Juror FAQ

 

I received a call indicating that I missed my jury duty and had a bench warrant, had to pay a fine, or had to give my social security number. Is this a legitimate call?
No, calls of this type are not made by the Court and are likely to be a scam designed to obtain your personal information. The Court does not have your phone number and does not need your social security number for any reason.  If you receive a call such as this, do not provide any personal or confidential information, or pay any money.  The Jackson County Sheriff's Department has issued a News Release that reports there is a recent jury duty scam and suggests that you contact their Investigations Division at 816-524-4302. For more information jury duty scams, please visit: FBI — Jury Duty Scam


How was I selected for jury service?
The Court’s master pool of potential jurors contains registered voters, licensed drivers, and persons who have been issued state identification cards with addresses in Jackson County. Individuals are summoned at random each week from the master pool using a computerized system.


How long should I expect to serve on jury duty?
On the day you are required to report, please plan on being at the courthouse the entire day (occasionally after 5:00 p.m.).  The jury selection process is often completed that first day, but may take longer in some cases.  Most jurors go through only one selection process, and those not selected are released at the end of the process.  If you are selected as a juror in a case, the average length of a trial is about 3 1/2 days.  You will be told how long the particular case you are being considered for is expected to last as you go through the selection process.


I completed jury service within the past three years; do I need to serve again?
No, if you completed jury service in the last three years, you are entitled to be excused. To notify us of your previous service, please indicate it on the Juror Qualification Form attached to your summons and return it to us.


What constitutes jury service?
There are two ways to complete jury service.  The first is to appear in person and serve until you are released.  Whether you were selected as an actual juror or not, your service is complete.  The second is to be summoned and have your service cancelled by the Court.  To find out if your current service has been cancelled, please click here.


I live in Eastern Jackson County, but have been summoned to Kansas City; can my reporting location be changed to Independence?
No, the 16th Judicial Circuit includes all of Jackson County, and the Court is required to select potential jurors at random from throughout the county for both courthouse locations.  To maintain that randomness, we are unable to change your reporting location.


Reporting for jury duty would cause a financial hardship for me, my family, or my business. Can I be excused?
Because of the importance of assuring that individuals from throughout the community participate in the jury process, the Court generally does not excuse individuals based on physical or financial hardship at the initial summons stage of the process. Instead, hardships are discussed once jury selection in a trial division begins.  If you believe your circumstances fall within the provisions contained in Missouri Revised Statute 494.430, you need to send a letter to the Jury Supervisor’s Office for review by the Presiding Judge.  Be specific and provide financial, medical, and/or other proof regarding your hardship.  If postponing your service to a later date would help you to be able to make arrangements, you have the right to postpone the date of your initial appearance for jury service, one time only.  For more information on postponements, please click here.


This is a bad time for me to perform jury duty. Can I get a postponement?
Yes, if you have not previously been postponed.  Individuals scheduled to appear for petit jury service have the right to postpone the date of their initial appearance for jury service, one time only, for any reason.  For more information on postponements, please click here.


I have no transportation to the courthouse for jury duty. What should I do?
The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) has buses with routes that have drop off and pick up points close to the courthouses. To find out which bus would best serve your needs, please visit www.kcata.org or call the KCATA bus line at 816-221-0660. The KCATA’s TTY line is 816-221-0380.  You can also request a one-time postponement of your jury service in order to give you more time to make transportation arrangements.  For more information on postponements, please click here.


Does the court provide childcare service?
No, the Court does not provide childcare service. Please do not bring your child(ren) when reporting for jury service.  Arrangements for the care of your child(ren) should be made prior to reporting for jury service.  [Please also note the next question/answer regarding nursing mothers]


I am a nursing mother; will I be able to pump throughout the day?

Yes, a private room will be provided upon request.  Please let a member of the jury office know when a room is needed.

If you are a nursing mother and your infant does not take a bottle, you can bring your infant with you to the courthouse.  However, you must make arrangements to have someone else care for your infant while you go through the jury selection process, and that person will need to come to the courthouse with you when you report.  You will be provided with a private room to breastfeed your infant during breaks from the process.


