The 16th Judicial Circuit encompasses all of Jackson County, Missouri, and jurors for the Court are drawn from the entire County. Throughout the year, the jury office issues summons directing prospective jurors to report on a specific date and time to one of two court locations in Jackson County. The first is located in downtown Kansas City and the other is located close to the square in Independence. The location you are to report to is listed in the upper left hand corner of your summons. Prospective jurors are randomly selected for both locations from the Court’s master jury pool. The master pool is created by merging lists from other sources. These sources are the list of registered voters maintained by the Missouri Secretary of State and lists of licensed drivers and those issued non-driver state identification cards obtained from the Missouri Department of Revenue. This random selection is designed to assure that a broad cross-section of our entire community is brought into the jury process. The need for this broad cross-section also means that the Court does not excuse individuals from serving at the outset of the process except in very extreme circumstances.
All summoned jurors are required to complete and return the Juror Qualification Form attached to the summons within ten days. The statutory reasons for disqualification or excuse from jury service are set forth below. Anyone summoned who believes they are disqualified from serving or is seeking to be excused should indicate the basis for disqualification or excuse on the Juror Qualification Form, and should include any supporting documentation. After receiving the qualification form and any supporting documentation, the Court will mail a postcard back to you indicating whether or not you have been disqualified/excused. If you do not receive a postcard advising that you are not required to report, or postponing you to another date, then you must report for jury service on the date directed in the original summons.
Not everyone who is summoned for jury service is qualified to serve, pursuant to Missouri Revised Statute 494.425. To be qualified to serve as a juror in Jackson County, Missouri, the individual summoned must:
- be at least 21 years old;
- be a United States citizen;
- be a resident of Jackson County;
- not have been convicted of a felony, unless such person's civil rights have been restored;
- be able 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;
- not be on active duty with the Armed Forces of the United States, or a member of the Missouri National Guard on active duty under order of the governor;
- not be a judge of a court of record; and
- not be, in the judgment of the Court, incapable of performing the duties of a juror because of mental or physical illness or infirmity.
Excuses From Jury Service
In addition, pursuant to Missouri Revised Statute 494.430, upon timely request, the following citizens may be excused from jury service:
- any person who has served on a state or federal petit or grand jury within the previous 36 months;
- any person whose absence from his/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 licensed as a health care provider as such term is defined in Missouri Revised Statute 538.205, but only if such person provides a written statement to the Court certifying that he/she is actually providing health care services to patients, and that the person’s service as a juror would be detrimental to the health of the person’s patients;
- any employee of a religious institution whose religious obligations or constraints prohibit their serving on a jury. Written certification of the employment and of the religious obligations or constraints that prohibit service is required, and may be provided by the employee's religious supervisor;
- any person upon whom service as a juror would in the judgment of the Court impose an undue or extreme physical or financial hardship. A person asking to be excused based on a finding of undue or extreme physical or financial hardship must take all actions necessary to have obtained a ruling on that request by no later than the date on which the individual is scheduled to appear for jury service.
Upon timely request, individuals scheduled to appear for petit jury service have the right to postpone the date of their initial appearance for jury service one time. The postponement date must be within six months of the original summons date, except in the case of full-time students. Full-time students of any accredited institution may be postponed up to twelve months from their original summons date.
Because each prospective juror is entitled to only one postponement, you will be required to serve on the date to which you are postponed. To request a postponement, please complete the Juror Qualification Form attached to your summons and include a request to be postponed. Be sure to include the dates you are unavailable for jury service with your request. You may also submit a request to postpone your service by calling or e-mailing us. If requesting a postponement, please inform us as far in advance of the date you are scheduled to serve as possible.