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Jurors who have served less than 12 months ago are not required to serve. While we have procedures in place ensuring that jurors are not called twice in a 12-month period, people occasionally slip through because of name or identification number changes. If you served outside of Berrien County (In a state, federal, or other County's court) we require documentation to excuse you.
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To be excused from jury duty for a medical reason, a letter must be submitted from your physician stating that you are unable to serve. This letter should be returned with your questionnaire no later than three weeks before your assigned week of service. These letters are forwarded to the presiding judge for consideration and you will receive verification if you are excused.
If you are permanently disabled, please be certain that your physician includes that information when writing your letter. If your physician does not specify a permanent condition your name may be drawn again the following year.
If you do not return your physician's note with your original questionnaire due to time considerations you are welcome to submit it via email the Jury Clerk or fax to 269-982-8643.
Individuals with hearing problems should participate in the jury selection so that they can hear the acoustics in the courtroom. If they cannot hear properly at that time they should advise the judge or bailiff and they will be excused.
By law, and employer cannot fire, discipline or threaten such action against an employee who is summoned for jury duty or chosen to serve on a jury, even for a long trial. Nor can employers force a worker to go beyond normal hours to make up for time spent on jury service. An employer who takes these actions could be guilty of a misdemeanor or held in contempt of court.
600.1348 Jurors; threats, discharge, or discipline by employer; requiring additional hours of work; misdemeanor; penalty.
(1) An employer or the employer's agent, who threatens to discharge or discipline or who discharges, disciplines, or causes to be discharged from employment or to be disciplined a person because that person is summoned for jury duty, serves on a jury, or has served on a jury, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and may also be punished for contempt of court.
College students are required to serve at the conclusion of the semester or academic year. Respond to the questionnaire with a week that the student will be available. If a student has relocated and established a residence away at school (ex. renting an apartment year-round in East Lansing or Ann Arbor), that student may be excused as a non-resident with proof of their relocation (signed lease agreement, utility bill, etc.) or a copy of their state-issued I.D. including their updated address.
If the child is not taking any supplemental feedings, a letter must be submitted by the pediatrician for you to be excused. If you do not return your physician's note with your original questionnaire due to time considerations you are welcome to submit it via email to Jury Clerk or fax to 269-982-8643.
Day care services are not available at the courthouse. Jurors are notified several weeks in advance of their week of jury service and this should give you ample time to locate a sitter or a daycare center who you are comfortable with.
Under Michigan law, jurors are paid as follows:
Jurors also receive mileage for their trips to and from court. Prospective jurors who are not selected to sit on a trial are still paid for their participation.
You can be held in contempt of court, fined or even jailed.
People over 70 may be exempted from service if they choose to do so.
You may be called for jury duty more than once, but you may only serve as a seated juror once per year. If you have served as a juror in a court outside of Berrien County and wish to claim this exemption we will require documentation to excuse you.
No, you may not serve. Complete your questionnaire accordingly. If you have been convicted in Berrien County, jury staff will search our records to verify conviction. If you were convicted in another county or state we require proof of sentencing to be forwarded for consideration. If you do not return your documentation along with your original questionnaire due to time considerations you are welcome to submit it via email to Jury Clerk or fax to 269-982-8643.
Juror information is provided to us by the Secretary of State Office in Lansing. These names are taken from the driver's license and state ID card listing which the Secretary of State's Office maintains. Names are then randomly selected by computer system.
Please advise us of which months you will be available to serve.
Contact the Jury Clerk.