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Frequently Asked Questions
May I be excused if I am a full-time student?
You may request to be deferred in writing. Please include your course schedule and expected graduation date. If you are available to serve during summer months we can defer you until then. If you are working during the summer or have an internship you will need to provide proof and we will defer you until graduation.
What factors may exempt or excuse me from jury service?
The following prospective jurors are exempt from jury service. This means they will not need to serve on a jury.
- Members in active service in the Armed Forces of the United States;
- Members of the fire or police departments of any state, district, territory, possession, or subdivision; and
- Public officers in the executive, legislative, or judicial branches of any federal, state, or local government who are actively engaged in the performance of official duties. A public officer is either elected to public office or directly appointed by a person elected to public office.
The following prospective jurors may request to be excused from jury service upon a written request, with proof to establish the basis for their excuse request, once approved by a federal judge. The court may or may not grant the excuse or may require the juror to report during a different two month term.
- Persons over 75 years of age;
- Persons who served as a grand or petit juror within two years of being summoned in federal court;
- Volunteer safety personnel, such as volunteer firefighters or members of a rescue squad or ambulance crew;
- Persons caring for children under twelve years of age if the children's health or safety could be harmed by care giver's absence for jury service;
- Persons caring for elderly or ill individuals; or
- Persons for whom jury serve is a temporary hardship or extreme inconvenience.
Will I be asked to provide sensitive information over the telephone?
A jury clerk will not ask you to provide sensitive information like social security numbers over the telephone. Most federal courts contact prospective jurors by U.S. mail.
What if I have a disability or need special accommodations?
The court will make every effort to accommodate jurors with disabilities or special needs. Please notify the court in writing by e-mail or U.S. Mail. Be sure to include your telephone number because, the jury clerk may need to discuss accommodations with you. You may request to be excused if you are disabled and jury service would be an undue hardship or extreme inconvenience.
How do I respond to my summons?
You may respond to your summons in one of two ways:
a. On-line - Visit the JURY SERVICE section of our web page and click on e-juror.
You will need your nine digit juror participant number, found at the top of your summons to the right of the bar code.
Keep the original summons if you answer on-line with e-JUROR.
Do not mail the bottom portion of the summons if you answer the summons using e-JUROR.
You may update name and address information using e-JUROR.
You may submit excuse or postponement requests by using e-JUROR.
You may submit excuse or postponement requests by e-mail.
- Bridgeport - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Hartford - email@example.com
- New Haven - firstname.lastname@example.org
b. By mail -Complete and return the bottom portion of the summons.
Keep the top part of your summons.
Mail the bottom portion of the summons, along with any excuse or postponement request, in the enclosed postage-paid envelope. Please update name, address or other information on the form.
What is the difference between a petit jury and a grand jury?
- Petit Jury: A petit jury is a trial jury for both civil and criminal cases. The petit jury listens to evidence offered during a trial and returns a verdict. A verdict in a civil case may be a finding for the plaintiff or for the defendant. A verdict in a criminal case finds the defendant guilty or not guilty.
- Grand Jury: A grand jury hears only criminal matters. The grand jury does not determine guilt or innocence, but whether probable cause exists that a crime was committed. Generally, the evidence is presented by an attorney for the government. The grand jury determines from this evidence whether the government files formal charges against one or more individuals. If probable cause exists, the grand jury will return a written statement of the charges called an "indictment."
Am I qualified to serve as a juror?
Every person is qualified unless he or she:
- Is not a citizen of the U.S.
- Is under 18 years of age
- Has not lived in Connecticut for one year
- Cannot read, write and understand the English language well enough to fill out the juror qualification questionnaire
- Cannot speak English
- Is mentally or physically unable to serve on a jury, or
- Has pending felony charges or has been convicted of a felony
What should I wear?
Jurors are expected to dress in a manner reflective of the formality of the court proceedings. Business casual attire is acceptable, clothing such a tank or halter tops, shorts, t-shirts, blue jeans or sweat pants is not appropriate to wear while you are sitting as a juror. You may wish to bring a sweater of jacket as temperatures can vary in the courtrooms.
No hats are permitted in the courtroom during any proceedings.
Am I compensated for jury service?
Jurors are compensated $50 per day for attendance, mileage from the center of your town to the courthouse at $.58 per mile and we will validate your parking provided you park in the designated lot provided in your instructions. Please see maps/directions/parking for parking lot information. PLEASE NO NOT PARK AT THE METER ON THE STREET . You can be ticketed or towed if your meter time expires. We cannot reimburse you if you receive a parking ticket.
What is the length of service for a juror?
Selected jurors are summoned on an "on- call" basis for a two-month period. Being on call does not mean you are to report every day for the two months. It means you will receive a summons with specific dates. The first month you are summoned begins your two-month period. If you are selected for a trial, you will be required to serve for the duration of the trial. You will be informed during jury selection of the trial start date and reporting time. If you are not selected for a trial, you remain on call for the remainder of your two month service. Please call the night before your scheduled summons date and you will receive updated reporting instructions. You may be told to report, you may be rescheduled to your next scheduled date or you may be rescheduled to report on another date. At the end of the two months, your service with the federal court will be fulfilled. Service of less than two days with the state court does not excuse you for serving with the federal court.