JURY FAQS


Can I bring electronics to jury duty?

Jurors may bring laptops, tablets, cell phones, etc. with them.  We ask that all electronics be put away before entering a courtroom and while staff is speaking.

Can I volunteer for jury duty?

No. State statute requires that jurors are selected by a random draw.

Do I need to report for duty tomorrow?

ONLY if your report date is on Wednesday would you need to call the night before. If your jury duty date is on Monday you must report.

Jury Information Telephone Number: 314-615-2669

Fax Telephone Number: 314-615-7650

[email protected]

Office Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Monday through Friday

Do you have to be a registered voter?

No, you do not have to be registered to vote to be selected for jury duty.

Do you have to be a resident of St. Louis?

Yes, state statute requires that you reside in the county that you serve. If you are not a resident of St. Louis County, please return your summons with your proper address and ask the judge to release you from jury service.

Does my employer have to let me off work for jury duty?

Missouri Revised Statute 494.460 states – Employers Prohibited from Disciplining Employees because of Jury Duty, Action for Damages, Attorney Fees -

1.An employer shall not terminate, discipline, threaten or take adverse actions against an employee on account of that employee’s receipt of or response to a jury summons.

2.An employee discharged in violation of this section may bring civil action against his employer within ninety days of discharge for recovery of lost wages and other damages caused by the violation and for an order directing reinstatement of the employee. If he prevails, the employee shall be entitled to receive a reasonable attorney’s fee.

Does my employer have to pay for time off of work?

Not necessarily. It depends on your company’s policy - some do, some don’t. There is no law requiring employers to pay their employees when they are off for jury duty. You should check with your company to find out what their policy is.

How are juries selected?

In Missouri, people with disputes may bring the dispute to trial to be resolved by a jury called civil cases.  The State may charge someone with a crime and if the person pleas not guilty the criminal case is set for trial.

A jury for civil and criminal cases is comprised of residents of the county where the trial takes place. Currently, a master jury list is drawn from public records where names are selected at random.  A new master list is drawn every year.

Each week, names are drawn and each selected person is mailed a jury summons. Since it is not known how many of the cases will be settled before trial, it is difficult to know exactly how many people to bring in for jury service. Here in St. Louis County, we have 17 divisions in jury trial 48 weeks of each year. We bring in an average number that we anticipate will be needed.

Each Monday, we bring in jurors who serve Monday and Tuesday. If a juror is selected for a particular case, he or she must serve for the duration of the case. Those not selected are dismissed at the end of the day on Tuesday.

A new group of jurors is summoned for Wednesday and Thursday. Currently, we have a call-in system for the jurors scheduled to report on a Wednesday so that if trials scheduled are settled, we can reduce the number of jurors who must report. Those who report but are not selected are dismissed on Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning depending on the trials scheduled.

If Monday is a holiday, jurors begin their service on Tuesday and may be required to stay until it is determined that no more jury trials will begin either Tuesday or Wednesday.

Of course, in all cases, if you are selected to serve as a juror for a trial, your service will be for the duration of the case. Jury trials in St. Louis County generally average 2 1/2 days but may be shorter or longer depending on the case.

How long does jury duty take?

Two groups of jurors are normally called for service each week (Monday and Wednesday). If your service begins on a Monday, service is usually for a minimum of 2 days. If your service begins on a Wednesday, service is usually for a minimum of 1 1/2 days. In the event Monday is a holiday and service begins on a Tuesday, only one group of jurors will be called for the week and service is usually 3 days. As you can see, it is hard to say exactly how many days will be required, but we ask that you plan on being present for at least 2 days.

If you are selected to serve as juror for a trial, your service will be for the duration of the case. Jury trials in St. Louis County generally average 2 1/2 days but may be shorter or longer depending on the case. You will usually be given an idea of how long the trial is expected to take once you are assigned to a case.

Jurors are encouraged to bring work, reading material or other quiet activities to occupy their time while waiting for assignment. Electronic equipment (e.g. hand-held video games, radios, CD players, laptops with batteries) are allowed as long as the sound is turned off or to a low volume so as not to disturb the other jurors. There is one television available for viewing in the Jury Assembly Room.

There are drink and snack vending machines available as well as reading material. Vending machines accept credit/debit cards or cash; there are no change machines available.

How many days of service are required?

The average case in St. Louis County is 2 1/2 days. If you are selected to serve, you will stay until that case is finished. If you are called to begin service on a Monday or Wednesday, and you are not selected by the end of the second day of service, you will be dismissed. If you are called to begin service on a Tuesday, you are usually required to serve 3 days. Occasionally, the jurors are dismissed after 1 day if the jury supervisor finds that all the courts have disposed of their cases and there will no longer be a need for any jurors. As you can see, it is hard to say exactly how many days will be required, but we ask that you plan on being present for at least 2 days.

Is there an age limit?

