BrazosCountyJury.com

Brazos County, Texas

Frequently Asked Questions

The following questions have been asked by citizens in the past. If you have other questions, please call Jury Services using the Contact page.

What to expect your first day

  • Arrive on time. Instructions on where to report should be included with the information you received by email or over the phone. If you have any questions, contact the jury services office, or visit the courts website for more information.
  • Dress respectfully and appropriately for court. Keep in mind that certain attire may be restricted, such as shorts, cutoffs, sleeveless shirts, hats, and sandals. Some court rooms may be chilly, so you may want to bring a light jacket or sweater.
  • The Roy Kelly parking garage located on E 27th Street is free for all prospective jurors. Court staff will validate parking.
  • You may wish to buy snacks and drinks during your breaks. There are vending machines available to purchase these items. The 4th floor has both drinks and snacks while the 2nd and 1st floors are drink only.
  • Expect to pass through a metal detector and have your items scanned when entering the courthouse. Trying to enter the courthouse with a prohibited weapon is against the law; anything that can be considered a weapon, even items like pocketknives and knitting needles will be confiscated.
  • You may bring reading material with you for downtime. We do have guest Wi-Fi available, wall outlets and rules regarding cell phone usage. All of which are only permitted for usage outside of the courtroom. Expect to be here all day. The voir dire process takes time, and we are working as fast as we are able.
  • You will receive instructions once you arrive. Be sure to pay attention to court personnel and the judge as they will be helping you through the day. They will be available to assist you and answer any questions you may have.

The Summons Letter

I received a jury summons, now what?

The summons will have three options listed on the front. Option three is only for those that are claiming an exemption or disqualification. Options one and two work for both, those who do or do not have an exemption or disqualification.

What is a jury summons?

A jury summons is a notice to report to the courthouse or court building to possibly serve on a criminal or civil jury trial.

What if I am unavailable on the date(s) on the summons?

These dates are response deadlines. You have from when you receive the summons, to the online or in person date, to respond by one of the three options listed on the front page. If you are out of town and missed the deadline, please call our office.

What if I am unavailable on the assignment date?

You have up until two weeks before your scheduled assignment to reschedule. We can do this over the phone but are only able to reschedule you once. For day of emergencies, contact us by email with the detail of your situation as well as your full name and birthday. Once we receive this, we will forward it to your assigned judge.

What if someone is deceased?

If someone has received a summons and has passed, we need notification in writing. You can either write directly on the summons that they are deceased and return to sender or send us an email with their full name and birthday letting us know they are deceased.

I received a jury summons in the mail but lost it.

Please contact Jury Services for more details on your summons. Their contact details are listed on the Contact page.

Eligibility for Service

How was I selected for jury service?

The list of potential jurors is created from the Department of Public Safety Records (i.e. your driver's license or Texas ID) and/or Voter Registration Records. Periodically, a random cross section of the Brazos County population is summoned from this list.

What are the qualifications of jury service?

According to Government Code, Section 62.102, you must meet certain qualifications as established by the State of Texas to serve on a jury:

  1. To serve as a juror, you must be at least 18 years of age.
  2. To serve as a juror, you must be a citizen of this state and a resident of the county in which you are to serve as a juror.
  3. To serve as a juror, you must be qualified under the Constitution and laws to vote in the county in which you are to serve as a juror. (Note: You do not have to be registered to vote to be qualified to vote.)
  4. To serve as a juror, you must be of sound mind and good moral character.
  5. To serve as a juror, you must be able to read and write.
  6. To serve as a juror, you must not have served as a juror for six days during the preceding three months in the county court or during the preceding six months in the district court.
  7. To serve as a juror, you must not have been convicted of theft or any felony.
  8. To serve as a juror, you must not be under indictment or other legal accusation of a misdemeanor theft, felony theft, or any other felony charge.

What should I do if I believe I am not legally qualified to serve as a juror?

You are not permitted to serve as a juror if you do not meet the legal qualifications, such as living in the county and not having criminal convictions. If you believe you are not qualified under the law to serve as a juror, you should contact our office before your deadline date to clarify any questions you may have.

What should I do if I want to claim an exemption?

If you meet certain criteria, such as being over 75 years of age, or are attending college classes, you are entitled to be excused from jury duty if you request it. However, you are not required to claim the exemption if you wish do not wish to. If you have a valid exemption you would like to claim, you should use one of the three options provided on the summons to reply. This will give you the opportunity to provide all the required information to the court.

What if I have a medical situation that prevents me from serving on a jury?

Brazos County will accommodate anyone with a medical circumstance or a disability to help them complete their jury service. However, any juror with a medical situation or disability who wishes to be excused may request so in writing. The request should be accompanied by a physician's statement verifying the medical problem and the need for you to be excused. Please send the request to the District Clerk prior to your in-person date.

I have a special circumstance and I would like to be excused from jury duty. What do I do?

You must complete either online or in-person and receive an assignment. When you arrive for your assignment, you will have the opportunity to speak with the judge. The judge will take your reason into consideration, but you may still be required to serve.

Online versus In-Person

What is the difference between logging into the system and showing up in-person?

