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Jury Information

Jury Duty Orientation Video

Why do we have a jury system?

The constitution of the United States guarantees each U.S. citizen a right to trial by jury in both criminal and civil matters, it's your duty and honor. As a juror, you play an essential role in the American system of justice. Jury service is an obligation and a privilege. Serving as a juror is a fundamental obligation we all share as citizens of the United States. The Judge determines the law to be applied in the case, while the jury decides the facts. Thus, in a very important way, jurors become a part of the court itself. You do not need any special skills or legal knowledge to be a juror. You do need to keep an open mind and be willing to make decisions free of personal feelings or biases.

Jurors should observe the following general rules of conduct

  • 1. Be on time and dressed appropriately for court. Trial cannot proceed until all jurors are present.
  • 2.Do not bring in knives/scissors/fingernail clippers (sharp objects).
  • You will either have to return these items to your car, or they will be thrown away by the security guard.

  • 3.Have cell phones turned off.
  • 4.Once selected as juror and placed in the jury box, please remember to sit in the same assigned seat.
  • This allows the clerk, judge, and lawyers to identify you more easily.

  • 5.Simply let the judge know if you need a break.
  • Generally the Judges make sure an adequate amount of breaks are given.

  • 6.Listen carefully. It is important that you hear every question asked and every answer given since your verdict will be based on the evidence given.
  • If you do not understand any portion of the trial, you should ask the Judge to explain.

  • 7.Do not talk about the case. You should not talk with anyone about the case. This includes the Clerk, lawyers, Judge, Bailiff, and other jurors, unless you have retired to the jury room for deliberations.
  • If anyone tries to talk to you about the case or attempts to influence you as a juror, you should report it to the Judge immediately.

    Length of service

    Most trials are from one to four days, with some exceptions. Occasionally, jury selection will take a few days and the trial could last several days. A seated juror cannot serve more than ten days, in his/her term of service. The exception would be if the tenth day occurs while seated, the juror must finish out the trial before being excused from the remainder of his/her term of service. Due to the number of jurors summoned, most jurors will generally appear one or two times during his/her term, but is dependant on the number of trials conducted. The circuit Clerk attempts to maintain a large base for selection so no juror is called repeatedly.

    Terms of service for each year are as follows:

  • January 1st- April 30th
  • May 1st- August 31st
  • September 1st- December 31st
  • Payment of service

    Jurors will complete their term of service and be paid with one check. For example if you serve on more than one trial you will not be paid till the end of the term. Checks are run one time for the entire term of service. You should receive payment within two to three weeks after the term of service. Pay is set by the State of Arkansas and the Quorum Court of Lonoke County.

    Dress Code

    Business casual is a good dress directive. You should also be comfortable. Please NO--shorts,halter tops, inappropriate t-shirts/muscle shirts and dress of similar nature are not permitted. The important thing is to remember that you are going to a place of respect, so please dress accordingly. No purses, briefcases, satchels, backpacks or book bags are allowed in the court room.

    FAQ


  • 1: May I bring a cell phone to court?

  • You may bring a cell phone to the court room:however, it must be turned off. You may ask the judge for special consideration of this rule if special circumstances exist, such as family member's medical needs require you to remain in close contact. You must give such information to the Judge and/or clerk prior to beginning of the trial.

  • 2: When serving jury duty, will there be a lot of waiting involved?

  • There could be some, in the initial beginning process of the trial as the attorneys may need to submit documents to court.

  • 3: Will Jurors be kept overnight in a hotel?

  • Lonoke county does not usually keep any jurors overnight.


  • 4:How did my name get chosen?

  • The Lonoke County Judges have chosen to use registered voters. Every year the Circuit Clerk downloads 5,000 names to make up a master list from Arkansas Voter Registration and the Arkansas Drivers License database of Lonoke County residents. This process is done at a random pull of the entire database, excluding those that have served in the last two years in Lonoke County, Arkansas. Then at the circuit Clerks direction, the computer randomly draws 300 names from the master list to be qualified for a term of service. This process happens every three months.

  • 5: How do I postpone my jury service?

  • Arkansas law does allow an option that is called deferment of term. However, this does not excuse you from your obligation to serve as a juror this option simply allows for you to transfer your term due to current circumstances.

  • 6: Will I need to pack a lunch or will one be provided?

  • If you have been seated and sworn in as a juror to hear a case and this process has been completed before the lunch break, then the court (might) provide lunch for you and (can) continue to do so for each day until the trial ends (but only if the Judge chooses to). And meals would then be only provided for the actual Jurors that hear a case. If you are called in and not seated to hear the case lunch will not be provided.

  • 7: Am I required to speak to the attorneys/reporters after the case is concluded?

  • No, you are not required to speak to anyone after the case if contacted to do so. It is simply by your choice. Some attorney's may contact you as jurors to see what they might have done differently during the trial as your opinion holds a great deal of learning knowledge for them. In rare occasions a news reporter may contact you to discuss the case. Again, this is by your choice who you speak to if anyone.

  • 8: Where do I park? Is there free parking?

  • Parking is available on East and West sides of the courthouse. There is a parking lot located on the south side of the courthouse on Court Street for additional parking as well. There is no charge for parking.

  • 9: Is there an age limit to serve as a juror?

  • In the state of Arkansas there is no exceptions on age other than you must be at least 18 years of age or older. Everyone ages differently so as long as you meet the qualifications you are eligible to serve.

  • 10:Can my family members serve in my place?

  • No, unfortunately the law doesn't allow for this substitution. The juror has to come from the random pull of the Voter Registration Database.

  • 11: Can anyone volunteer to be a Juror?

  • No, as this would allow for one to become very educated in the juror process. The law prohibits one from being a "professional juror". This is one of the reasons the random pull of jurors from the database is so important.

  • 12: Can I be excused due to my occupation?

  • No, a wise judge once asked a juror who had asked to be excused "If I excuse you, then who do I choose to replace you?" Everyone has special circumstances and special needs. You can present your special request to the presiding judge when you report for court.

  • 13: How much notification do I receive before I'm required to report?

  • You will be notified by phone by one of the Deputy Clerks. A message can be left with a responsible older child or adult. No messages will be left on answering machines or cell phones. If circumstances deem necessary, you may be contacted by certified mail.

  • 14: How do I get notified to report?

  • After Jury orientation you will be giving a list of dates to call in and check if you are to report. On those dates a message is played on our machine after 5:00 pm or you can call our office between the hours of 8:00 am - 4:30 pm.

  • 15: What if I'm going on vacation?

  • You should contact the circuit clerk of any scheduled vacations or medical appointments.

  • 16: Who do I contact if I have been called and have an emergency?

  • You should contact the circuit clerk at 8:00 am the day you are to report. The clerk will then contact the appropriate judge presiding over your case.

  • 17:What if I'm self employed or a stay at home mother can I be excused?

  • No provision is given by Arkansas law for any excusable due to employment or child care needs is substantial, you can contact the presiding judge for special consideration. You will be given the judges contact number when you are summoned to appear.

  • 18:What if I have a DWI?

  • A misdemeanour's charge does not disqualify you from serving as a juror. A person can not be qualified if they have a felony conviction for which they have not been pardoned or the charges expunged.

  • 19: What happens if I do not report when summoned?

  • You may be required to appear before the presiding judge to show cause why you did not appear as summoned. You could be fined, given community service or be placed in jail for not appearing.


    Location

    PO BOX 870 / 301 North Center Street
    Lonoke, AR. 72086-0870
    Office/Court Records 501.676.2316
    Fax: 501.676.3014
    Recording/Real Estate: 501.676.3043
    Child Support: 501.676.3013