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Frequently Asked Questions: Jury

  • What is the Automated Jury Information System (AJIS)?

    The Automated Jury Information System (AJIS) enables the court to provide specific, last-minute recorded information relating to the trial on which you have been called to serve. There is no attendant at this number. You will be instructed to call in at a specific time (see your summons) on a specific night, and the message will advise you to report as directed, inform you if there has been a change in the court's schedule, or direct you to call again at another designated date and time.

    Do not call AJIS every night you are serving on a trial unless you are specifically instructed by the judge to do so.

    AJIS toll-free number: (866) 313-2350

    The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida also gives jurors the ability to access their personalized reporting instructions via the Internet. By using the link below, you can access your instructions by entering your nine-digit participant number from the front of your summons and your zip code. This information will be available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just as with the telephone system. Your personalized reporting instructions will be the same whether accessed by telephone or computer.

    To use this feature, click on the link below. Enter your participant number and zip code in the Web Prompt Page, and then click on the Reporting Instructions button at the bottom of the page.

    Check Your Status

    If you have questions about either the AJIS telephone or Internet systems, you may call the jury staff in the division where your jury service is to take place.

  • Who is the contact person if I have additional questions about jury service?

    You can call the jury staff for each division of the Middle District of Florida at the phone numbers listed below.

  • I received a Juror Exit Questionnaire. Do I have to fill it out?

    No, but we hope you do. Answers to the questions help us make jury service a more positive experience.

  • My mother/daughter/father/son and I have the same name. I received a jury summons with that name. How can I verify the correct recipient?

    To determine if you are the one receiving the summons, log into eJuror and enter your participant number, the first three letters of your last name, and your birthday. The person whose birthday takes you to the welcome screen is the intended recipient of the questionnaire. If you are returning a paper copy, you should contact your local jury clerk to verify the correct recipient.

    You can call the jury staff for each division of the Middle District of Florida at the phone numbers listed below.

  • What is the difference between a petit juror and a grand juror?

    A petit juror serves on a criminal or civil trial. A petit jury determines issues of fact, applies the law as instructed by the judge, and deliberates to reach a verdict. A grand juror serves on a grand jury to determine whether facts and accusations presented by the United States Attorney’s Office warrant an indictment in a criminal case.

  • I don't live in the county where the court is located. Why was I selected as a prospective juror?

    The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida has five divisions:

    Fort Myers | Jacksonville | Ocala | Orlando | Tampa

    Jurors are drawn from the 35 counties within the Middle District of Florida. The federal courthouse for the division that includes your home county may be in a different county, but you most likely will be asked to serve in the division closest to your home.

  • When I have completed my service as a juror, will I be called again to serve?

    The court’s pool of juror names (the divisional Master Jury Wheel) is replenished every odd-numbered year. You probably would not be in the next pool, but if you are, you may request to be excused. See the Qualifications, Excuses, Exemptions page for more information.

  • How will I receive payment for my jury service?

    Your check will be mailed to the home address you provided when appearing for jury service. Checks are mailed about four to six weeks after completion of jury service.

  • Does my employer have to let me off for jury duty?

    Yes. Under federal law, employers must allow their employees time off for jury duty. An employee cannot be punished for serving as a juror. Your employer has discretion whether absence for jury duty is with or without pay.

  • What happens if I'm serving as a juror and have an emergency?

    If you are serving on a jury, it is important for you to report when required and be prompt. Absences can delay or even jeopardize trials. If you have an emergency, such as a sudden illness or a death in the family, you should follow the instructions the court gave you. If you cannot do so, you should call the jury staff in the division where your jury service is to take place.

    If there is an emergency and someone must contact you during your service, they may call the jury staff in the division where your jury service is to take place, and a message will be delivered to you promptly. Have them specify that you are on jury duty.

  • If I am serving on a jury, will I get breaks?

    Yes. Your trial judge will tell you what schedule he or she expects to follow throughout the trial.

  • What if I have vacations or other important events scheduled during my jury service?

    You should advise the jury staff in advance so allowances can be made for such matters. Often, the court can arrange to defer jurors to more convenient times; however, you must make such a request before the first day of jury service.

  • May I call the court to be excused from jury duty?

    No. You must request to be excused in writing. A decision will be made as quickly as possible. You may check on the status of your request through the Automated Jury Information System (AJIS) by calling (866) 313-2350 after five to seven business days have passed since you sent the request. You should only call jury staff about a request to be excused if you have a last-minute emergency that cannot be handled through the mail.

  • If I submit a request to be excused from jury service, do I still need to complete the Juror Information Card?

    Yes. Even if you have been excused, you must return the completed form.

  • What does "on-call" mean for purposes of jury service?

    If you are selected as a juror, you will be expected to be available to appear at the courthouse whenever instructed during your term of service. This does not mean you will report in person at the courthouse every day, but you must call-in as instructed and be ready to appear when directed to do so.

    You can review your on-call term under the Length of Service section of your information sheet or click the division link below.

    Fort Myers | Jacksonville | Ocala | Orlando | Tampa

  • Why do I have to provide information about my race and gender when called to serve as a juror?

    Race and gender are not factors in determining your eligibility to serve as a juror. Federal law requires a prospective juror to indicate his or her race. This information is required solely to avoid discrimination in juror selection and has no bearing on qualifications for jury service. By answering this question, you help the court ensure that discrimination cannot occur during the juror-selection process.

  • Where did you get my name for jury service?

    Under the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida's Plan for the Qualification and Selection of Grand and Petit Jurors, voter-registration lists are the primary sources for identifying prospective jurors. Every odd-numbered year, prospective jurors are selected randomly from county voter-registration lists, and their names are put into the divisional Master Jury Wheel. Prospective jurors are then sent a juror-qualification questionnaire, which they must complete and return to the court to verify that they are qualified for jury service. Those who qualify for service might be summoned to report for service.