How are prospective jurors selected?
The Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts compiles a list of prospective jurors by combining information from a list of all Illinois Driver's License, Illinois Identification Card, Illinois Person with a Disability Identification Card holders, and all registered voters of St. Clair County.
Can I volunteer to be a juror?
No. The Jury Commission 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 trial by jury. All St. Clair County residents who are citizens of the United States, and over 18 years of age, are required to serve by law. Individuals who fail to attend as directed may be subjected to contempt proceedings or other penalties as proscribed by law and at the discretion of the court.
May I be excused from jury service?
Yes. Jury service may be excused for the following:
- Individuals who are 70 years of age or older, and request to be excused;
- Individuals who are not citizens of the United States;
- Active duty military;
- A person with a permanent and total disability – requires statement from a licensed physician;
- A person who stays at home, and has active care and custody of a child under age 12, or someone who is essential to the care of an aged or infirm person; and
- Any person who has served in the previous two years on a federal petit or grand jury.
May I postpone jury service?
The court realizes prospective jurors may have been summoned at an inconvenient time and is willing to defer service to a later date in most instances. All requests for deferment must be in writing and submitted to the Jury Commission by United States mail, email, or fax no later than seven days prior to the date summoned.
Is my employer required to pay me while serving as a juror?
No. State law does not require employers to compensate employees while serving as a juror. Please check with your employer regarding your company's policy.
Can my employer prevent me from serving as a juror?
No. Any person who has been duly summoned to serve as a juror for either a petit or grand jury, shall be given time off from employment to serve upon the jury for which such employee has been summoned. An employee shall give his or her 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 is a reasonable time to give notice of jury service to my employer?
Employees summoned for jury service must deliver to the employer a copy of the summons within 10 days of the date of issuance to the employee.
What happens if an employer refuses time off for jury service?
Pursuant to State Law (705 ILCS 310-10.1) 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 section:
- May be charged with 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 on 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 issuance 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 prevailing action or proceeding brought under this Section, the court may award the employee reasonable legal fees.
- 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.
How long will I have to serve as a juror?
Generally for one week. However, some trials may be in 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?
Yes. You are only exempt for one year after serving.
I know that I will not be selected to be on a jury because of my career. 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.
I am unable to judge anyone because of my moral or religious beliefs. May I be excused?
Illinois law does not excuse jury service for moral or religious beliefs. You are still required to appear for jury service.
Will I be compensated for jury duty?
Yes. Jurors are paid $10 a day, plus mileage. Mileage is currently calculated round-trip from your registered home address to the St. Clair County Courthouse. Checks are sent out after service is completed.
I am a convicted felon, can I still serve jury duty?
A person convicted of a felony offense may still serve on a jury so long as they are no longer serving mandatory supervised release (parole).
What if I am sick on the day I am scheduled to report for jury duty?
Stay home. Do not come to the courthouse if you are ill. Notify the Jury Commission office as soon as possible by calling 618-825-2632, if no one is available to take your call, leave a message, your call will be returned.