The Jury Services Dept accepts calls Monday and Tuesday from 1:00 P.M. to 4:30 P.M.
and Wednesday through Friday from 8:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. and
1:00 P.M. to 4:30 P.M. Our metro number is
940-349-2230 or 972-434-8830. Closed for lunch 12:00 P.M. to 1:00 P.M.
JURY REPORT TIME IS ALWAYS AT 8:20 A.M.
Did you know that 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.
To Have a Jury Trial, There Must Be a Jury
and to have a jury, citizens from all walks of
life must be called upon to participate. Because you have
received a jury summons, your are now part of this important
In a sense, it is an adventure. You have the
opportunity to see the justice system in action, meet a wide
range of people, and if you are chosen to serve on a jury,
participate in one of this country's most fundamental
Although appearing for jury duty may disrupt your
daily routine, we ask that participate with an open mind,
patience, and an understanding of the essential role you have
in our justice
Jury Selection Process
The process for selecting prospective jurors is
mandated by state law. If you are a registered voter, have a Texas
driver's license or Texas personal identification
card and you live in Denton County, your name is
entered in a computer system designed to randomly select
Denton County provides jurors for twenty courts within Denton
County. Those courts include 6 District Courts, 8 County Courts, and 6 Justice
Courts. The District Clerk prepares a random selection of names, which
are retrieved at least a month prior to the service date. Those selected receive
a summons which is mailed by the District Clerk /Jury Services Dept.
Because the names in our jury pool
are provided by two different sources there is the potential
of having a jurors name on our system more than once. The
Secretary of State combines the names from the voter registration
list and the DPS list, however, their software cannot detect duplicates
if there is any difference in name or address between the two
sources. This makes it possible for a person to receive more than one jury
summons within a short period of time. If this occurs please refer to
the exemption section of your summons for "having appeared for
service in the previous 36 months".
A person called for jury service may be excused from jury duty in certain
circumstances. These reasons for exemption do not disqualify you from serving;
even though you may qualify for an exemption you do not have to claim the exemption,
but certain circumstances can impose considerable hardship for
some people. If any of the exemptions apply,
and you wish to claim the exemption, you must complete the form, check off the applicable
exemption listed on the back of the summons and return the summons to the Denton County
Jury Services Department. You will not need to appear unless you receive notice the
exemption was denied. You will not receive confirmation if an exemption is accepted.
Legal exemptions are as follows:
over seventy (70) years of age
legal custody of children under twelve (12) years old when
jury service would leave those children without adequate
supervision (this does not apply to those who work outside
the home during normal business hours or those whose children
are in a daycare facility during the day)
students in private or public high schools or attending an
institution of higher education (you must be enrolled and
attending classes at the time you are summoned to appear)
associated with the legislative branch as an officer or an
employee of the senate, house of representatives, or any
department, commission, board, office, or other agency in the
legislative branch of state government.
have appeared as a petit juror in the county during the 36
month period preceding the date he/she is to appear.
(this does not apply to those who have served in a city or federal
primary caretakers of a person unable to care for themselves
(this does not apply to health care workers)
have a medical condition and submit physician's documentation of
such with the sworn Affidavit Form.
- primary caretakers of a person unable to care for themselves (this does not apply to health care workers)
- have appeared as a petit juror in the county during the 36 month period preceding the date he/she is to appear. (this does not apply to those who have served in a city or federal court)
If 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.
There are several common reasons given by prospective jurors
for exemption which are not allowable:
being the sole owner of a business or commission sales
having an employer who will not pay you for your jury service
frequent travel for business
having a lack of transportation
Jury Duty and Your Job
The law protects your job while you are
fulfilling your jury duty and you can not be fired for serving.
However, Your employer is not required to pay you for the time
missed from work while on jury duty. If you need proof of
service for your employer, one can be provided to you by the
Jury Services Department.
In order for a person to serve as a juror they must meet certain
qualifications. The qualifications are listed on your summons next
to the exemptions. Unlike exemptions, if you do not meet all the
qualifications you cannot serve on a jury and you must complete the
sworn affidavit form and return it to the Jury Services Department.
You do not need to appear and you will not receive confirmation from
A person is qualified to serve as a juror if that person:
is at least 18 years of age.
is a resident of Denton County and you must be a United States citizen.
is qualified under the constitution and laws to vote in the county
in which one is to serve as a juror. (you do not have to be a
registered voter to serve)
is of sound mind and good moral character.
is able to read and write.
has not served as a petit juror for 6 days in the preceding 6
months in a district court or 6 days in the preceding 3 months
in a county court.
has not been convicted of a misdemeanor theft or any felony.
is not under indictment or other legal accusation for a theft or
Tips to Make Your Jury Service More Enjoyable
Knowing where you are going and what to expect when you
get there can make any experience more enjoyable, and jury
service is no exception. Getting to the Denton County
Courts Building, finding the Jury Assembly Room, and
arriving prepared aren't nearly as tough as you might think.
You must bring your juror badge with you when you report for
jury duty. If you failed to return your information form, please
complete the form and bring it with you when you report.
In addition, you may want to bring something to do while you wait
in the Jury Assembly Room. Jury duty does involve some waiting,
so a good book or handwork will help pass the time. There is a
workroom in the Jury Assembly Room that jurors are welcome to use
during waiting periods. There are electrical plugs for lap top
computer use and free Wi-Fi.
