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- Frequently Asked Questions
Most Frequently Asked Questions on the Jury Line
- When do I get paid?
Jurors are paid within 3-5 business days of the end of the two week term in the Eastern Division and within 2 weeks after their first appearance in the Western Divison.
- May I still mail in my summons even though my five days to return it to your
office have elapsed?
Yes, you may return your info sheet after the five days have passed; however, this
will give the court less time to process your request. If you are requesting to
be excused or postponed, please fax your completed Information Form and written
request to (312) 554-8673 for Chicago and (815) 987-4291 for Rockford.
Why did I receive a Follow-up letter, if I returned my info sheet to your office
You were ordered to appear and did not follow instructions. A Follow-Up letter is
automatically sent out to all jurors who are absent on their reporting dates. You
are expected to appear UNLESS after you called 1 (800) 572-4210 you were excused,
postponed or told not to appear. If qualified, you must call 1 (800) 572-4210 after
5:00 P.M. the night before your reporting date and every evening during the two-week
term for Chicago or every Friday before your possible reporting date in Rockford.
Failure to abide by the reporting instructions will result in a Follow-Up
letter. Failure to abide by the Follow-Up letter may result in a $100.00 fine, 3
days in prison or both [28USC 1886(g)].
- May I change my jury service to another court?
Requests to be transferred to a closer location (County Court) cannot be accommodated. There are
two divisions in the Northern District of Illinois. They are located in Chicago
and Rockford. In most situations you have been summoned to appear at the Federal
Court closest to your home.
- May I request an excuse or postponement over the telephone?
No. In order to maintain an official record, requests to be excused or postponed
must be submitted in writing.
- If I serve on a trial, is my service over after the trial is completed?
No. If you serve as a juror on a trial, at the end of the trial (regardless of its
duration), your service will continue until the end of the two-term for Chicago.
- What time will I leave at the end of the day?
A typical jury day begins at 9:00 A.M. and ends at 5:00 P.M. Your schedule will
depend on the court's schedule.
- What should a juror do if he cannot make it to jury duty on the day he was required
For Chicago, you are expected to contact the jury section at (312) 435-5684, between 8:30 a.m.
and 4:30 p.m. so that we may be aware of your situation. For Rockford
call (815) 987-4354.If you are a juror on a
specific trial you will be given a least one emergency contact number. It is absolutely
necessary that you call if you are going to be late or absent. A trial cannot proceed
unless all jurors are present. Failure to appear as scheduled may result in a bench
- Juror Availabilty
As a petit juror (trial juror) in the Eastern Division you will be ON CALL to serve for a two week period
beginning on the date that appears on your summons.
You will call 1 (800) 572-4210
after 5:00 p.m. on the evening prior to reporting to verify your appearance and
each evening after 5:00 p.m. for the remaining of the two-week term. If you are
not available, you must contact the Jury Section in writing prior to your report
date. The court has an Automated Jury Information System (AJIS) which provides
current information regarding your status. If you need further assistance, you may
contact the Jury Section in Chicago at (312) 435-5684 from 1:30
p.m. to 4:30 p.m. In Rockford dial (815) 987-4354. If your service
is not required and you nonetheless appear, you may not be entitled to any fees.
In the Western Division jurors are given several different specific dates which
may extend over a 2 month period. You will call 1 (800) 572-4210 after 5:00 p.m.
the Friday evening prior to teach possible reporting date to verify whether your
appearance is required or not.
Days that you are not available during your availability period may be accommodated,
provided you have not been selected to be on a trial. Your jury service will then
be extended accordingly.
- Initial Appearance
Be prepared to stay until 5:00 p.m. on your first day. On most days you will appear
between 8:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Please bring your summons, a pen and reading materials
with you. Please dress for an office type setting. You may use your laptop and cell
phone in the jury lounge only.
- Compensation for Serving as a Juror
As a juror you are entitled to:
- $40.00 for each day of attendance.
- 56 cents per mile, round trip. Mileage is determined by zip code.
- These fees will be included in your juror paycheck, which will be mailed to you
within 5-7 business days after the two-week term. A subvoucher, mailed separately
if requested, will also be provided for proof of service and should used for tax
- If you served in the Western Division, your fee will be mailed to you within 2 weeks
after your appearance.
- Federal employees, except the Postal Service, are not entitled to attendance fees,
but will receive mileage.
- Request for Postponement or Permanent Excuse
If a juror cannot appear on the date summoned, the information form must be completed
and returned within 10 days upon receipt along with a letter requesting excuse or
deferment. All postponement requests must be made in writing. Postponements are
limited to maximum of six (6) months.
A request for excuse/deferment must be made in writing. The letter must be from
the person receiving the summons, not your employer, although the employer may submit
a request as well. Letters from employers or any other source will only be considered
to support your request. Requests due to a medical condition must be accompanied
by a doctor's statement indicating whether the condition is temporary or permanent.
A juror cannot ask to be postponed or excused on the next report date. The juror
must begin his/her jury service at that time. If you wish to speak to a clerk in
the Jury Section, you may call (312) 435-5684 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. each weekday.
If a juror submits a request to be postponed or excused, it is the juror's responsibility
to verify that the request has been granted. Please call the Automated Jury Information
System 1 (800) 572-4210 if you were summoned to the Chicago courthouse. Information
received by the Jury Section is updated in our telephone system throughout the day.
Please do not call the automated system if you have not returned your information
form. You must have your summons available to use this system.
Lack of transportation or distance from your home to the court is not a valid excuse
for not serving as a juror. The following phone numbers will provide you information
regarding public transportation service in:
Eastern Division - Chicago, IL
CTA (Chicago Transit Authority, http://www.transitchicago.com/)
Hearing Impaired: 1-888-CTATTY1
Western Division - Rockford, IL
Rockford Mass Transit - (http://www.rmtd.org/)
Driving - Click here for an interactive driving direction.
