Jurors are an essential part of the judicial system. In the State of Michigan, jury trials are a matter of right guaranteed by the Constitution in criminal cases and an option in civil cases. No matter which category a case falls into, a jury trial is not possible without your help. Your public service as a juror protects the right of those involved in a case to have an impartial jury of their peers decide the question of guilt or fault.
During a trial, jurors hear testimony and view exhibits offered by the opposing parties. Jurors should pay close attention because they will be the ones to determine the facts of the case, and then apply the law to reach a verdict.
An Overview of Jury Duty in MichiganState Bar of Michigan Juror's Manual
Once each year, the Secretary of State provides Washtenaw County with a list of prospective jurors who are randomly selected Washtenaw County residents who are 18 year of age or older and possess a Michigan Drivers License or State Identification card. The Washtenaw County Jury Board uses this list to issue qualification and personal history questionnaires. Upon receipt of the completed questionnaires the Washtenaw County Jury Board reviews and qualifies potential jurors according to law. Once this has occurred, Washtenaw County forwards a list of qualified jurors to the 15th Judicial District Court for summoning.
Who is Exempt?
You are exempt from jury service if:
- You are not a U.S. citizen
- You are over 70 years of age and wish to claim exemption
- You have served as a juror in the last 12 months
- You have been convicted of a felony
Excusals and Postponements
In the State of Michigan, no one is automatically exempt from jury service unless they meet one of the above specified exemptions. If you have a scheduling conflict, a medical condition, or any other issue that would interfere with your jury service notify the jury clerk as soon as possible. Please note: only one postponement will be granted.
Postponements or excusals for medical reasons require a written statement from a physician stating the nature and duration of the condition.
Requests for excusal from jury service are not granted for occupational or employment purposes.
What if I've Moved?
If you have moved outside of the 15th Judicial District Court's jurisdiction (City of Ann Arbor), you should forward a copy of your updated driver's license, front and back, to the jury clerk as verification. You will then be excused. If you have not updated your license contact the jury clerk to discuss other forms of documentation that will be accepted as confirmation of your new legal residence.
Term of Jury Service
The normal length of jury service in the 15th Judicial District Court is one to two days. If a trial is expected to take longer, the judge will advise jurors of the anticipated length of the trial. Please note: if you are seated on a jury, it is possible that the trial may not actually start until several days after the jury selection date.
If You are Summoned to Court
After 5 p.m. on the Friday before your scheduled appearance date, note your Panel letter and call 734.794.6755. A recorded announcement will advise which jurors are required to report on the following Appearance Date ("all", "none", or "Panel").
- If you are not required to report, your jury service is complete.
- If you are required to report and are not selected for a trial, your jury service obligation is complete.
- If you are required to report and fail to appear, your jury service obligation is not complete. You will be contacted by the court by letter or by phone to reschedule. Possible penalties for failure to appear include a warrant being issued for your arrest and/or a fine being imposed by the court.
During your time of service, there will be periods of waiting so please feel free to bring a book or magazine to occupy your time.
For the first day of service, you will receive $15.00for a half day or $30 for a full day. For every day thereafter, you will receive $22.50 for a half day or $45 for a full day. Jurors will also be paid $2 for mileage each day. A check for your jury service and mileage will be mailed to you.
Will Jury Duty Affect My Job?
Your employer is required by law to release you for jury duty. Employers are prohibited from discharging or disciplining an employee who is summoned for jury duty. If an employer does so he/she can be found in contempt of court and may be charged with a misdemeanor.
Although not mandated by law, many employers will continue to pay you during your jury service. If your employer does so, you should verify if he/she requires you to submit your juror compensation check to the company.
If you need a verification letter for your employer, please advise the jury clerk during your term of service.
- The parking structure located on the northwest corner of Fourth Avenue and Washington Street is the primary parking structure for jurors. The entrance to the structure is on Washington Street.
- If the parking structure at Fourth Avenue and Washington Street is full, overflow parking is available at the Ann Ashley parking structure located at 220 North Ashley Street.
- If you have an oversized vehicle, parking is available at the surface lot located at 305 South Ashley.
- Please bring your parking ticket with you to the court for validation by the jury clerk.
Where to report
Jurors should report to the Ann Arbor Justice Center located at 301 E. Huron Street. The main entrance is located on Huron Street near the entrance to City Hall. Once inside, report to the Jury Assembly Room(room 498) located on the fourth floor.
Persons entering the Ann Arbor Justice Center must successfully pass through the security screening process. All visitors and their belongings are subject to search by Court Security Officers. All visitors are required to pass through metal detectors. All purses, briefcases, or other containers are required to pass through an x-ray machine.
Cell Phones & Other Portable Electronics
Jurors can bring in cell phones, iPads, tablets and other portable electronic devices with communication capabilities. However, these devices may only be used during breaks or recesses. They shall not be used to obtain or disclose any information about the case including but not limited to the following: information about a party, witness, attorney, or court officer; news accounts of the case; and, information collected through juror research on any topics raised or testimony offered by any witness or any other topic the juror might think helpful in deciding the case.
Food and Beverages
The Court will provide coffee, tea, and hot cocoa for jurors. However, jurors may also bring in any non-alcoholic beverages and snacks they need.
- Weapons, cutting edge instruments such as pocket knives or any other items that may be construed by Court Security Officers as weapons are prohibited.
Please do not bring any prohibited items with you into the courthouse; leave them at home or in your vehicle.
Our jury staff does not ask past, present, or prospective jurors for personal information such as social security numbers, bank account information, or credit card information. Do not provide this type of information if anyone claiming to be a court employee contacts you and makes this type of request.
Additionally, please be advised that some Washtenaw County residents have reported being contacted by scammers claiming to be Sheriff's Office personnel. The scammers claim that the resident failed to show for jury service and, therefore, must post a bond via electronic payment or he/she will be arrested. DO NOT provide any personal or financial payment information! If you missed appearing for jury service contact the court directly.
Your participation as a juror is essential for our judicial system to function properly. We hope that the short term of service minimizes the impact on you and your family. Please view your jury service as an opportunity to participate in and learn more about the legal system. Your service is greatly appreciated by the judges and the staff of the 15th Judicial District Court!