How should I dress for jury service?
“Business casual” is a good rule of thumb. No shorts, tank tops or other inappropriate clothing should be worn. Jeans are allowed.  You may also want to bring a sweater or jacket because temperatures in the courthouses can vary significantly throughout the day.


Where do I park when I report for jury duty in Kansas City?
You should park in one of the “all day” parking lots or garages close to the courthouse. Do not park on the street at a parking meter. Prospective jurors must pay for their own parking when they are initially summoned to Kansas City. If you are selected as an actual juror or alternate for a particular case, you will be directed to park in the city garage located at 12th and Oak Streets and parking will be provided for the additional days you are required to serve. Parking Map.


Where do I park when I report for jury duty in Independence?
There is a parking lot for jurors located southeast of the Independence courthouse, on the corner of Walnut and Osage Streets, which is free.  Please park in the southern section of this parking lot. Parking Map.


I am a stay-at-home parent with children that are not yet in school or the caregiver to a disabled person. Can I be excused?
Because of the importance of assuring that individuals from throughout the community participate in the jury process, the Court generally does not excuse individuals based on physical or financial hardship at the initial summons stage of the process. Instead, hardships are discussed once jury selection in a trial division begins.  If you believe your circumstances fall within the provisions contained in Missouri Revised Statute 494.430, you need to send a letter to the Jury Supervisor’s Office for review by the Presiding Judge.  Be specific and provide financial, medical, and/or other proof regarding your hardship.  If postponing your service to a later date would help you to be able to make arrangements, you have the right to postpone the date of your initial appearance for jury service, one time only.  For more information on postponements, please click here.


Does the Court pay me for jury service?
Yes, you will receive the state statutory rate of $6.00 per day, plus 7 cents per mile (calculated from the center of your zip code to the courthouse).  Whenever possible, jurors receive their checks at the conclusion of their service.  When this is not possible, the checks are mailed.


Does my employer have to pay me regular wages when I am performing jury service?
No, the law does not require your employer to pay your regular wages while you are on jury duty.


Can my employer penalize me because I report for jury duty?
No, Missouri Revised Statute 494.460 prohibits an employer from taking adverse actions against an employee because that employee received or responded to a jury summons.  In addition, an employee may not be required to use available leave for time spent responding to a jury summons, time spent participating in the jury selection process, or time spent actually serving on a jury.


What if there is an emergency and someone needs to contact me?
If someone needs to contact a juror in an emergency, they may call the jury office at the courthouse to which the juror was directed to report, 816-881-3602 for Kansas City and 816-881-1619 for Independence.  They may also contact the trial division in which the juror is serving.


What happens if I fail to appear for jury service?
A person who willfully fails to appear for jury service is in civil contempt of court.  The Court may issue an order directing the person to a hearing where the person would be required to show good cause for failure to appear as summoned.  If the individual fails to show good cause for failing to appear, the Court may impose a fine for as much as $500 and may order the prospective juror to perform community service for a time no less than would have been spent in jury service.  The juror is also re-summoned for jury service.


Is lunch provided?

Lunch is not provided, however, coffee, tea and hot chocolate are provided at no cost in the jury assembly rooms.  You may bring your own lunch if you wish, or you may purchase lunch from either the vending machines or from one of several restaurants located within walking distance of the courthouses.  More detailed information regarding eating establishments is posted in the jury assembly rooms. 


Can I bring my cell phone, laptop, or other electronic devices to the courthouse?
Yes, cell phones are allowed to be brought into the courthouses.  However, they must be turned to silent or vibrate while you are in the jury assembly rooms and must be turned off before you enter a courtroom.  Laptops and other electronic devices are also allowed, and free WiFi access is available for jurors.


Are other items restricted by courthouse security?
Yes, some items are restricted.  For more information on what is allowed through security and in the jury assembly rooms and other areas of the courthouses, please click here.