Austin Jury Instructions

IMPORTANT

​We have had recent reports that potential jurors are receiving scam phone calls regarding jury duty.  The U.S. Marshals and the FBI are alerting the public of several nationwide imposter scams involving individuals claiming to be U.S. marshals, court officers, or other law enforcement officials. During these calls, scammers attempt to collect a fine in lieu of arrest due to a claim of identity theft, failing to report for jury duty, or other offenses. Anyone who suspects a jury scam should not provide the requested information, hang up the phone, and immediately notify the U.S. District Clerk’s Office of the U.S. District Court in their area, as well as local law enforcement and the Federal Trade Commission.

U.S. Marshal Service Alert

U.S. Courts Article on Juror Scams

JURY INFORMATION AVAILABLE 24 HOURS A DAY AT:

Juror Questionnaire

I Received A Questionnaire

Fill out your Juror Information Form and Supplemental Questionnaire online.

Jury Summons

I Received A Summons Postcard

Respond to your Jury Summons online.

Jury Duty Status

When Do I Report

View your Jury Duty Status and Reporting Instructions online. You can also call either 1-888-587-9329 or 1-210-472-4912 for the same information.


Submit Excuse

I Want To Be Excused

Submit an Excuse or Request a Postponement online.

DID YOU RECEIVE A JURY SUMMONS POSTCARD IN THE MAIL? 

     

 

If you received a summons for jury service in our court, you must complete a Juror Information Form and Supplemental Questionnaire.

You can scan the QR code located on the front of the postcard or click the link  “I Received a Summons Postcard”.

You will need your unique nine-digit participant number which is located above your name and address to complete.

INFORMATION ABOUT FEDERAL JURY SERVICE

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

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:

300 San Antonio St, LAZ Parking, State of Texas Garage N (no parking attendant, payment taken at kiosk.)

2nd & Guadalupe, Austin City Hall (Traveling south on Guadalupe, the garage entrance is accessed from the left lane.)

Parking expense is usually between $25-$35 and can be made with either a credit card or exact dollar amount since kiosks do not have the ability to make change. Do not park at parking meters! We cannot dismiss or reimburse for parking tickets. You may also access the Capital Metro’s website at Capital Metro to get information on available bus or train service in your area.

YOUR SUMMONS:

Your summons postcard includes important information about your jury service in Federal Court.  You will need your participant number located on the reverse side of the postcard above your name.

How long will I serve?
Your jury pool 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.

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?
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.

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.

JUROR INFORMATION FORM:
Enclosed with your summons postcard you will find the QR code and our website address to complete the Juror Information Form and Supplemental Questionnaire. Please complete these forms as soon as possible. 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. All blanks must be answered. If a question does not pertain to you, please mark with a N/A (Not Applicable).   If you do not have access to the internet, call 866-279-7008 and select option 2.  Leave a message with your name and participant number to request a paper copy to be mailed you.  You will receive a self-addressed, postage paid envelope to be used when returning the completed forms.

EXCUSES:
If you have a request to be excused or posted from jury service, you will need to complete the request here Request Postponement or Excuse, emailing, or calling the jury office.  Return within five (5) days of receiving your summons postcard. If emailing or calling, your request must indicate the 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). You are NOT to assume that your request has been granted. Federal law is very strict regarding the granting of excuses and there are very few automatic exemptions from federal jury service.

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

austintx_jury@txwd.uscourts.gov

OR

you may also submit your excuse request on-line: Request Postponement or Excuse (after completing your Juror Information Form).

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 $50.00 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 reside 70 or more miles from the courthouse are eligible to receive reimbursement for the exact amount that is detailed on their lodging receipt, up to $140(Nov-Jan), $161(Feb-Jun), $131(Jul-Aug) and $158(Sept), which is the maximum GSA lodging rate for Austin. If a juror elects lodging that is in excess of the GSA lodging rate, the juror will be responsible for the overage. Jurors incurring an overnight stay will also receive a Meal and Incidental Expense allowance of $64 for each day of travel, including the day the juror returns home. The use of online booking sites are discouraged since the court does not reimburse booking fees. 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 the nightly lodging rate and the time when the juror checked-in and checked-out. 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. It gets very chilly in our courtrooms, therefore, you may wish to bring a jacket or sweater.
  7. Cell phones, iPads, laptops, and etc. are permitted in the building, however they must remain off, muted and put away.

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. Juror Information Form, 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 one year.
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 postcard and/or package 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) 391-8702 or email at austintx_jury@txwd.uscourts.gov

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