jurors:   See Grand Jury Service Information at the bottom of this page.

Top of summons showing month when service is required

What day do I begin my service?
Your Summons will instruct you to report on a certain day and time. Please allow the entire day for your jury service.
The summons indicates I am on call for two months. How will I be informed about when to report?
Under the "Reporting Instructions" section of your summons, jurors are instructed to access our message system each Friday, after 5:30 p.m., and again Sunday after 6:00 p.m. When accessing our message system via phone or the web, you must enter your Juror Participant Number. The Participant Number can be found on your summons.

Prospective Grand Jurors:   See Grand Jury Service Information at the bottom of this page.

Instructions to determine when you report for service

What is the expected length and frequency of my service?
Jury selections are scheduled on Mondays with very few exceptions. If you report for jury duty and are not selected, you will receive instructions to call each Friday after 5:30 p.m. and Sunday after 6:00 p.m. for further instructions. Jurors can be summoned more than once during their two month term of service and can serve on more than one trial during that term. If you are selected for a trial and it lasts more than one day, the judge will dismiss the jury each evening and instruct you as to what time you will need to report in the next day. Most of the trials last from 2 - 5 days. If the trial continues later into the evening than expected, you will be given enough time to get in touch with your family to make any necessary arrangements.

Prospective Grand Jurors:   See Grand Jury Service Information at the bottom of this page.
SUMMONS JUROR QUALIFICATION QUESTIONNAIRE:
Enclosed with your summons you will find a Summons Juror Qualification Questionnaire. Please complete this form and return it as soon as possible. All blanks must be answered. It is very important that you include your phone number, in the event our office needs to contact you should changes in the Court's schedule occur. If a question does not pertain to you, please write N/A (Not Applicable). You will receive a self-addressed, postage paid envelope to be used when returning the completed Summons Juror Qualification Questionnaire.

Top of Juror Qualification Questionnaire

EXCUSES:
Requests to be excused or postponed from jury service at any time during your term of service should be sent to the address below. Included with your summons, you will find an excuse form that you can use to submit your excuse in writing. Do not write your request on the questionnaire. Your written excuse may be mailed in the same envelope as your questionnaire and you must include the Jury Panel and Juror Participant Number assigned to you. If you have any temporary conflicts, planned trips, meetings, doctor appointments, etc., during the two month term you are summoned, you need to submit this information immediately, or you may not be excused for that day. A juror can check the status of their request by accessing our Jury Messaging System (see section on "Excuse Request Status", below). Do not assume your request has been granted. There are very few automatic exemptions from federal jury service. Address all requests to:

Clerk, United States District Court
Attention: Jury Clerk
501 5th Street, Room 1120
Austin, Texas 78701

OR

you may also submit your excuse request on-line:   Request Postponement or Excuse.

Attention New Jurors:

Jurors scheduled for service beginning January 2015, please submit your postponement or excuse request at the address listed on the summons.

Please remember that you are not excused until you receive a response from the Court.

If you require an extreme hardship excuse or postponement AFTER you start your term of service, submit your request immediately. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL YOU RECEIVE ANOTHER SUMMONS TO REPORT.

If you submit a request to be excused or postponed on the day you are directed to report, and the Court grants your request, you will not be reimbursed for attendance, hotel, mileage or parking fee.

Jurors who fail to report for jury duty and who have not been excused by the Court may be served a Show Cause Order by a United States Deputy Marshal. Those jurors will be ordered to appear before the Court to show cause why they should not be held in contempt of the Jury Service and Selection Act. Contempt penalties range from a $1,000 fine, imprisonment of not more than three days, performance of community service, or any combination thereof.
EXCUSE REQUEST STATUS:
The decision of the Court will be made available to you by accessing our Jury Messaging System at 888-587-9329 or on-line at Reporting Instructions. Please make sure you have your Participant Number available when accessing the message system. When an excuse request is submitted to our office, the Jury Messaging System will either state that your request has been granted or denied. Allow 3-5 business days before accessing the Jury Messaging System to check the status of your excuse request.
JUROR FEES:
A $40.00 daily attendance fee is paid for each day you report for jury duty (with the exception of Federal Government employees).

A prescribed rate per mile is paid for the distance traveled to and from a juror's residence by the shortest practical route in going to and returning from the place of service.

Jurors who travel 70 miles or more, one way, to Austin are eligible to receive a subsistence allowance for lodging if they choose to stay overnight. You may travel the day before you are instructed to report. You will be reimbursed a set per diem for each night you are required to stay for jury service. You will need to provide the jury clerk with your hotel receipts. If an on-line hotel booking service is used, the following two documents must be provided to the jury clerk: 1) Receipt from the on-line service and, 2) Receipt from the hotel detailing when the juror checked-in and checked-out. This documentation can be provided in a letter from the hotel. A lone receipt from the on-line service will not satisfy the documentation our office needs to reimburse you in a timely manner. A list of hotels in downtown Austin is available.
CONDUCT OF JURORS:
The following is a guideline for courtroom decorum which jurors are asked to observe:
  1. Rise when addressing or being addressed by the Judge and always begin your answer to a question by stating your juror number.
  2. No tobacco in any form at any time.
  3. No propping of feet on tables and/or chairs.
  4. No bottles, beverage containers, paper cups or food shall be brought into the courtroom.
  5. No gum chewing, reading of newspapers and/or magazines (except as part of evidence in a case).
  6. All jurors must wear appropriate attire; items such as shorts, cutoffs, tank or tube tops, over-revealing clothing or sandals without socks or hose are not considered proper attire. Jeans (no holes or patches) are considered appropriate attire. Hats may not be worn in the courtroom.
CHANGES OF NAMES, ADDRESS, TELEPHONE NUMBER AND/OR EMPLOYMENT:
A current mailing address is important and required in order for your jury check to be delivered by the postal service. The U.S. Post Office will not forward jury checks.

Jurors who have a change of name, address, phone number and/or employment after they have submitted their Summons Juror Qualification Questionnaire should submit these changes to the Jury Clerk as soon as possible. Be sure to indicate your nine-digit Jury Participant Number and Jury Panel Number with the changes being submitted.

A current daytime phone number is also important in the event we need to contact you by telephone.
GRAND JURY SERVICE INFORMATION:
If you received a grand jury summons, the above information (i.e. Summons Juror Qualification Questionnaire, Excuses, and etc.) applies to you. Additionally, please note the following:
Term of Service - In the Austin division, the term of service for grand jurors is six months.
Frequency of Service – If selected to serve as a grand juror, the grand jury will meet once a month, unless otherwise instructed.
Size of Grand Jury – Twenty-three (23) members will be selected to serve on the Grand Jury.
Reporting Instructions – Your summons indicates when to access your reporting instructions to verify your initial reporting date. If you are selected as a grand juror, you will receive further information about when to report.

If you have additional questions regarding your jury service to this Court, please feel free to call the Jury Clerk at (512) 916-5896, ext 8716.