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Trial by jury is a fundamental principle of our system of justice and a citizen's right to a trial by jury can be traced back to both the United States Constitution and the Texas Declaration of Independence. Although the right to a jury trial is considered a fundamental safeguard of each American's constitutional liberties, the concept of a jury trial is hardly new, dating back to medieval England.

Your jury summons puts you in the center of this most basic right of all Americans. The United States and the State of Texas Constitutions guarantee a right to trial by jury for anyone accused of a crime, regardless of his or her race, religion, gender, national origin or economic status. Any time the facts of a civil or criminal case are in dispute, the parties have a right to have their case heard by a jury of fair and impartial citizens who will make decisions without bias or prejudice.

Information for Jurors

Qualifications for Jury Service

(Texas Government Code, Section 62.102)


To be qualified to serve as a juror you must:

1. be at least 18 years of age;

2. be a citizen of the United States;

3. be a resident of this state and a resident of the county in which you are to serve as a juror;

4. be qualified under the Constitution and laws to vote in the county in which you are to serve as a juror (Note: You do not have to be registered to vote to be qualified to vote.);

5. be of sound mind and good moral character;

6. be able to read and write;

7. not have served as a juror for six days during the preceding three months in the county court or during the preceding six months in the district court; and

8. not have been convicted of misdemeanor theft or a felony;

9. is not under indictment or other legal accusation for, misdemeanor theft or a felony.

Exemptions from Jury Service

(Texas Government Code, Section 62.106)


1. You are over 70 years of age.

2. You have legal custody of a child or children younger than 12 years of age and service on the jury would require leaving the child or children without adequate supervision.

3. You are a student at a public or private high school.

4. You are enrolled and in actual attendance at an institution of higher education.

5. You are an officer or an employee of the senate, the house of representatives, or any department, commission, board, office, or other agency in the legislative branch of state government.

6. You are the primary caretaker of a person who is unable to care for himself or herself. (This exemption does not apply to you if you are a primary caretaker only in your capacity as a health care worker.)

7. You are a member of the United States military forces serving on active duty and deployed to a location away from your home station and out of your county of residence;

8. You have served as a juror in this county during the 24-month period prior to the date you are required to appear by this summons.

9. You have been summoned for jury service in this county and you have served as a petit juror in this county during the three-year period prior to the date you are required to appear by this summons.

Juror Information and Frequently Asked Questions

Why is jury service important?
The right to a jury trial is one of the most important freedoms we have in this country. That freedom cannot be realized without good citizens who are willing to give their time to serve on juries. To learn more about the importance of jury service, go to the website and watch the videos.

If I have a conflict with the date I am to report, may I change it?
No. Call the District Judge’s Office and tell them about your conflict. Excuses are taken on a case by case basis.

Can I get excused if I need to work?
Under the law, the Court cannot excuse you for an economic reason unless both attorneys agree. If both attorneys agree and there are enough jurors, you may be able to be excused.

What should I do if I really need to work on the date of the summons?
You must appear at the time and date summoned and ask for a hardship excuse.

What is considered a hardship excuse?
It depends, but usually some reason that it would be uncommonly difficult or hard for you to serve. Inconvenience or needing to work will not ordinarily be enough since most everyone serving is inconvenienced or needs to work.

What if I am disqualified from jury service or if I want to claim an exemption?
The qualifications and exemptions are printed on the summons. If you are disqualified, or you wish to claim an exemption, circle the reason you are disqualified, or entitled to an exemption, sign the summons, and mail or take it to the District Clerk.

What if I am disqualified or have a hardship and don't return my summons?
You will receive a letter imposing a fine. To claim a disqualification or exemption, you must do so by returning your summons properly completed and signed, or personally appear for service and assert your disqualification or claim your exemption at that time.

I didn't get the summons until after the date to appear. What should I do?
Contact the District Judge’s office and tell them what happened. The fine for not appearing may be waived.

What is the fine for not appearing?
$ 100.00.

What happens if I don't appear?
You will receive a letter imposing the fine of $ 100.00.

What happens if I don't pay the fine?
You will receive a notice to appear before the Court to show cause why you should not be held in contempt.

What happens at the show cause hearing?
The Judge may impose a fine between $250.00 up to $ 1,000.00.

How long does jury service usually last?
If you are not chosen to serve on a jury, usually you will be excused before noon on the day you are summoned.

How long will I serve if I am chosen for a jury?
Most cases take two days. Of course, some are shorter and some may last longer. The Judge will tell you what to expect when you are in court.

Do I get paid for jury service?
Yes. For your first day of service the pay is $ 6.00 if you are not chosen for a jury, and $ 10.00 if you are chosen. If you serve on a jury for a second day or longer, the pay is $ 40.00 per day.

Does my employer have to pay me for the time off from work during jury service?
Texas law does not require your employer to pay you while you are on jury duty but does provide that your employer may not fire you, discriminate against you, or take any adverse action against you because you were fulfilling your jury duty.

I've never been on a jury. What's it all about?
A jury decides the disputed facts in a case and, in a criminal case, may decide the punishment for a crime.

What if I have a medical emergency right before jury service?
Call the District Clerk's office and let them know.

I am disabled. Can I serve on a jury?
Yes. All facilities are accessible.

I have a medical condition that makes it hard for me to serve, so I would like to be excused. What do I need to do?
Get a written note from your doctor and bring or send it to the District Clerk.

What is voir dire?
At the beginning of the trial, the lawyers are allowed to ask jury panelists questions concerning the panelist's background, experiences, and any feelings they may have about the type of case on trial to try to determine if a panelist can be a fair and impartial juror in that particular trial. That is the voir dire process.

My question about jury service has not been answered above. How can I ask another question?
Send an email to the court:

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