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Jury Duty

 

How was I selected?

Jurors are randomly selected from current lists of person’s age 18 and older, living in Crook County, Wyoming, and are either registered voters or have a driver’s license. Some people are chosen several times during their lifetime; others are never chosen. So long as you are either a registered voter or have a driver’s license, you have the same chance of being chosen as anyone else who meets the criteria. I've moved my residence and no longer consider Crook County home. Do I still qualify for jury service? No, not in Crook County. If you have received a jury summons from Crook County District Court, but no longer intend to reside in Crook County, return the summons indicating your present address.

Who is exempt from jury service?

A salaried and active member of an organized fire department or an active member of a police department of a city, town or law enforcement agency of the county or state; or an elected public official. The court shall discharge a person from serving as a trial juror if it satisfactorily appears that the person is not competent or the person is exempt and specifically claims the benefit of the exemption. If a person exempt from jury duty is summoned as a juror, he may file his affidavit with the clerk of the court for which he is summoned stating his office, occupation or employment. The affidavit must be delivered by the clerk to the judge of the court where the person is summoned, and if sufficient in substance, must be received as evidence of his right to exemption and as an excuse for nonattendance in person. The clerk must then file the affidavit. Failure of any person who is exempt to file the affidavit is a waiver of his exemption, and he is required to appear upon the day for which the jury is summoned and serve as a juror the same as if he were not entitled to exemption.

What are the legal qualifications for jury service?

You must be at least 18 years of age, a United States citizen and a resident of Crook County for more than 90 days. That you can read, write, speak and understand the English language. You are excluded from jury service if you have been convicted, pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to a felony in any State or Federal Court. If you have received a pardon or the restoration of your civil rights have been restored, your are eligible to serve on jury duty. You are also excluded if you are under a present adjudication of incompetence by a court. If you are uncertain whether you qualify for any of the reasons listed above, you should discuss your situation with the jury coordinator. If you feel you do not qualify for jury service, return the lower portion of the summons indicating the reason.

How do I request to be excused from jury service?

A juror may not be excused for a trivial cause or for hardship or inconvenience to his business, but only when material injury or destruction to his property or property entrusted to him is threatened, or when his health or the sickness or death of a member of his family requires his absence. A person may be excused at his request if he is over seventy-two (72) years of age. A person may be excused from jury duty when the care of that person's young children requires his absence. Any person who has served on a jury shall, upon request, be excused from further jury service in that court for the remainder of that jury term and in the discretion of the court may be excused from jury service for the following jury term. Generally, to be excused from jury service for other than health reasons, you must write a letter to the judge. To be excused for health reasons, a written statement from your physician is required. If you have a scheduled vacation or business obligation, the District Judge makes every effort to accommodate these request as well. A written statement requesting to be excused can be brought to the court, mail or may be faxed to 283-2996. The District Judge is the only one that can excuse you from jury duty. Failure to honor the jury summons may subject you to a fine for contempt of court.

Are parents with children at home excused from jury service?

No, there is no automatic exclusion. If we were to exclude all mothers and fathers with small children, a significant portion of the population base would be excluded from jury service. This would cause our jury pool to not truly be representative of our community. You are responsible for arranging for your own childcare if you are called for jury duty.

What happens if I have been summoned for jury duty but I decide not to report for service?

You may be held in contempt of court and you can be fined for failing to respond to a jury service summons. We hope that you will reconsider. The jury system is an important part of democracy in the United States. Rather than relying solely upon Judges to decide the facts in a dispute, whether civil or criminal, our judicial system relies upon a group of citizens chosen from the community to make those decisions. The jury system can only work well if jurors are chosen from a diverse cross-section of the population. We work hard to make sure that no qualified citizens of our community are excluded from jury duty, whether through self-selection (i.e., failing to show up) or otherwise. Even though I have received a summons, is it still possible that I will not be required to come to court on the date shown for jury service? Yes. Some of the jury trials that are scheduled do not take place because the cases have been settled, dismissed or otherwise resolved without the need for a jury trial. We may not know if the case has settled until late the day before the trial on which you will be called to court has settled or otherwise be resolved. Often, this occurs at the last minute. For this reason, you must follow the instructions on your jury summons and call on the evening specified in your summons to see whether you need to appear the next morning. To check on this, call 283-2996. Listen to the recorded message and follow the instructions. If the machine is inoperable, you can call Tina Wood at 283-2795. The machine is not equipped to receive messages; it is only for transmission of messages to you.

What is the pay for jury service and how is it set?

Jurors are paid $30 per day plus mileage for their service. The Wyoming Legislature sets these rates of reimbursement. Does my employer have to pay me? No. There is no Wyoming law requiring employers to pay their employees while they are serving on a jury. However, you cannot be fired from any permanent job for responding to a jury summons under Wyoming law (see Wyoming Statute 1-11-401). Some employers have policies under which employees are paid their normal salary while serving on a jury. You'll need to check with your employer about their policy.

Can I be fired if I don't show up for work when I've been summoned for jury duty?

Wyoming law provides that no employer may fire or threaten to fire any permanent employee because of the employee's jury service or scheduled attendance in connection with jury service. (Wyoming Statute 1-11-401).

What if the summons is incorrect or the person is deceased?

If the address is incorrect, please note your correct address and return to the District Court. We sincerely apologize if you have received a summons addressed to a family member who has died. Jury lists are compiled annually from Department of Motor Vehicle and Voters Registration records. If the summons is unopened please write "deceased" on the outside and mark it "Return to Sender".

 

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