US Flag TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2018
IMAGE: "Sawtooth National Forest - Stanley, Idaho"

U.S. DISTRICT COURT

District of Idaho

Chief Judge B. Lynn Winmill

Public 1
U.S. Courts District of Idaho Seal
Federal Jury Service
Jury Excuses
Obligation to Serve

It is the policy of this Court that all litigants in the Court, entitled to trial by jury, shall have the right to petit jurors selected at random from a fair cross section of the community in the division where the Court convenes.  All qualified citizens who reside in the District of Idaho and are not exempt or disqualified, shall have an obligation to serve as jurors when summoned for that purpose.

Reasons to be Excused

If you wish to be excused, you are still required to complete the questionnaires.

Acceptable Excuses

There are certain categories of persons who may be excused from service as a juror.  If you are a person in one of the categories listed below and wish to be excused, please complete the questionnaires and check the appropriate box under Grounds for Requesting an Excuse. Or, if you wish to serve, click that you are not requesting an excuse.

You may still be qualified to serve if the court determines upon review that you appear to be eligible for service.

  • Persons over 70 years of age.
  • Persons who have served as a grand or petit juror in the State or Federal Court within the past two (2) years. (Jury staff will call for verification).
  • Volunteer safety personnel.
    (Personnel who serve without compensation as firefighters or members of a rescue squad or ambulance crew for a "public agency".) (Verification must be provided to the court).

Occupation-Based

Occupation-based excuses, which existed in years past, have all but been eliminated Circuit wide and as provided by the District of Idaho’s Jury Plan.

All eligible citizens are expected to report for jury duty, including accountants, college professors, college students, dentists, doctors, farmers, lawyers, nurses, the self-employed, school teachers, stay at home mothers/fathers,  long-haul and local truck drivers.

Reasons to be Disqualified

Disqualification from Jury Service

In accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S. C. 1865(b), any citizen of the United States who has reached the age of 18 years shall be deemed qualified to serve on grand or petit juries unless he or she:

  • Is not a citizen of the United States, is not eighteen years of age, and has not resided for a period of one year within the judicial district;
  • Is unable to read, write, and understand the English language with a degree of proficiency sufficient to satisfactorily fill out the juror questionnaire form;
  • Is unable to speak the English language;
  • Is incapable, by reason of mental or physical infirmity, or rending satisfactory jury service;
  • Has a charge pending against him or her for the commission of, or has been convicted in a State or Federal Court of record of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year and his or her civil rights have not been restored.

In addition the following reasons may disqualify you from service.

Reasons for Exemption

The Jury Act, at 28 U.S.C. § 1863(b)(6), lists those who are exempt from jury service. The following persons are legally barred from serving, even if they express a desire to serve.

Members in active service in the Armed Forces

Members employed full-time in active service in the Armed Forces of the United States. This is defined in 10 U.S.C. § 101(4) as including only the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

Note: A member of a National Guard unit is only exempt when called to active federal, as opposed to state, service. The individual must be a full-time, active-status member of a National Guard unit that is federally recognized, that constitutes a reserve component of a branch of the armed forces, as defined above, and that has been called into active federal service.

Members of fire or police departments

Members of fire or police departments, employed on a full-time basis, of any State, the District of Columbia, any territory or possession of the United States, or any subdivision of a State, the District of Columbia, or such territory or possession.  Under this definition, members of federal law enforcement entities like the F.B.I., U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the U.S. Marshals Service are NOT exempt from jury duty.

Note: A plain language interpretation of "police officer," for example, embraces the concept of someone charged with day-to-day maintenance of order throughout the community - a definition which generally would not include probation officers, court security officers, and so forth.

Public Officers

Public officers employed on a full-time basis who are either elected to public office or directly appointed by a person elected to public office in the executive, legislative, or judicial branches of the Government of the United States, or of any State, the District of Columbia, any territory or possession of the United States, or any subdivision of a State, the District of Columbia, or such territory or possession, who are actively engaged in the performance of official duties. 28 U.S.C. § 1869(i)

Note: The legislative history of the Jury Act indicates that the term “public officer” was intended to include only those persons whose government service is such that an interruption for jury duty would not be in furtherance of the public interest - usually persons with law- and/or policy-making functions.

Civil Rights

Restoration of Civil Rights

Restoration to convicted felons of their civil rights (including the right to serve on a jury) is governed by state law.  Idaho Code 18-310(2) states in relevant part:  “Upon final discharge, a person convicted of an Idaho felony shall be restored the full rights of citizenship.  As used in this subsection, ‘final discharge’ means satisfactory completion of imprisonment, probation and parole as the case may be.”  Thus, in Idaho, as soon as a felon has completed his or her sentence in its entirety (including any term of probation or parole), his or her rights to serve on a jury is automatically restored.

Postponement Policy

We may offer a one-time postponement of your jury service.  If you believe jury service would result in an undue hardship you may request a postponement.  When completing the second questionnaire, you will be asked to provide a month within the next calendar year that you would like your service postponed to.

IMPORTANT:  When selecting a month, please be prepared to keep that month available for jury service because a second postponement will most likely be denied.

Written approval will not be provided, please wait ten (10) days for processing. Call the Automated Jury Information System (AJIS) at 1-800-699-9840 for confirmation that your jury service has been postponed. You will be asked to provide your nine (9) digit juror participant number which is located on your summons.

If your postponement is granted, our office will mail you a new summons packet for your new month of service.  We will be unable to use the questionnaires that you previously filled out.



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