Stanley J. Roszkowski United States Courthouse
327 South Church Street
Rockford, Illinois 61101
- Failure to Report for Jury Duty
Title 28 United States Code, Section 1864(g) states that persons who are summoned
to appear for Federal Jury Service and fail to appear may then be ordered to show
cause why they should not be held in contempt of court for non-compliance with the
court summons. Persons then failing to appear or to show good cause for noncompliance may result in the imposition of a $1,000 fine, imprisonment for not more than three days, an order to
perform community service, or any combination thereof.
- Job Protection
You are protected by Federal Statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1875, from being discharged, intimidated
or coerced by your permanent employer because of your attendance for service at
this Court. Further information is available from the jury clerk. Also see MESSAGE
TO EMPLOYERS in the Jury Information menu.
- Message to Employers
Your employee has been summoned to jury duty in the United States District Court
for the Northern District of Illinois. Jurors are obligated to remain on call for
jury service for a two-week period in Chicago. Jurors in Rockford are given up to
4 separate dates over a 2 month period for possible jury service. The average
time a juror will serve in Rockford is 3-5 days. During that time, they will be called for specific
cases and are usually released for the day by 4:30 p.m. In the two-week period,
the average time a juror will serve is 3-5 days in Chicago.
In most instances, the burden of Federal Court jury service is not so overwhelming
that it could not be absorbed by business or other establishments with relative
ease. You may not know that in order to insure that the serious need for federal
jurors is met, in 1978 the "Protection of Juror's Employment Statute" (Title 28,
United States Code, Section 1875) was enacted. The statute demonstrates the attitude
of the United States Congress toward assuring adequate representation and the corresponding
duty of employers to their employees and to the justice system.
Financial hardship claimed as an excuse by an individual summoned for jury duty
is not usually a valid reason for the Court to grant release especially if the individual
is working regularly in a permanent position with a salary or set hourly rate. Unless
there are some compelling reasons for that excuse, it will not be granted. If your
employment policy is against paying employees while they are on jury duty, you are
now asked to reconsider that policy. As you may know federal jurors are paid $40.00
per day for their services, paying the difference between your employee's salary
should not be overly burdensome.
- Grand Jury Service
A Federal Grand Jury is investigatory or accusatory in contrast to a petit jury,
which is a trial jury. If you have been randomly selected as a prospective grand
juror for the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, you will
be notified by mail when and where to report. Upon receipt of the summons, complete
the information form and return it to the U. S. District Court within five days
in the postage paid envelope provided.
A request for an excusal or postponement must be in writing and attached to your
completed information form. If you were summoned, you may call the Automated
Jury Information System (AJIS) to verify whether your request has been approved.
To receive information regarding your status, call 1 (800) 572-4210 no earlier than
ten business days prior to your scheduled reporting date. Please do not call the
automated system if you have not returned your completed information sheet.
Letters from employers requesting that their employee be excused from Grand Jury
Service will only be considered if accompanied by a letter from the prospective
Requests for excusal or postponement will not be handled over the telephone.
A DOCTOR'S STATEMENT must be attached to your completed information form if you
are requesting an excuse due to medical reasons. The statement must indicate whether
the condition is temporary or permanent.
You CANNOT be transferred from the United States District Court, Chicago
or Rockford to any county court.
If you ask for an excuse on impanelment day and are granted an excuse or postponement,
you will not be paid mileage or attendance. If your request is denied, be prepared
to participate and remain for the grand jury selection, which will end at approximately
1:00 P.M. In the Western Division, selection usually begins at 1:00 p.m. and
ends at approximately 3:00 p.m.
Approximately 65 grand jurors are expected to appear. The clerk will randomly select
23 members to be grand jurors. The remaining individuals will be selected as alternate
grand jurors and will take the place of a member who must be permanently excused.
In the Western Division, 23 members are randomly selected to be grand jurors with
10 individuals selected as alternates.
If you are selected as a Grand Juror or alternate, please expect to remain throughout
most of the day. The selection process and following instruction will require your
Length Of Service
Grand Jury Service is for a period of eighteen months. If selected on a grand jury, you will appear once per week at the U. S. District Court. Advance notice will be available by telephone.
If selected to serve in the Western Division, you will appear once every two weeks.
- Place of Holding Court
EASTERN Division (For Chicago, IL)
Counties Of: Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall,
Lake, La Salle, Will
If you have been summoned for jury duty by the United States District Court in Chicago,
Illinois, which comprises the counties of Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake,
La Salle and Will, you cannot be transferred from the U. S. District Court to another
location. The address for the courthouse is:
U. S. District Court
Jury Assembly Room No. 250
219 S. Dearborn St., Chicago,
* The courthouse is located on
Dearborn between Jackson and Adams street.
You are to report to the Chicago courthouse unless you have determined telephonically
that you have been excused or postponed. See the instructions included in your summon
package for details.
WESTERN Division (For Rockford, IL)
Counties Of: Boone, Carroll, DeKalb,
Jo Daviess, Lee, McHenry,
Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, Winnebago
If you have been summoned for jury duty by the United States District Court in Rockford,
which comprises the Counties of Boone, Carroll, De Kalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, McHenry,
Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside and Winnebago, you cannot be transferred from the U.
S. District Court to another location. The address for the courthouse is:
U. S. District Court
Jury Assembly Room 2101
327 South Church Street,Rockford,
You are to report to the Rockford courthouse unless you are notified that you have
been excused or postponed.
- Jury Plan for the Northern District of Illinois