Circuit Court

301 W Main St
Midland, MI 48640-5194

Ph: (989) 832-6735
Fax: (989) 832-6610
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Circuit Court Jury Box

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Jury Information

Jurors are an essential part of the American Judicial System. Most people who serve on Jury duty find it to be worthwhile and extremely helpful in understanding how the legal system works. Without you, the jury system cannot work. We know that jury service means rearranging schedules, canceling appointments and oftentimes, missing work. But if you were on trial, wouldn’t you want someone like you to make the sacrifices necessary to be a part of your jury? Your public service as a juror protects our right to have a trial by an impartial jury of our peers. Should you be called to serve as a juror in Midland County, we will make every effort to make your experience valuable.

Parking

Please use the River Side Entrance directly behind the Courthouse where parking is available for jurors. Please do not park in the "Ashman Court" Hotel parking lot, which is directly behind the Jail.

Courthouse Security

All persons entering the Courthouse are subject to security screening. Items such as briefcases, laptops, cell phones and pagers are prohibited. Any items that may be construed as a weapon may be confiscated. Please feel free to bring a book or magazine, as there are often periods of waiting.

Jury Information Center Phone Number

The following phone number will give you the most updated information regarding your jury service. Please call the Jury Information Hotline after 5:30 pm the evening before your report dates. This number can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is continually updated.

JURY INFORMATION HOTLINE

(989) 832-6793

This is an information number only. You cannot leave a message. If you need to talk to court staff between the hours of 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, please contact:

Circuit Court   (989) 832-6735
District Court   (989) 837-6595
Probate Court  

(989) 837-6595

 


Frequently Asked Questions

How was I selected to serve as a juror?
 

You were randomly selected by the Michigan Secretary of State via computer from an index of all Midland County residents over 18 years of age currently holding a Michigan Drivers License or a Michigan Personal Identification Card.

Who is exempt from jury service?
 

You are exempt if:

  1. You are not a United States Citizen
  2. You do not speak or understand English
  3. You are over 70 years old and wish to claim exemption
  4. You have served as a juror during the past 12 months
  5. You have been convicted of a felony
What happens after I return my "Jury Questionnaire" to the Court?
  Once the qualified questionnaires are determined by the "Midland County Jury Board", their names are held in a computer "Jury Pool". Orders from Circuit, District and Probate Courts indicate how many jurors they anticipate needing in the upcoming year and panels are computer drawn at random respectively. Once selected, jurors are given 4 to 6 weeks advance notice for planning personal and business activities which helps eliminate the need for unnecessary requests for excuses.
What is the "Jury Board"?
  The Jury Board consists of three individuals appointed by the Midland County Board of Commissioners, upon recommendation of the Circuit Court Judges. These individuals are appointed for 6 year terms and must include a minimum of one person from the republican and democratic parties.
What is the normal length of a jury trial in Midland County?
  The normal length of a Circuit Court trial is several days to a week. District Court and Probate Court often complete trials in 1 to 2 days.
Am I required by law to fill out the qualifying jury questionnaire?
 

You are required by state law to fill out the qualifying questionnaire and return it to the County Clerk for filing no later than 10 days from the date your receive it. Persons who do not respond to the questionnaire are sent subsequent requests resulting in a final request to appear before the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court to explain why a fine should not be imposed for failing to respond to the Clerk’s request. Failure to report for jury duty is also being aggressively followed up by the Court and may result in a Show Cause Hearing by the Court and possible fines imposed.

