Welcome to Jury Duty in the Polk County District Court.
We will do all that we can to make you comfortable and answer any questions you might have as you fulfill this very important duty of your citizenship.
How was I chosen as a juror?
Jurors are chosen at random from current lists of persons age 18 or older, living in Polk County, Nebraska and are either registered voters or licensed drivers. Some people are chosen several times during their lifetime, others are never chosen.
If you are a registered voter or a licensed driver, you have the same chance of being chosen as someone else who meets those criteria.
What happens when I get a summons?
If you are a prospective juror, you will receive a qualifications form, a prepaid postage "receipt" to return to the court and a summons requiring you to appear for jury duty during the next jury term of the Polk County District and County Courts. Although the summons notifies you to appear on a variety of different dates, it is unlikely that you will actually be required to appear on all the dates indicated. This is because cases scheduled for trial will on occasion settle prior to the trial date. Likewise, it is possible that cases scheduled for trial will, by necessity, sometimes be continued. Whenever cases scheduled for trial might be settled or continued, this office will provide you with notice at the earliest possible opportunity that you will not be required to appear on a certain date or dates.
You are one of a larger panel, or venire, that have been summoned for jury duty during this term of court. From this larger panel, a jury of either 6 or 12 persons will ultimately be selected to serve as jurors in a given case. On occasion, one or two additional alternate jurors may also be selected, depending on the Court.
What can I expect on the day I report for jury duty?
When you report for jury duty, please check in at the respective Court (County or District). The jury selection process will then commence. As a general rule, the jury selection process will last through the morning. However, this might vary depending on the nature of the case being tried. After jury selection has been completed, those members of the panel who are not selected as jurors or alternates will be excused, and will be notified and reminded when to return for jury duty the next scheduled trial.
How long do most trials last?
Generally, trials average approximately 2 to 3 days to complete. Again, this is only a general rule of thumb, and the trial of any given case, depending on the circumstances unique to that case, may require more or less time to complete. During the jury selection process the judge will usually indicate an estimate as to the length of time expected to complete the trial.
Are there any circumstances for which I can be excused from jury duty?
A prospective juror is required by law to appear for jury duty on all dates summoned. However, the judge may excuse a juror only upon a showing of undue hardship, extreme inconvenience, or public necessity. The judge prior to considering a possible juror excuse will require strict proof of undue hardship, extreme inconvenience, or public necessity. Jurors are rarely excused because of work obligations. In this regard, our law provides that any person summoned for jury duty shall not be subject to discharge from employment, loss of pay, loss of sick leave, loss of vacation time, or any other form of penalty, as a result of his or her absence from employment due to such jury duty. If you wish to request an excuse from jury duty for any given trial, you must obtain and complete a written application for postponement of jury service from this office. The judge will then review your request and you will be advised of his decision.
Do I receive any compensation for jury duty?
You will be paid $35.00 per day for jury service, plus 48.5 cents per mile for mileage outside the city limits.