Knowing where you are going and what to expect when you get there can make any experience more enjoyable, and jury service is no exception. Getting to the Denton County Courts Building, finding the Jury Assembly Room, and arriving prepared isn’t nearly as tough as you might think.
You must bring your juror badge with you when you report for jury duty. If you failed to return your information form, please complete the form and bring it with you when you report. In addition, you may want to bring something to do while you wait in the Jury Assembly Room. Jury duty does involve some waiting, so a good book or handwork will help pass the time. There is a workroom in the Jury Assembly Room that jurors are welcome to use during waiting periods.
There are electrical plugs for lap top computer use and free Wi-Fi. You may also want to bring money for snacks, drinks and lunch. There are vending machines for snacks during breaks, so plan to have plenty of change.
Dress the Part
You may be selected for, and actually serve, on a jury the day you are summoned, so it is important that you dress appropriately. Jury service is serious business, and you should dress accordingly. Business attire is recommended. Shorts, tank tops and flip-flop sandals are not considered appropriate attire for court. Jeans are allowed.
When in doubt, dress seriously but with comfort in mind. Jury service can involve a good deal of sitting.
What Your Jury Service Involves
Once you have arrived at the Jury Assembly Room, your jury service is underway. You will find that the system is set up to guide you along with clear instructions throughout the process. Whether you are selected as a juror or not, you will still be providing an essential part of the trial by jury system.
Where to Go Once You’ve Arrived at the Courthouse
Free parking is available all around the Courts Building, along with several handicapped spaces. Before you are allowed to enter the building you will pass through a metal detector. Please remember that absolutely no weapons of any kind are allowed in the building:
Pepper spray, etc.
Your jury service starts in the Jury Assembly Room at 8:20 am, located on the 2nd floor. Elevators to the 2nd floor are located behind the main staircase on the 1st floor. There are restrooms, a workroom and vending machines are available for beverages and snacks.
What to Expect
When you arrive in the Jury Assembly Room, please report to the Juror Check-In Desk. After all prospective jurors have checked in, a brief orientation will be given by a trial judge. The judge will go over the disqualifications and exemptions that were listed on the summons. Those who believe they may be disqualified and those with possible exemptions will be given the opportunity at this point to come forward and be heard by the impaneling judge.
Prospective jurors are assigned to panels, smaller groups from which jurors are selected. Those impaneled jurors are taken to a courtroom by a bailiff. Once in the courtroom, jurors are briefed by the judge and questioned by attorneys for both sides until the jurors who will hear the case are chosen. Once the jury has been selected, those persons on the panel who are not chosen are released.
There may be panels assigned on that first day of jury service that will be asked to return for cases beginning later in the week. Those jurors will be provided with a letter for their employer stating that they appeared and when they are expected to return to complete their service. Your jury service is only for the week you are summoned. The only way your service would extend past one week is if you are selected as a juror in a trial that goes into the next week.
Approximately 20% of prospective jurors are selected for trials. If you aren’t selected to sit as a juror on a case, you can expect to be released for the week. If you are selected, you will serve for one trial. Surprisingly, the average trial only lasts one to three days.