I am unable to complete the questionnaire because of ill health or other physical or mental limitations. What should I do?
  The questionnaire must be completed and returned within 10 days. If you are unable to do so, please authorize an individual to act on your behalf, complete and mail the questionnaire. If you have a physical or mental disability that would interfere with or prevent you from serving as a juror, please indicate so by checking the "Yes" box for question #4 on the first side of he questionnaire. You should also attach an explanation and provide a letter from your physician. Complete only side one of the questionnaire and return.
If I am over 70 years if age do I have to serve as a juror?
  That is entirely up to you. If you wish to serve, answer "Yes" to question #5. If you would like to be exempt, answer "No" to question #5. Complete only side one of the questionnaire and return within 10 days.
I have already served jury duty. Can I be called to serve again?
  Yes, under the law you are eligible to serve every 12 months. The Secretary of State computer system should eliminate your name if you have served in the past 12 months. If for some reason you receive another questionnaire during the year proceeding your last date of service, please respond "Yes" to question #6 with the appropriate Court information and time period, complete only side one of the questionnaire and return within 10 days.
What if I have been convicted of a felony?
  If you have ever been convicted of a felony, answer "Yes" to question #7, complete only side one of the questionnaire and return within 10 days. Having been convicted of a felony will permanently excuse you from jury duty.
The questionnaire is addressed to my son/daughter who is away at college/military. What should I do?
  Again, the questionnaire must be returned by law. You have two options; forward the questionnaire to him/her and have them return it within 10 days, or you can fill out the questionnaire for him/her indicating their situation, sign your name indicating you are the parent or legal representative and return the questionnaire within 10 days. If they have permanently moved and changed their address on their drivers license and declared residency in another county or state, please indicate and return.
I received a questionnaire, but no longer live in Midland County. What should I do?
  By law you must still return the questionnaire. We request that you indicate your new address, complete only side one of the questionnaire and return within 10 days.

The questionnaire was sent to a family member who is deceased. What should I do?
  By law the questionnaire must be returned. Please write "Deceased" in large letters on the questionnaire and return within 10 days. We take steps to try and avoid this situation. Please accept our apology for any distress this document may have caused you or your family.
The party whose name is on the questionnaire doesn’t live at this address. What should I do?
  If you know the forwarding address, mark through the address shown on the questionnaire, write the new address and place in the U.S. Mail. If you do not know the party’s forward address, mark through the address printed on the questionnaire, write "Not At This Address – Return To Sender", and place in the U.S. Mail.
I stay at home to care for my child. Do I have to serve jury duty?
  You may request a "Application For Relief From Jury Duty". You may also pick up the form at the Circuit Court Clerk's Office. The Trial Court Administrator makes the decision if you have a valid reason for exemption.
Who has access to the information on the "Juror Qualification Questionnaire"?
  Only the Jury Board and Circuit Court staff have access to the "Juror Qualification Questionnaire" and that information is not public record. Once selected to serve on a panel, the Prosecuting Attorney and Attorneys involved in the trial have access to the second side of the questionnaire only, which does not contain address, date of birth or social security number.
What is the difference between a "Questionnaire" and a "Summons"?
  A jury questionnaire begins the screening process for prospective jurors. After reviewing your questionnaire, you may be selected for jury service during the court year. A questionnaire does NOT mean you have to report for jury service. It is the first step in determining who is eligible to serve as a juror. You are only required to report to Court if you receive a Summons for Jury Service.
Does receipt of this questionnaire mean that I will be selected to serve as a juror?
  Out of the 6,000 questionnaires that are mailed out yearly, approximately half that amount will actually be called as potential jurors.
How much will I be compensated for my jury service?
  For your 1st half day of service you will be paid $12.50 and for each half day after that you will be paid $20.00 per half day. In addition you will be paid mileage for 1 round trip per day at $.30 per mile from your home to the Courthouse. This mileage figure is taken from your juror questionnaire. Payment will be made to you by check approximately 3 weeks after your term of service is complete.
Can I be excused from jury duty?
  You must submit an "Application For Relief From Jury Duty" form to the Trial Court Administrator to be excused from jury duty or deferred to a different time. You may also obtain this form from the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office on the 2nd floor of the Courthouse. If you request to be excused because of medical reasons, please attach a note from your physician. If you are asking to be excused because of job related reasons, you are requested to attach a letter from your employer. If this application is not submitted prior to your reporting date you must appear as notice. Failure to appear for jury duty without proper release may result in contempt of court.



Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 02:44 PM EDT