Jury Duty Q&A
Your service is essential to the administration of justice and your participation is greatly appreciated by the judge, attorneys, and parties. The constitutional right to a jury trial is critical to our judicial system and jurors are a crucial part of the process. Serving as a juror is not only an obligation but a right and privilege. Thank you for serving.
To qualify to be chosen for jury service you must be 18 years old, lived in the county for at least 12 months, not a convicted felon, be a US citizen for 12 months, not currently under indictment, and not have served on local jury service within the last 24 months.
How are jurors selected? We have strictly used the Department of Safety's drivers License list for more than 30+ years. There are approximately 24,000 licensed drivers on the Henry County list. We choose about 250 each jury term to choose from. Our method of making those choices is facilitated by a random computerized selection.
Mail out of summons - how does that work? 250 summonses are mailed three times a year (every 4 months), questionnaires are then returned to the Clerk's office. We summon each potential juror to join us during what is called, Grand Jury Day. From that point, the judge has total authority over jury service and juror selection process. Typically, we divide the jurors into two panels and rotate which panel we use for each trial so to cut down on how often you might be called to serve.
How long do you serve? 4 months. Each March, July and November we begin new.
What does a Grand Jury do? Decides whether to indict (bring formal charges) against an individual for charges presented by the District Attorney's Office. They do not decide guilt or innocence but whether or not there is sufficient proof and evidence to require the accused to stand trial. Twelve (12) members of the Grand Jury plus one foreman, equal the thirteen people that make up the Grand Jury. The 12 jurors must agree on an outcome.
What is the difference in Civil and Criminal Cases?
Civil - disagreement or damages suffered/incurred over $24,999. Money is usually the award.
Criminal - charges of breaking the law with punishment of jail, probation/parole, fines or a combination of all of these where the punishment is one year or more incarcerated and the damages/fines exceed $25,000. These are known as felonies.
What does jury service pay in Henry County? $11 per appearance/day.
How do you get on an actual petite jury to decide a case? On Grand Jury Day everyone's name is put into a raffle drum/tumbler and names are drawn at random and attorneys ask them questions to see if they qualify to serve or not.
Types of trials or charges you might encounter while on jury service: murder, BUI, DUI, reckless endangerment, child abuse related charges, drug charges, public official wrong doing, auto accident damages, on the job injury, slip and fall, workers comp, unfair discharge from job, or medical malpractice. Most cases tend to settle prior to a trial. This is due many times to mediation, good negotiations by attorneys and parties, and agreed judgments.
Jury Duty Scam
Please be aware: The Henry County Court System will not call you and ask you for your social security number or for any of your credit card numbers. Do not provide any of this information to anyone claiming to represent the court system. This scam has happened in eleven states including Tennessee. If you receive a call like this please hang up and contact your local Law Enforcement Agency.
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