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Why we have a jury system:

Under the Constitution, a United States citizen is given certain rights; the right to a jury trial is one of those rights. Participation in jury trials provides citizens with an opportunity to:

  • Incorporate community values into dispute resolution;

  • Guard against abuse of power by legislatures, businesses, and government agencies;

  • Avoid arbitrary or unfair sanctions by individual judges;

  • Protect the rights of all citizens.

Why jurors are selected:

Jurors are important and necessary participants in our justice system. Legal disputes (cases) often will not actually go to trial (be heard by a judge or jury), because citizens are prepared to participate as jurors sitting and waiting in the jury room. A jury panel that is ready to hear a case can motivate all parties involved in a dispute to reassess their risks and claims. Much like in a game of poker, the attorneys for both sides of a dispute think that they have the “winning hand.” The mere presence of the jury may “call a bluff.” For example, it is common for a court to schedule several cases for trial on a single day because the jury is waiting and available. Frequently, none actually make it to trial.

How jurors are selected:

  • Once a year the Secretary of State creates a list of citizens who may be eligible to serve on a jury. This list contains those citizens who possess a driver’s license or State of Michigan identification card.

  • 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.


If you have been summoned for Jury Duty:

All requests to be excused must be in writing and received by the Court at least one week before the date of service. Jury duty is normally only one day; therefore, requests to be excused must be for good reason and will not always be granted. If you have been called for Jury Duty and have a valid reason for asking to be excused, please send your request with necessary documentation as well as your phone number to: Jury Clerk, 73B District Court, 250 E. Huron Ave. Room 105, Bad Axe, MI 48413. (989) 269-7988

Important notices to those requested and serving Jury duty:

  • Please advise friends and relatives that they are allowed in the courtroom, but not allowed in the jury room.

  • Young children will not be allowed in the courtroom. Please, make child care arrangements in advance.

  • Jurors must check in with the Bailiff by 9:00am. If you are selected to serve as a juror in a trial, the Court will instruct you as to your lunch hour and dismissal time. Ordinarily, lunch is between 12:00pm and 1:00pm but is subject to change depending on courtroom activity. Convenient lunchtime locations are available in the community. Jurors are allowed to bring bag lunches.

  • Smoking is not allowed in the Huron County Building.

  • If proof of jury service is necessary for you to present to your employer, the Court will furnish you with a letter upon request. Letters may be obtained from the Bailiff.

  • Your pay as a juror is set by state law at $25.00 per full day and $40.00 for each subsequent full day plus mileage. Mileage, at $0.10 a mile, will be computed from your local address in the 73B District Court jurisdiction. A person will receive $12.50 per half day plus mileage and $20.00 for each additional half day.

  • Access to jury service is available to all individuals with a disability. Please call the court before your jury date to ensure that accommodations have been met (989) 269-7988


As an active participant in the justice system, a citizen who serves as a juror can expect to:

  • Be treated with dignity and respect

  • Have court facilities and procedures identified and explained, as needed throughout the assigned jury service period

  • Have questions answered by the appropriate court staff member, as allowed by law

  • Be informed of and comply with rules and guidelines that are designed to ensure the integrity of our legal process

  • Jurors are expected to pay close attention to and strictly follow all instructions given by the judge

When you are inside the courtroom:

Once a trial by jury begins, “qualified” citizens are convened inside the courtroom. A juror may be excused if the judge determines there is a valid reason that the juror should not serve in the case. In addition, each lawyer has a right to excuse a certain number of jurors without giving a reason for doing so. This jury selection process is called voir dire.

There are special rules and considerations that attorneys apply and make when conducting voir dire.


The fact that a citizen is excused from jury duty does not reflect on the citizen’s fitness to serve. You should not feel bad or take it personally if you are excused from jury duty. A citizen who is excused from jury duty on one trial may very well be selected to serve on another. The judge is the final voice of authority for courtroom procedures. Jurors are expected to pay close attention to and strictly follow all instructions given by the judge.

Deliberations (Or Deciding a Verdict):

After the facts of a case have been presented by each party the jury is sent to a jury room to decide the verdict. Inside the jury room the jury members will select a foreperson to lead discussions and to announce the verdict when asked to do so by the judge. All jurors are independent and equal. No one juror has more “weight” or power than any other juror.
In reaching a decision jurors must be remember to:

  • Keep an open mind

  • Discuss the facts of the case by sharing information and points of view

  • Apply “jury instructions” appropriately

  • Decide on a verdict that is based on the evidence as presented inside the courtroom

73B District Court

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