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Jury Service

How long is my term of grand jury service?

If you are selected to serve on a Grand Jury, you are empanelled for a term of 18 months.  That period of time may be extended for an additional 6 months.

Want To Know More About Jury Service?

To learn more about how a jury is selected and what to expect during a trial, go to the Link, "Handbook for Trial Jurors" or "Understanding The Federal Courts" located on the Welcome page.

Why Must I Call The Recorded Message The Evening Before Reporting?

The Court’s schedule sometimes changes at the last minute. Rather than have you sit in the jury room all day, we may change your day to report. It is, therefore, important to call the telephone number printed on your summons or notice on the evening or weekend before the summons date. You will hear a recorded message giving detailed reporting instructions.

How Long Is My Term of Service?

Jury Service in United States District Court for the Western District of New York is for a 90-Day-On-Call period. If you are selected as a juror on a case, you must serve until the conclusion of the case, even if it is longer than the time described above.

What Is A Petit Jury?

A petit jury is a trial jury for both civil and criminal cases. The petit jury listens to the 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.

What Is A Grand Jury?

A grand jury does not determine guilt or innocence, but whether there is probable cause to believe that a crime was committed. The evidence is normally presented only by an attorney for the government. The grand jury must determine from this evidence whether a person should have formal charges filed by the government. If the grand jury finds probable cause, then it will return a written statement of the charges called an indictment.

Can I Get A Postponement Or A Permanent Excuse From Jury Service?

You need to make a request to defer your jury service in writing using the back of the jury qualification questionnaire. Please give the reason why you need to be deferred and when would be a better time for your to serve as a juror within a 6-month period. The questionnaire still needs to be completed and returned to the Court.

What If I Have Already Performed Jury Service Recently?

If you have served as a GRAND or PETIT juror in the United States District Court within the past two (2) years, you may request to be excused from serving as a juror. Please note the name of the court and the dates that you have served on the back of the jury qualification questionnaire under the "Remarks" area.

I Am A Full-Time Student - Am I Required To Perform Jury Service?

Students are required to complete the questionnaire and return it to the Court. Students are to explain that they are a full-time student and indicate to the Court where they attend college. If the questionnaire is mailed to their home address, a parent or guardian is asked to forward the jury service packet to the student for them to complete and return.

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