You may also want to bring money for snacks, drinks and lunch.
There are vending machines for snacks during breaks, so plan to
have plenty of change.
Dress the Part
You may be selected for, and actually serve, on a jury the
day you are summoned, so it is important that you dress
appropriately. Jury service is serious business, and you
should dress accordingly. Business attire is recommended.
Shorts, tank tops and flip-flop sandals are not considered
appropriate attire for court. Jeans are allowed. When in
doubt, dress seriously but with comfort in mind. Jury
service can involve a good deal of sitting.
What Your Jury Service Involves
Once you have arrived at the Jury Assembly Room, your jury
service is underway. You will find that the system is set up
to guide you along with clear instructions throughout the
process. Whether you are selected as a juror or not, you will
still be providing an essential part of the trial by jury system.
Where To Go Once You've Arrived at the Courthouse
Free parking is available all around the Courts Building,
along with several handicapped spaces. Before you are allowed
to enter the building you will pass through a metal detector.
Please remember that absolutely no weapons of any kind are
allowed in the building: guns, knives, pepper spray, mace, etc…
Your jury service starts in the Jury Assembly Room at 8:20 A.M., located on
the 2nd floor. Elevators to the 2nd floor are located behind
the main staircase on the 1st floor. There are restrooms, a
workroom and vending machines for beverages and snacks available.
What To Expect
When you arrive in the Jury Assembly Room, please report to
the Juror Check-In Desk. After all prospective jurors have checked
in, a brief orientation will be given by a trial judge. The judge
will go over the disqualifications and exemptions that were listed
on the summons. Those who believe they may be disqualified and
those with possible exemptions will be given the opportunity at
this point to come forward and be heard by the impaneling judge.
Prospective jurors are assigned to panels, smaller groups from
which jurors are selected. Those impaneled jurors are taken to
a courtroom by a bailiff. Once in the courtroom, jurors are
briefed by the judge and questioned by attorneys for both sides
until the jurors who will hear the case are chosen. Once the
jury has been selected, those persons on the panel who are not
chosen are released. There may be panels assigned on that first
day of jury service that will be asked to return for cases
beginning later in the week. Those jurors will be provided with
a letter for their employer stating that they appeared and when
they are expected to return to complete their service. Your jury
service is only for the week you are summoned. The only way your
service would extend past one week is if you are selected as a
juror in a trial that goes into the next week.
Approximately 20% of prospective jurors are selected for
trials. If you aren't selected to sit as a juror on a case,
you can expect to be released for the week. If you are selected,
you will serve for one trial. Surprisingly, the average trial only
lasts 1 to three (3) days.
Getting Paid for Jury Service
Jurors are paid for their service. Each juror receives six
dollars ($6) a day for every day that they appear. If you are
selected to serve on a case you will receive forty dollars
($40) a day for every day that you are seated in that trial.
Payments are processed at the end of jury service, and a check
is mailed to each juror within two to three weeks of their service.
You've Been Selected for a Jury -- What Now?
Approximately 20% of those summoned to jury duty are ever
chosen to serve on a jury. So, there is a good chance that
you will be released from your jury service after the first
day. If you are selected to serve, this will be an opportunity
to see our justice system in action first hand.
A Day in the Life of a Juror
Each trial is as unique as the people involved, and there
is no way to predict how long each trial will last. A
trial can last a day or take two or three days; they are
seldom much longer.
During the trial, the judge will tell you what time you
need to be in court each day and what time to expect each
day to end. You will also be given a break for lunch, which
you may choose to take at one of the many restaurants
around the courthouse. Restaurant maps are provided in
the jury room.
Trials follow a set procedure which you may find familiar.
Attorneys for each side may explain the case, outline any
evidence they will present, and discuss the issues you will
decide. This is usually a broad statement which sets the
stage for witnesses and the details to follow.
Presentation of Evidence:
Testimony of witnesses and exhibits are all
evidence. Any exhibits will be available to the jury during
their deliberations. Because you will be deciding the case
based on the facts presented, it is very important to pay
close attention to all evidence.
Rulings by the Judge:
The judge may be asked to decide questions of law during the
trial. He may ask jurors to leave the courtroom while lawyers
make legal arguments. If this happens, understand that these
issues must be decided so that proper evidence can be
considered by the jury.
Instruction to the Jury:
After all evidence has been presented, the judge may
give the jury the Charge of the Court. This includes legal
instructions about the case and the question the jury must
This gives the lawyers an opportunity to summarize the
evidence and to try to persuade the jury to accept their
client's view of the case.
Jury Deliberations and Decision:
After hearing the closing arguments, the jury is
sent to deliberate. During deliberations, members of the jury
will decide how they will answer the questions presented in
the Charge of the Court and then return a final
Sequestered juries are very rare. Before you are assigned
to such a jury, you will have an opportunity to discuss
any problems this might create with the judge.
Still Have Questions?
If you still have questions about your summons or jury
duty, please call the Jury Services Department at metro
940-349-2230 or 972-434-8830. We understand you have
questions, and we will do everything we can to make your
jury service easy and as interesting as possible. We rely
on our citizens to keep our justice system running, and
we thank you in advance for the very important part you play.