Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Am I qualified to serve as a Juror in Denton County?
The laws and rules regarding statutory qualifications are found in Sec. 62.102 of the Government Code.
You are qualified to serve as a petit juror in Denton County if you are:
- At least 18 years of age
- A citizen of the United States
- A resident in Denton County
- Are of sound mind and good moral character (Documentation must be submitted to prove otherwise.)
- Are able to read and write
- Have not served as a petit juror in the Denton County courts system during the preceding 6 months. (This does not include federal or municipal courts.)
- Have not been convicted of a misdemeanor theft.
- Have not been convicted of a felony
- Are not under indictment or any type of legal accusation for a felony or any type of theft.
May I claim a legal exemption (be excused) from jury duty?
You are not required to claim an exemption even though one might apply to you. If you would like to serve even though you are eligible for an exemption then we certainly appreciate your choosing to do so. The Statutes regarding jury duty exemptions are found in Section 62.106 of the Government Code.
You MAY claim an exemption from jury duty if you are:
- You are 70 years of age or older.
- You have legal custody of a child under the age of 12 and serving on jury duty would necessitate leaving this child(ren) without adequate supervision. This exemption does not apply if you work outside the home during normal business hours. You may be excused if you are working part-time or unusual hours.
- You are a high school or college student. This exemption applies for those who are currently in actual attendance. You must be attending during hours that would conflict with your jury service. Jury service is usually 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- You are an officer or employee of the Senate, the House of Representatives or any department, commission, board, office or agency of the legislative branch of government. This exemption does not apply to a person who is just a member of a board: (A) To be an officer means president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, etc.; (B) To be an employee means to be on the payroll of the Senate, House, committee, board, or any agency in the legislative branch.
- You have served as a petit juror in Denton County during the three-year period preceding the date you are to appear for jury service. This exemption is for those who were one of six or twelve jurors chosen for a trial and were sworn in by the judge. This does not apply to those who served on a Municipal Court or Federal Court jury.
- You are a primary caretaker of an invalid who is unable to care for him/herself. To qualify for this exemption, you must be the only caretaker and you must live at the same address as that person. Invalids in nursing or residential homes have caretakers. If you work as a health care provider, you are not eligible for this exemption.
- Medical conditions. (Physical or mental impairment) If you have a medical condition which would make it impossible or very difficult to serve as a juror, you may request an exemption by completing the Affidavit for Exemption and returning it to Jury Services. Your request will be submitted to a judge and you will be notified if your request is granted or denied.
- Active Duty Military. You are a member of the United States military forces serving on active duty and deployed to a location away from your home station and out of your county of residence.
Can I change my report date?
YES! Denton County allows every juror one postponement for any reason at all in order for everyone to have the opportunity to pick a date better suited for their individual schedule. After completion of your questionnaire on-line you are given the opportunity to select from a variety of dates available and reschedule yourself or you may call Jury Services and one of the jury staff will assist you with your request. Before choosing to reschedule your service please understand that you are limited to just ONE change so please be sure that you choose your new appearance date carefully.
Are Jurors paid for their service?
Jurors are paid for their service. Each juror receives six dollars ($6) for the first day of appearance and forty dollars ($40) for the second and any subsequent days of appearance. Jurors may donate their pay to a number of organizations that have been approved by the Denton County Commissioners Court. Total donations to those organizations averages about $75,000 annually.
*Payment is processed at the end of jury service, and a check is mailed to each juror within two to three weeks of their service.*
Must my employer pay me while I’m on jury service?
Unfortunately your employer is not currently required by Texas state law to pay you while you are serving jury duty. However the law states that an employer can not terminate your employment for attending jury service.
What if I am self-employed?
Unfortunately there are no business/self-employment exemptions administered by the state legislature at this time.
How long does jury service last?
Approximately 20% of prospective jurors are selected for trials. If you are not selected to sit as a juror on a case, you can expect to be released for the week. If you are selected, you will serve for one trial. Surprisingly, the average trial only lasts 1 to three (3) days.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
I have received a summons for my son or daughter who is away attending college. May I take care of this for them or do I have to mail it to them?
Yes, you may take care of this matter by indicating on the back of the summons that they are enrolled in college and just sign your name as a parent and return to Jury Services.
I have received a summons for a person who is now deceased. What do I do to take care of this?
Please write on the front or back of the summons “Deceased” and return to our office. We will then forward this information to the Denton County elections department.
I have received a summons for a person who does not live at this address. What do I do with the summons?
The summons needs to be returned indicating that the person does not live at the address. "Please return to sender this person does not live at the address."
I have received a summons for a person who is active duty military. How do I handle this?
Please write on the front or back of the summons “Active duty military” and return to our office.
What if I don’t have transportation?
There are no transportation exemptions. If you have not
been rescheduled before, then you may request a postponement in order to make better arrangements to appear. You may also contact the Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) at 940-243-0077. Here is a link to their website http://www.dcta.net/
which includes information regarding the new A-train available starting June 2011.
You will be required to pass through security at any county buildings in which courts are located. You will not be allowed to bring into the buildings any type of weapons, including pocket knives. Please leave anything that you think might not be allowed in your vehicle or at home.
Free parking is available all around the building.