Jury Duty

WHY We have a Jury System: Under the Constitution, a United States citizen is given certain rights; the right to a jury trial is one of those rights. Participation in jury trials provides citizens with an opportunity to:

  • Incorporate community values into dispute resolution;
  • Guard against abuse of power by legislatures, businesses, and government agencies;
  • Avoid arbitrary or unfair sanctions by individual judges;
  • Protect the rights of all citizens.

WHY Jurors Are Selected: Jurors are important and necessary participants in our justice system.  Legal disputes (cases) often will not actually go to trial (be heard by a judge or jury), because citizens are prepared to participate as jurors sitting and waiting in the jury room. A jury panel that is ready to hear a case can motivate all parties involved in a dispute to reassess their risks and claims.  Much like in a game of poker, the attorneys for both sides of a dispute think that they have the “winning hand.”  The mere presence of the jury “calls all bluffs.”  For example, it is common for a court to schedule several cases for trial on a single day because the jury is waiting and available.  Frequently, none actually make it to trial.

How Jurors Are Selected:
  1. Once a year the Secretary of State creates a list of citizens who may be eligible to serve on a jury. This list contains those citizens who possess a driver’s license or State of Michigan identification card.
  2. Identified citizens are mailed a Juror Qualification Questionnaire.  After the questionnaire is completed, returned, and evaluated, a qualified citizen may be called to serve on a jury.
Other Resources:

If you’ve been summoned for jury duty.
What to expect as a juror
Jury Orientation Video made by the Michigan Judicial Institute

To check on the status of your Jury Service: 734-459-4740 option 4
To speak with our Jury Clerk by phone dial extension 320

You can also email juryservice@35thdistrictcourt.org