NOTICE: BY ORDER OF THE ST. CLAIR COUNTY SHERIFF CELL PHONE ARE NOT ALLOWED IN THE COURTROOMS. PLEASE LEAVE YOUR CELL PHONES AT HOME OR IN THE CAR.
How are prospective jurors selected?
The Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, located in Springfield, creates a list of prospective jurors by combining the St. Clair County voter registration list, driver's license and state identification cards. Names are randomly selected from this list by a computer program.
Can you volunteer to be a juror?
No. The Jury Offices adheres to the random selection process established by State Statute.
Is jury service mandatory?
Yes. The United States Constitution and the Illinois Constitution guarantee the right to a trial by jury. Failure to attend as directed may subject you to penalties. All St. Clair County residents, who are U.S. citizens and over age 18, are required to serve by law.
Is my employer required to pay me while serving as a juror?
No. State law does not require employers to compensate their employees while they are on jury service. Please check with your employer regarding your company's policy.
Can my employer prevent me from serving as a juror?
No. Any person who is not legally disqualified to serve on juries, and has been duly summoned for jury duty for either petit or grand jury service, shall be given time off from employment to serve upon the jury for which such employee has been summoned. An employee shall give his employer reasonable notice of assigned jury service. An employer cannot require a night shift worker to work while the employee is on jury duty.
Can I be fired for taking time off to serve on a jury?
No. An employer cannot discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate or coerce any employee because he or she has been called to serve on a jury.
What happens if an employer refuses to me off for jury service?
State law (705ILCS310/10.1) Jury Duty Notice to Employer, Right to Time Off.
If an employee gives reasonable notice of required jury service, any employer who violates the provisions of this sections:
- May be in contempt of Court. If so, the State's Attorney shall file a petition for civil contempt, criminal contempt or both against the employer to be prosecuted by the State's Attorney; and
- Shall be liable for damages for any loss of wages or other benefits suffered by an employee by reason of violation; and
- May be enjoined from further violations and ordered to reinstate any employee discharged by reason of jury service. Any individual who is reinstated to a position of employment shall be considered as having been of furlough or leave of absence during the period of jury duty and shall be reinstated to his or her position of employment without loss of seniority, and shall be entitled to participate in insurance or other benefits offered by the employer under established rules and practices relating to employees on furlough or leave of absence in effect with the employer at the time the individual entered into jury service.
- In any action proceeding under this Section, the court may award a prevailing employee who bring the action retained by counsel a reasonable legal fee.
- Any right or remedy provided in this Section is in addition to any right or remedy otherwise provided by law to an employee.
- No employer shall be obligated to compensate an employee for time taken off for jury duty.
- The official responsible for issuing the summons may advise the juror of his rights under this Act by printed insert with the summons or the summons itself.
What is a reasonable time to give notice of jury service to my employer?
"Reasonable notice of required jury service" means that the employees summoned for jury duty must deliver to the employer a copy of the summons within 10 days of the date of issuance of the summons to the employee.
I can no longer fulfill my duties as a juror. Can you remove my name from your records?
Under certain circumstances, such as permanent mental or physical disability, jury staff can permanently remove your name from the list with a written letter from your doctor.
I am not a citizen of the United States, but I would like to serve as a juror. Why can't I?
The law automatically disqualifies non-citizens and people under 18 years of age from jury duty.
How long will I have to serve as a juror?
Generally for one week. Some trials may be is session longer than one week.
How late will I be at the courthouse?
The Court's normal hours are from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Prospective jurors should make arrangements to remain the entire day.
I served on a jury three years ago. Do I have to serve again already?
Yes. After serving you are exempt for one year.
May I be excused or deferred from jury service over the phone?
No. All requests must be in writing and either mailed or faxed to the Jury Office for review.
I know that I will not be selected to be on a jury because of what I do for a living. Why not excuse me now and just save time?
Both civil and criminal cases are tried and require juries. The random selection process prevents you from knowing in advance what trial or even what type of trial for which you will be selected. If, when you get to a courtroom, the judge may excuse you. If a judge excuses you, you have fulfilled your obligation for jury service.
I am unable to judge anyone because of my moral or religious beliefs. May I be excused?
The Illinois law does not provide for an excuse for jury service for your moral or religious beliefs. You are still required to appear for jury service. When you get to a courtroom, the judge will make that decision.
What about getting a postponement?
The Court realizes prospective jurors may have been summoned at an inconvenient time and is willing to defer service to another jury week in most instances.
Why do I have to pay the postage to return the juror questionaire?
The Jury Office spends more than $7,000 a year in postage to mail summons and juror checks. Postage for returned questionnaires would nearly double the cost.
Will I be compensated for jury duty?
Yes. Jurors are paid $10 a day plus mileage. Mileage is currently calculated round-trip from the center of your zip code to the St. Clair County Courthouse. The current rate is 10 cents per mile. Checks are sent out three to four weeks after service is completed.
I am a convicted felon. Can I still serve jury duty?