United States District Court  - Southern District of Ohio
Home Site Map Contact the Court Electronic Case Filing Log-In

 
   
Arrow Attorney Information
Arrow About the Court
Arrow Cameras in the Court Room
Arrow Clerk's Office
Arrow Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF)
Arrow Employment
Arrow Fee Schedule
Arrow Forms
Arrow General Orders
Arrow Judges
Arrow Juror Information
Arrow Links
Arrow Local Rules
Arrow Mediation
Arrow Standing Committees
Arrow Criminal Justice Act
Frequently Asked Questions About Juror Service

Contact the Jury Administrator in Cincinnati
Contact the Jury Administrator in Columbus
Contact the Jury Administrator in Dayton

If any of your questions are not answered below you may email your questions to the Jury Clerk in the appropriate city.

What types of cases are tried in the Federal Court?
How are jurors selected?
What is a Petit Jury?
What is a Grand Jury?
Will I be compensated for serving as a juror?
How long do I serve?
Why do I call the message each weekend?
How will I know when to report for jury duty?
How will I know if my assigned juror number has been chosen requiring me to report for jury service?
What if I am unable to serve?
What is failure to appear?
Is my job protected while I serve on jury duty?
What about courthouse security?
A word of thanks.

What types of cases are tried in the Federal Court?
Both civil and criminal cases are tried in U.S. District Courts. The specific kinds of cases are set forth in Article III of the U.S. Constitution and in federal statutes. These are controversies to which the United States is a party and controversies between two or more states. The federal court also decides cases involving constitutional rights, laws enacted by Congress, and treaties and laws relating to navigable waters. Suits between citizens of different states may be heard in the U.S. Courts only if the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. Typical criminal charges in a federal court are those involving violations of narcotics laws, income tax, mail theft, counterfeiting and crimes committed on federal property (Wright Patterson AFB , VA hospital, Federal Bldg.) .
Back to Top

How are jurors selected?
Names are obtained from the Ohio Secretary of State voter registration lists and the Bureau of Motor Vehicle lists. A qualification questionnaire is sent by mail to prospective jurors. Once the questionnaire is returned to the court, the names of qualified persons are placed in a computerized jury program. A random selection is made for the summoning of prospective jurors pursuant to the jury plan established by the judges of this court.
Back to Top

What is a Petit Jury?
A trial jury is also called a Petit Jury. This is a group of people selected by the judge and attorneys who determine any question or issue of fact in a civil or criminal trial according to law and the evidence introduced at the trial.
Back to Top

What is a Grand Jury?
A Grand Jury is a group of not more than 23 people that serve for approximately 12-18 months. The Grand Jury does not determine guilt or innocence, but whether there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed and that a specific person or persons committed it. If the Grand Jury finds that probable cause exists, then it will return a written statement of the charges called an indictment. After that, the indictment is filed as a criminal case and randomly assigned to a District Judge. In a sense the Grand Jury operates both as a "sword" authorizing the government's prosecution of suspected criminals and also as a "shield" protecting citizens from unwarranted or inappropriate prosecutions.
Back to Top

Will I be compensated for serving as a juror?
As a juror you will receive:

  • $40.00 for each day of attendance (Federal employees, except Postal employees are not entitled to attendance fees).
  • $0.565 cents a mile for round trip travel. You must complete the certificate of mileage for payment.
  • Subsistence: If you live at least 75 miles one way from the courthouse, you may stay overnight in the city to which you were summoned to serve the night before you are to report for service. If you do not live the required distance, and must stay overnight, you must get authorization from the jury deputy before you can be reimbursed. The court will allow $138.00 per night in Dayton, $150.00 per night in Columbus, and $174.00 per night in Cincinnati. This amount is subject to change pursuant to the directive of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. You must bring your hotel receipt with you to the courthouse.
  • Method of payment: Payment for jury service will be mailed after you have served.
  • Parking (Please refer to your summons for updated information on parking.)

Back to Top

How long do I serve?
Petit jurors are summoned for a one month period. During your service period you may be called to report for selection no more than twice or be seated as a juror on one trial. The Court may issue summons for special cases for different periods of time.
Back to Top

Why do I call the message each weekend?
The Court's schedule sometimes changes at the last minute. Rather than make an unnecessary trip to the Courthouse, it is very important to call each weekend or evening as instructed during your service period. You will hear a recorded message, which will be available 24 hours a day. The recording may give you detailed instructions on reporting or may ask you to call another time.
Back to Top

How will I know when to report for jury duty?
Jurors normally are asked to report at 8:00 A.M. or other times as specified in the jury message. The typical court day is from 9:00-5:00. It is very important that jurors report on time, as the court cannot commence until all jurors are present. Dress code: While there is no formal dress code, jurors are requested to dress in a manner respectful to the court.
Back to Top

How will I know if my assigned juror number has been chosen requiring me to report for jury service?
Each juror is assigned a participant number. Your participant number is located above and to the right of your name and address and (next to the bar code) on the summons for jury service. Upon entering this number on the online or automated call-in system you will receive your current status and reporting instructions.
Back to Top

What if I am unable to serve?
If you have a situation which would cause you undue hardship or extreme inconvenience by appearing in court, or if you have a prepaid vacation during the time summoned, you must do the following: notify the court by mail or online that a postponement of your jury service is essential, and explain all the facts and include the earliest day in the near future when you can attend. Your letter must contain your participant number. A judge will review your letter and you will be able to call the automated system or go online and check your status.  Please allow 7 to 10 business days to process your request before you call or check your status online.  You will not receive a written response in the mail.
Back to Top

What is failure to appear?
Unless you receive a notice from this court granting a postponement of your jury service, or unless the court notifies you by phone or mail to appear at a different time, YOU MUST REPORT AS DIRECTED BY THE SUMMONS . FAILURE TO DO SO MAY BE PUNISHABLE BY FINE AND/OR IMPRISONMENT AS STATED IN 28 U.S.C. 1864:
"Any person who fails to appear ... or who fails to show good cause for noncompliance with the [Jury] summons may be fined not more than $100 or imprisoned not more than three days, or both."
Back to Top

Is my job protected while I serve on jury duty?
Your job is protected under title 28 U.S.C. Section 1875 which reads, in part:

  • "No employer shall discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate, or coerce any permanent employee by reason of such employee jury service, or attendance or scheduled attendance in connection with such service, in any court of the United States.
  • Any employer who violates the provision of this section -
    • shall be liable for damages for any loss of wages or other benefits suffered by an employee by reason of such violation;
    • may be enjoined from further violations of this section and ordered to provide other appropriate relief, including but not limited to the reinstatement of any employee discharged by reason of his jury service; and
    • shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $1,000 for each violation as to each employee."

Back to Top

What about courthouse security?
Cameras, cell phones, radios, recorders, firearms, mace, pocket knives or other potential weapons are not permitted in the Courthouse.

Should a fire alarm sound while you are serving, please remain in the courtroom and follow the instructions of the judge or the courtroom deputy.
Back to Top

A word of thanks...
The judicial officers and jury administrators of the Southern District of Ohio thank you for serving. As a juror you are participating in the administration of justice. There is no more valuable service that a citizen can perform in support of our democratic government than the good faith performance of jury duty. We hope you find your jury service to be an interesting and rewarding experience. Please feel free to contact our office with any questions or problems that you experience during the course of your term.
Back to Top