5th Judicial Circuit Court
of Andrew & Buchanan County, Missouri USA
Jury Service : Frequently Asked Questions
Your name was randomly selected from either the voter’s registration list or driver’s license records with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
- Read the summons carefully, as it provides answers to almost every question about jury duty.
- If you are available on the date indicated, tell your employer about your service date and expect to serve unless your group number is not called.
- If you are not available on the date indicated on your summons, you may ask for ONE postponement by contacting the Jury Administrator’s office at 271-1552.
- Complete and sign the juror qualification form (Section 2) and return it within ten (10) days.
- Bring the top portion of the summons containing the juror badge (Section 1) with you when you report for jury duty if your group number is called.
- Call the jury hotline (271-1552 or 271-1445) or log onto www.5thcircuit.net after 5:00 p.m. the evening before you are scheduled to report for jury duty to see if your group number has been called and for further instructions. You must report for jury service unless you are excused when you call the jury hotline the evening before the trial.
- If your group number was not called, you are excused and your jury service is over.
Jurors summoned should report to the jury assembly room located in the basement of the Buchanan County Courthouse located at 411 Jules Street.
If you are required to report for jury duty, free parking is provided ONLY in the city parking garage located at 5th and Felix Street and 6th and Jules Street
Most trials last from one to three days, but some may last longer. Your jury service will be completed after the trial you have been called for is finished or you have been excused.
You will received $6.00 to report for jury duty and $25.00 per day if you were selected to serve on a jury panel, plus $0.26 per mile for travel reimbursement. Mileage is calculated from the farthest part of the juror’s zip code. If possible, jurors are paid at the conclusion of their service. However, sometimes circumstances require the jurors’ checks to be mailed. For that reason, jurors are asked to verify that their name and address is correct on their summons. Jurors should notify Jury Administrators if address corrections are required.
Because jurors are to act as "officers of the court," you should wear clothing that is appropriate for the seriousness of the task at hand. Jurors should not wear shorts, mini skirts, halter tops, tank tops, or other informal clothing.
The Presiding Judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit, Patrick Robb, or his designee, will swear in all jurors and ensure that everyone is eligible to serve on a jury panel if they are selected. Next, an orientation film will be shown, which explains the jury selection process. Jurors must remain in the jury assembly room until they are called to the courtroom as part of a jury panel, or group of jurors. Jurors on the panel then go through a process called "voir dire" in which judges and attorneys ask the jury panel questions about their background. There questions are to assist the attorneys in deciding which jurors to select. Through the questioning process, a jury of twelve or thirteen members will be selected and sworn for trial. Remaining jurors are excused and at that time may obtain a jury verification form to give to their employer.
State law provides that a person who willfully fails to appear or fails to obtain a postponement or excuse from jury service shall be in civil contempt of court. Following a show cause hearing, the court may impose a fine not to exceed $500.00 and/or community service for a period no less than if the prospective juror would have completed jury service. Good cause must be shown in order to avoid paying a fine and/or community service.
Employers must, by law, allow employees time off to serve. An employer cannot terminate, discipline, threaten or take adverse action against an employee who receives or responds to a jury summons. (Section 494.460 RSMo)
Any employee discharged due to jury service may bring a civil action against his or her employer within ninety days of discharge for recovery of lost wages and other damages caused by the violation and for an order directing reinstatement of the employee. (Section 494.455 RSMo)
Complete the juror qualification form (Section 2), marking “NO” on question #3. Write in your new address, sign the form and return it within ten (10) days.
Inconvenience or loss of income to prospective juror or employer is not an adequate reason to be excused from jury duty, although it may be considered grounds for deferral. Your reason for hardship may be grounds for rescheduling jury service to another date.
You may apply for ONE postponement of your jury service, scheduled not more than six (6) months after the original date, by contacting the Jury Administrator’s office at 271-1552. Your request will be considered under standard policies of the Court and you will be notified of whether your request has been granted or not.
- Any person who has served on a state or federal petit or grand jury within the past two years;
- Any person whose absence from his or her regular place of employment would, in the judgment of the court, tend materially and adversely to affect the public safety, health, welfare or interest;
- Any person upon whom service as a juror would, in the judgment of the court, impose an undue or extreme physical or financial hardship;
- Any person licensed to engage in and actively engaged in the practice of medicine, osteopathy, chiropractic, dentistry or pharmacy, but only if such person provides a written statement to the court certifying that he or she is actually providing health care services to patients and that person’s service as a juror would be detrimental to the health of the person’s patients.
- Any person who is less than 21 years old;
- Any person not a citizen of the United States;
- Any person who is not a resident of the county that issues the summons;
- Any person who has been convicted of a felony, unless his or her civil rights have been restored;
- Any person unable to read, speak and understand the English language, unless such person’s inability is due to a vision or hearing impairment which can be adequately compensated for through the use of auxiliary aids or services;
- Any person on active duty in the armed forces of the United States or any member of the organized militia on active duty under order of the governor;
- Any judge of a court of record;
- Any person who, in the judgment of the court, is incapable of performing the duties of a juror because of mental or physical illness.
If you served on a panel of jurors with the last 12 months and you received another summons, you can request to be excused from jury service. Complete the juror qualification form (Section 2) and mark “YES” on question #7. Sign the form and return it within ten (10) days. Once the Jury Administrator confirms that you did serve on a jury panel within the past year, you will receive a postcard in the mail excusing you from jury service.
You may apply for ONE postponement of your jury service, scheduled not more than six (6) months after the original date, by contacting the Jury Administrator’s office at 271-1552.
Potential jurors requesting to be excused from jury service due to a physical and/or mental condition are required to provide verification from a licensed physician. Complete the juror qualification form (Section 2) and mark “YES” on question #9. Please explain your condition, sign the form and mail it to us within ten (10) days. Medical statements may be attached to the qualification form or faxed to us at 271-1575.