The only age limit is that you must be twenty-one years of age to serve. There is no upper age limit to perform your civic duty.

Is there somewhere close by to purchase lunch?

There are restaurants with in walking distance of the St. Louis County Courthouse. There are soda, coffee, and snack vending machines in The Jury Room. You can also bring your lunch and/or snacks but refrigeration is not available.

Juror Conduct - In & Out of Trial

Be Prompt

It is extremely important that jurors not be late in reporting for duty. A late juror wastes the time of the judge, the parties, the lawyers and witnesses. A lawyer, witness, or juror may be fined for contempt of court for being tardy.

Badges

You should wear your juror badge at all times. It is especially important to have the juror badge on when you leave the courtroom. The badge will alert others that you are a juror and cases should not be discussed in your presence.

Pagers/Cellular Telephones

We also ask that you do not carry pagers or cell phones while you are on jury service. If you must carry one, you will be required to turn it off and put it away before entering any court and while staff are giving announcements.

Service Activities

When you first arrive, report to the Jury Assembly Room, on the Street Level of the Courts Building - also referred to as the "assembly room."

While waiting for assignment, it is very important that you do not leave the assembly room until you are called to go to a court, dismissed by the staff for lunch, or dismissed at the end of the day. If you need to leave the assembly room for any matter, you must check with a member of the staff in the assembly room before doing so. If you are missing or do not return during the course of your jury service, you could be served with a summons to appear before the judge to show cause why you should not be cited for contempt.

When you are called to a court from the assembly room, take all of your personal belongings with you as you will not return to the assembly room if you are selected to serve on that case.

If you are not selected to serve as a juror when you are sent to a court, you will either return to the pool of jurors in the assembly room or be dismissed, depending on the day and the time of day.

You were asked to report at 8:15 A.M. the first day and if you are still in the assembly room at the end of the day, you will be dismissed at approximately 4:00 P.M. The second day you will have to return at 8:30 A.M. and again will be dismissed at approximately 4:00 P.M. if you are still in the assembly room. Once you are selected as a juror in a particular court, the judge of the court will set the hours and you will follow his/her instructions for the duration of the case.

Radio, Television, Newspaper Reports and Independent Investigations

In order to keep an open mind, jurors should not listen to radio, TV or read articles about the trial. News sources sometimes give a biased or unbalanced view of the case. No juror may visit the location of the crime or accident. No juror may seek to do any independent investigation. No juror may talk to a lawyer about the facts of a case you are hearing. All information about the case must come from the evidence at trial and the jury must base their decision on that evidence and not from outside sources.

Discussing the Case

During the trial, jurors should not talk about the case with each other, other persons, or allow other people to talk about it in their presence. If anyone should insist upon talking about the case to you, tell them that you are on the jury and cannot discuss the case. If the person insist, you should ask for their name and report the matter to the judge at the first opportunity.

Talking With the Parties or Lawyers

Do not talk with parties, witnesses, or lawyers during a trial. Any conversation with these individuals can create the perception of unfairness even if the conversation was unrelated to the case.

Selecting a Foreperson

At the close of the case when you retire to the jury deliberation room, your first duty is to select a foreperson. It is the foreperson’s duty to ensure that the deliberations are conducted in an orderly fashion, the issues submitted for decisions are fully and fairly discussed, and that all jurors participate in the process. The foreperson also counts votes for the jury.

Secrecy

The discussions and verdict should not be known to anyone outside the jury room until your verdict has been read in court and accepted by the judge. The judge will instruct you as to when you can discuss the case with parties, lawyers, reporters or anyone else you wish. However, until you have been released from service you must keep the proceedings a secret.

Dismissal

When you are dismissed from service, you will be given instructions from either the court or the staff of the Jury Assembly Room to check out. When checking out, you will have to turn in your juror badge. Be sure to have the juror badge with you at all times, as you never know exactly when you will be dismissed.

Severe Weather Notice

If it is announced that St. Louis County Government is closed, that does not mean that the courthouse is closed. The announcement must say that the St. Louis County Circuit Court is closed or that jurors who were to report to the St. Louis County Circuit Court should not report for that day.

We do contact the local television stations if we close – however, it is best if you call the jury information line or check our website for the most current information.

You can do that by calling the jury information line at 314-615-2669. The message will be updated as the weather progresses and decisions are made or check the website at stlcountycourts.com/jury-duty/

What is the jury office mailing address, telephone number, fax number and email?

Mailing Address:

St. Louis County Courthouse
Attn: Jury Room, Street Level
105 South Central Avenue
Clayton, MO 63105

Telephone number for information: 314-615-2669
Fax number: 314-615-7650

[email protected]

What should I wear to jury duty?

You do not need to "dress up", but, appropriate attire is requested. In keeping with the dignity and serious nature of court proceedings, in most courtrooms, participants may not wear hats, t-shirts, tank-tops, tube-tops, cut-offs, or shorts.