Jury Duty Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is jury duty important?

    The United States Constitution and the Minnesota State Constitution guarantees all people the right to a trial by an impartial jury. Justice ultimately depends in large measure on the jurors who serve in our courts.

  • What is my duty as a juror?

    As a juror, you must be fair and impartial. Your actions and decisions must be free of any bias or prejudice. You must apply the law given by the judge to the facts given during the trial to make a decision in a case.

  • How was I selected for jury duty?

    You were selected at random from lists of voter registrations, driver registrations, and Minnesota identification cards for residents of Becker County.

  • Who is eligible for jury duty?

    Jurors must:

    • Be a citizen of the United States
    • Be at least 18 years of age
    • Reside in Becker County
    • Be able to communicate in English

    You cannot serve on a jury if you have been convicted of a felony and your civil rights have not been restored.

  • How long does jury duty last?

    Jury duty in Becker County is 3 months or 10 days, whichever occurs first. However, if you are seated on a jury, your service will be continued until the trial is completed. Jurors are required to serve for the duration of a trial.

  • Can jury duty be rescheduled?

    Yes. However you will need to state the reason, in writing, why you cannot serve on a jury term. If approved, you will be rescheduled to a future 3-month term.

  • Can I avoid jury service?

    No, unless you are over 70 and request to be excused, or if you don't meet the requirements of Minnesota Statutes for extreme hardship.

  • Are jurors compensated for jury service?

    Jurors are paid $10.00 per day and $0.27 per mile round trip from home.

  • Must my employer pay me while I am on jury duty?

    Your employer is not required to pay you while you are on jury duty, however, many employers will pay the difference between your jury payment and your salary, but they are not required to do so.

  • When do I report for jury duty?

    You only report when you receive a Notice To Appear Letter with a specific reporting date. You will usually get one week's advance notice of a trial. If you do not get a notice of a trial, you can assume you will not be needed the following week.

  • How long do trials last?

    The length of a trial depends on the case. A typical jury trial in Becker County starts at 9:00 a.m. and ends about 4:30 p.m. with a one to 1 1/2 hour lunch break. Some trials finish in less than a day and some go five to six days. On the average trials here last 1 1/5 to 2 days, but any case could go more or less than that.

  • When I get to the Courthouse where do I park?

    Please do not park in the two-hour parking spaces on Lake Avenue in front of the Courthouse or Holmes Street on the north side of the Courthouse.

    Two parking lots within a short distance of the courthouse will accommodate all day parking:

    1. The public parking lot behind the Washington Square Mall
    2. County parking lot on the corner of Lake Ave and Frazee St
  • What happens if I fail to appear for Jury Service?

    We hope you don't fail to appear! If you do, please contact Court Administration as soon as possible (218-846-5040). The Court may issue an Order to Show Cause for Failure to Appear/Respond for Jury Duty. Minnesota Statute 593.42(4) states that "any person summoned for jury service who fails to appear as directed without good cause is guilty of a misdemeanor". A misdemeanor is punishable by a maximum $1,000 fine and/or 90 days in jail.

  • How do I complete my Juror Qualification Questionnaire online?
    1. To begin completing and submitting your questionnaire online, visit the MN Courts Jury Service Questionnaire page.
    2. Further instructions on how to complete and submit your questionnaire to the court will appear within the online Juror Qualification Questionnaire service.

    Important: If you have already completed and mailed your paper Juror Qualification Questionnaire back to the court, do not complete the online questionnaire. The website will also allow you to make changes, request a postponement, and update your contact information.