Logging into the online system is a more convenient way for most citizens to respond to their jury summonses. You may access the online system 24 hours a day during the period listed on your summons letter instead of appearing at the place and time indicated on your letter for in-person.

Is in-person the same thing as appearing at the courtroom?

No. You will not be selected as part of a jury in-person, although you may be provided with a court location, date and time to appear for jury service. At your jury service, you may be selected to serve on a jury.

If I reply online, am I automatically assigned to a trial?

Not necessarily. The online system is the same as in-person, except you do not have to appear in person. If you are eligible for a disqualification or exemption, you may be excused from jury service.0

Receiving an Assignment

What happens in-person?

In-person, you will submit your disqualifications, exemptions and scheduling conflicts as applicable. If you are eligible to serve, you will be matched to a trial date. This process is the same for the online system, except you will be there in person.

How do I use BrazosCountyJury.com to respond to the summons online?

The system asks the same questions you will be asked in-person. Please see the Help section if you are having trouble with the online system.

What if I am unavailable on the assignment date?

You have up until two weeks before your scheduled assignment to reschedule. We can do this over the phone but are only able to reschedule you once. For day of emergencies, contact us by email with the detail of your situation as well as your full name and birthday. Once we receive this, we will forward it to your assigned judge.

General Questions

I have responded online using the system. Why am I being asked to show up?

It sounds like you were given an assignment. This court date is your actual jury service assignment.

I have responded online using the system. Do I still need to show up?

If you received an assignment, you must appear at the date time, and location provided on the assignment page. Please make sure you have printed this page for your records.

What are the benefits of this system?

This system was designed to offer the citizens of Brazos County a convenient and easy way to respond to their jury summons requests. By using our system, you will no longer have to appear at the central jury site mentioned in your jury summons letter. Additionally, you are able to provide us with any scheduling conflicts so that we may make your jury service as convenient as possible for you.

What are the benefits of jury service?

Also known as jury duty, jury service is a process that ensures legal rights for the citizens of Brazos County. You receive compensation for jury service, and you are able to fulfill your civic duty.

How are juries selected?

Receiving a jury summons does not mean you will serve. If you are summoned, you will be part of the jury pool. This pool will be assigned to a jury panel and will go through questioning by the lawyers from both sides. This is what we call voir dire. After the questioning, if you are selected to serve you will be placed on a jury.

How much work will I miss?

The jury selection process can take a couple hours to a full day. Expect to be here all day during the voir dire process. If you do get selected, the trial could last from a couple days to several weeks. Typically, though, our trials last about a week apart from our big cases.

Does my employer have to pay me while Iím serving?

No, your employer is not required to pay you for the days you are serving. However, your employer cannot fire you while you are serving. We provide our jurors with a work excuse for the days you are present.

What kind of compensation do I get for serving?

You will be paid $20 for the first day and $58 for each additional day you are present for jury service. We will mail you a check once the trial is completed.

What if I have an emergency or special need after I am selected?

Tell the bailiff of your court if an emergency or special need occurs.

How is the foreperson chosen?

You and your fellow jurors will select the foreperson before juror deliberations begin.

Am I allowed to discuss the case after the trial is over?

After you are released from jury service, you are no longer required to keep the details of the case secret. You are free to discuss the case as you please.

Why is jury service important?

Jury service is an essential responsibility of citizenship. It is a way for each citizen to participate in the justice system. This is also an educational opportunity for jurors to learn more about the legal system.

What is my duty as a juror?

You are entrusted to listen impartially to the evidence presented to you and weigh said evidence to provide a just verdict.

Is there a right to a trial by jury in every case?

No. In some civil cases, there is no right to a jury trial. However, the sixth amendment to the US Constitution provides the right to a trial by a public jury in criminal cases. All parties are considered equal before the law and are entitled to a fair and impartial trial.

What is a juror's role in civil cases?

Civil cases usually involve disputes between two or more parties regarding money or property. Based on the testimony, jurors must evaluate the questions surrounding the disputed facts to the case to arrive at verdict. In civil trials, an agreement of five sixths of the jurors is needed for the final verdict.

What are the types of courts in Texas?

Texas has six types of trial courts: Justice of the peace courts, municipal courts, statutory probate courts, constitutional county courts, statutory county courts, and district courts. All of which allow jury trials meaning you could be summoned to any of them. Justice of the peace and municipal courts are at the city level. JP courts handle small claims, Class C criminal misdemeanors, and magistrate functions. Municipal courts oversee Class C criminal misdemeanors and municipal ordinance criminal cases. County level courts handle civil actions, Class A and B misdemeanors, and some probate matters. District courts handle civil and criminal matters, though certain district courts may specialize in civil, criminal, juvenile, or family law cases.

Is it true that I will not be summoned for jury duty if I am not registered to vote?

No. We pull our names from both voter registration and the DMV. So, this includes drivers licenses and state issued ID cards.

Information provided by:

Juror information guide. State Bar of Texas Juror Information Guide A public education resource. (2015).

https://www.texasbar.com/Content/NavigationMenu/AboutUs/StateBarPresident/LetsDoJusticeforTexas/JurorToolkit.pdf

© 2009 Brazos County, TX