Jury Scam Warning:
Jury scams have seen a resurgence in recent months. If you receive a phone call or an e-mail from
someone claiming to be a court official, DO NOT give them your social security number or credit card information. Our court will never ask for this confidential
information over the phone or by e-mail.
The following information can be accessed directly by clicking on the appropriate title:
- Jury Introduction
- Jury Introduction Video
- How was I selected?
- How long will I serve?
- Excuses from Service
- Continuance of Jury Service
- Must I have special knowledge?
- What is the working schedule?
- Courtroom Decorum
- Conduct of Jurors
- Jury Fees
- Stand-by Jurors
- Procedure of a Jury Trial
If you have been summoned to serve as a juror in the Eighteenth Judicial District of Kansas, commonly called the Sedgwick County District Court, the following information will be beneficial to you.
This page describes in general the functions of the jurors in the court. By reading it you will be able to make your contribution to the administration of justice more valuable and more rewarding.
You are being asked to perform one of the highest duties that can be imposed on any citizen. Therefore, it is important that you willingly and without reservation determine to do your duty as jurors in accord with the highest and truest sense of obligation and responsibility at your command.
You were selected at random with the use of a computer from the citizens of Sedgwick County.
If you are at least eighteen years of age, a citizen of the United States, a resident of Sedgwick County, are not now adjudged incompetent, are able to comprehend the English language, not currently breastfeeding, and have not been convicted of a felony in the last 10 years, you are eligible to serve as a juror.
All jury panels are called for a one-week period. If you are not selected as a juror during that week, your service will be concluded. If you are selected as a juror, your service will be over when the case is over. Although some cases last longer than one week, the vast majority of cases will average three or four days.
The judges are well aware that calling you for jury duty will result in an inconvenience to you. Under the law, the judge is permitted to excuse you only if your presence is required elsewhere for the public welfare, health or safety; if you are so physically or mentally infirm that you are not up to the task of jury duty; if you have served on a jury within the last year; or, if jury service would cause you extraordinary or compelling personal hardship. If you believe that you should be excused for one of these reasons, make your request known to the Jury Clerk.
If jury service on the scheduled date would cause you temporary extraordinary or compelling personal hardship, your jury service can be changed to a later date. Request for deferred jury service must be made before the date on your summons by calling the Jury Clerk.
For service as a juror, it is not expected or necessary that you have any special talents or training. The judge presiding in the trial will decide the law. You will decide the facts from the evidence presented in the case utilizing your experience and knowledge common to all persons in general. As a juror, you become an officer of the court, the judge of the facts - and determine the verdict in the case.
The hours of work are set by each judge with a break for lunch and recesses. At times it becomes necessary to work a little late - perhaps to complete the testimony of a witness from out of town to avoid a return the next day. But the normal working hours are 8:00am to 5:00pm.
During lunch you are permitted to leave the courthouse, and in the evenings you will be permitted to return to your homes. You may have read of cases where jurors are "sequestered" or kept together in the evenings during trial. You do not need to worry about this. Traditionally, we do not sequester juries, even during their deliberation on their verdict.
Sometimes there are delays before jurors are assigned to a court for trial. The parties have a legal right to settle their differences without a trial, and at times this may be done after the parties and lawyers come to court. Also, in some cases there are matters that must be taken up before trial, and this cannot be done until the actual day of trial. In either case, jurors usually remain in the assembly room rather than the courtroom. You may want to bring a book, magazine or needlework** in case the delay is longer than usual. We will inform you as soon as it is determined that you are not needed. Wireless internet access is available.
During the trial there are conferences on matters of law between the judge and the lawyers. These are part of the trial and are usually done outside the presence of the jury.
**Needlework - security does not allow pointed scissors or knitting needles. Crochet hooks are okay. Anything deemed dangerous will be confiscated and returned upon departure.
Whenever the judge enters the courtroom, all persons in attendance are required to rise, and court is opened formally by the bailiff of the court. Besides the judge and bailiff, the staff includes the certified shorthand reporter who records all the proceedings of the trial.
When a case is ready to be tried with a jury, the judge will announce the names of the parties and introduce the lawyers. The required number of jurors will then be called to sit in the jury box, and trial begins with the jury selection process.
The judge will inform you of your function and conduct as jurors. Generally, you will be instructed that during the trial you as jurors must not express any opinion about the case nor are you to discuss any part of the case among yourselves or with anyone else, nor have anyone discuss the case with you or in your presence. The reason here is obvious: you are bound to render a verdict based only upon the evidence presented during the trial, which the judge has determined proper and admissible for you to consider.
You will notice that the parties and their lawyers may appear to be aloof and unfriendly. They are not permitted to fraternize with jurors. This is intended to avoid even the appearance of any impropriety. Your contacts about the case must be made only with the judge and the bailiff.
All that will be expected of you is to be open-minded, fair, and objective, and determine the facts of the case and the verdict based upon the evidence presented, the judge's instructions, and your common sense.
The statutory jury fee of $10 per day is not intended to reflect the value Of Your services as jurors. It is simply a token payment to persons who are performing one of the duties of citizenship.
You will receive your fee plus a mileage and meal allowance approximately two weeks following your jury service. If you are excused at your request, you will not receive this fee since you will not have been eligible for jury service.
If you received a Stand-By Jury Summons you do not need to report to the courthouse unless you are instructed to. When you call the phone number on your summons you will reach a RECORDING which will tell you (1) that you should report for jury service on that day, (2) that you should call again later in the week or (3) that you are permanently excused.
The judges have adopted a stand-by system in order to avoid the time and expense involved in calling jurors when they are not needed.
- Jurors are called to the jury box and sworn to answer question concerning their qualifications to serve.
- Challenges to jurors.
- Jurors sworn.
- Opening statements
- Presentation of the evidence
- Closing argument by the lawyers
- Jury retires to deliberate
Deliberation of Jury
- Jurors select foreperson
- Discuss evidence and instructions Verdict reached
- Verdict read in open court
- Jury discharged
If you have questions about your rights or responsibilities as a juror, call the judge whose name appears on your summons or the Jury Clerk at 660-9101.
Your duty as a juror requires you to be prompt in your attendance, attentive to your duties, faithful to your oath, considerate and tolerant of your fellow jurors, sound and deliberate in you evaluation, firm but not stubborn in your convictions, and faithful to your trust..
From your service as a juror, you will experience a sense of deep satisfaction for having fulfilled your obligation to our community.
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