Serving on a Jury

64B District Court

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Serving On A Jury

Jury Orientation Video With Close-Caption

Do you have questions about serving on a jury? Watch the video below to learn about jury service, the courtroom, and trial procedure. Close-caption is available.

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Jury Terms

Jury terms last three months and are scheduled as follows:

  • 1st Quarter:     First Friday in December through First Friday in March
  • 2nd Quarter:    First Friday in March through First Friday in June
  • 3rd Quarter:     First Friday in June through First Friday in September
  • 4th Quarter:     First Friday in September through First Friday in December

Notification for Jury Duty

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The Court will send you a letter as trials are scheduled during the term. We attempt to give you as much notice as possible of upcoming trials, however due to requirements of the law, some trials could be scheduled with minimal notice.

Your letter will include the dates that your jury term falls within (e.g., September 5, 2011 through December 2, 2011) but your attendance at jury duty will only be required on the dates that trials are actually scheduled and when those trials proceed. Be sure to call the Jury Line to confirm the necessity of attendance.

Please also note that while most trials are scheduled for one day it is possible that the trial could continue additional day(s).

Your presence at these proceedings is mandatory in accordance with state law. Should you fail to appear, you may be cited to appear before the Judge for a Show Cause hearing to explain your absence. Failing to appear as required could result in Contempt of Court charges. 

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Where do I have to appear?

Roll call on the date of the trial is at 8:15 a.m., unless otherwise stated on the juror message. You will need to appear at the Montcalm County District Court-Montcalm County Court Complex on State Street (M-66) in Stanton next to the Sheriff’s Department and Jail. You will need to check-in for jury duty at the District Court Clerk's window. 

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Call in System

Many of our trials are scheduled but then are settled or adjourned, sometimes as late as the afternoon prior to trial. Therefore, the Court uses a call-in system for jurors to confirm whether their appearance is required. Please use our 24-hour call-in system to confirm whether or not your appearance is required at the scheduled trial date. Please call the Juror Line after 4:00 p.m. the day prior to the scheduled trials to confirm whether the trials are still scheduled. In order to guarantee that you are receiving the most current information, we ask that the phone call not be made until after 4:00 p.m. You will hear a recorded message as to whether you will need to appear the next day. This line does not accept messages so please do not attempt to leave a message as it will not be received. 

Jury duty is often a hardship or intrusion on our lives but it is a necessary and required duty for our justice system to fully function. Every effort should be made to comply with appearance at the dates scheduled. If, however, there are extraordinary circumstances that warrant a request to be excused from a trial date such requests must be received in writing (prior to the scheduled trial) and will be presented to the Judge or Magistrate for consideration. 

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How do I get excused from jury duty? 

If you are excused from jury duty, you will receive a confirmation in writing, which may include email confirmation, from this office. If you do not have written confirmation that you are excused, you must appear as scheduled.

Any requests to be excused due to medical issues will need to be accompanied by documentation from your physician.

The Court receives many requests from employers or jurors asking that key employees be excused from jury duty because that employee’s duties would be difficult, if not impossible, to delegate to others. If the Court were to grant all such requests the ability to conduct jury trials would be significantly compromised. The Court recognizes your concern and does appreciate that jury duty does create some hardships for area businesses and individuals; however, requests to be excused from jury duty from these reasons are not granted.

If a request to be excused is granted by the Court, many times you will be required to serve a make-up date during the next three month term.

Again, requests to be excused MUST BE IN WRITING. Please include a valid email address with your written request.  Do not call the Court requesting to be excused. Requests to be excused will not be granted over the phone, you will be instructed to send something in writing. You may send the request by mail, email or fax. The address, email address and fax number are located on the 64B District Court Home Page. Address your request to one of the magistrates. Again, Please see the Home Page for contact information.

ADA Accommodations

Americans with Disabilities Act

The 64B District Court is committed to providing prospective jurors with an equal and full opportunity to participate in jury service. If you have a disability and need an accommodation, please contact the Court via email at criminal@montcalm.us or telephone at 989-831-7450 as soon as possible after receiving your jury summons.

Juror’s Handbook

How are Jurors selected?

  • Step 1 – Once a year the Secretary of State will compile a list of citizens who may be eligible to serve on a jury from a list that identifies citizens who possess a driver’s license or State of Michigan identification card.
  • Step 2 – Identified citizens are mailed a Juror Qualification Questionnaire. After the questionnaire is completed, returned, and evaluated, a “qualified” citizen may be called to serve on a jury.

How is a jury chosen?

Before the selection of jurors begins, you will be asked to swear or affirm that you will truthfully answer the questions concerning your fairness and ability to sit as a juror on a particular case. As a prospective juror you will be questioned by the judge or trial attorneys. This process, referred to as Voir Dire, is conducted to determine whether you have opinions or attitudes which would bias you in favor or disfavor of either side. While some questions may be personal in nature, they are not intended to embarrass you even if that becomes the result. They are asked to determine if there is a reason you should not sit on the case. Jurors may be excused for cause for reasons such as a personal or financial relationship with a party which would impair their ability to be fair. In addition, each side may excuse a limited number of jurors by peremptory challenge without any reason. Jurors who are excused for one case may be eligible to sit on another.

What are a juror’s responsibilities?

Jurors must be prompt in arriving at the court. A trial cannot begin unless all jurors are present.

Jurors must give their undivided attention to the witnesses, attorneys, and proceedings. Remember that the outcome of the case is very important to those concerned.

The trial will begin with opening statements by the attorneys for both sides. The examination of witnesses and presentation of evidence will begin after opening statements.

In final arguments, both attorneys will have an opportunity to summarize their positions and review the facts of the case. At the conclusion of the final arguments, the judge will issue instructions to the jury concerning the law and its application to the particular case.

The jurors will then proceed to the jury room to begin deliberation. The jurors must select a fore person who presides over these deliberations. You will discuss the evidence and attempt to arrive at a fair and impartial verdict based on the facts presented during the trial and the law as given by the judge’s instruction. When deliberations are complete, you will return to the courtroom for the presentation of your verdict.