Contacting the McLean County Jury Personnel:
How can I reach the McLean County Jury Commission and Jury Clerks?
The McLean County Jury Commission office is open Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. lunch 12:00 p.m. -1:00 p.m., closed all legal holidays. Office phone 309-888-5241, Jury Commission fax number is 309-888-5716. The Assembly room for jurors is located on the fifth floor of the Law and Justice Center Rm 503.Law and Justice Center 104 West Front Street Room 504 Bloomington, Illinois 61701
How does the Jury Management obtain names of prospective jurors?
All jurors are selected for service by a computer system that randomly selects individuals from a list of county residents who hold a driver license, a voters registration card, a state identification card, a disabled persons identification card, or who are receiving unemployment compensation.
I can no longer fulfill my duties as a juror. I would like your office to remove my name from your records.
Under no circumstances are the jury clerks allowed to remove an individual's name without judicial approval. If you feel you are not qualified you may wish to contact the Jury Commission.
I am not a resident of McLean County or a citizen of the United States, may I serve?
No. You must be a McLean County resident to serve as a juror in McLean County. The law automatically disqualifies residents that are non-citizens.
Why is jury service important?
The United States Constitution guarantees all people, regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin or economic status the right to trial by an impartial jury of one's peers. In order to uphold this guarantee, we need those summoned to participate in the jury process to ensure every citizen's right to have their case decided by an impartial jury selected from a representative pool of their peers.
Who is entitled to a jury trial?
Illinois requires a jury trial in all criminal cases including ordinance violations. Juveniles are entitled to a jury trial only under the Habitual Juvenile Offender Act. Generally, in civil cases, claimants seeking monetary damages have the constitutional right to a trial by jury, while those seeking other forms of relief do not, unless provided for by statute. All parties are equal before the law and each is given the same fair and impartial treatment.
Your duty as a juror is to weigh all of the evidence and testimony presented to you and to decide the outcome of the case based upon the law and the evidence. Your decision must be fair, impartial and free of any bias or prejudice. Jury service is the basis of our judicial system and is essential to the administration of justice.
How are jurors selected for a trial?
When a judge is ready for a jury, his or her Court Clerk requests the Jury Coordinator to use the computer to randomly select the number of jurors they need from those available in the Assembly Room. After the panel is selected and reports to a courtroom, a process known as voir dire begins. During voir dire, the judge and possibly the attorneys will ask you questions to see if you can keep an open mind and be fair. To be challenged is no reflection on the juror's integrity or usefulness. After you have been questioned, you will either be selected or excused for that particular case. If you are selected, you and the other selected jurors will receive instructions from the judge as to what is expected of you. If you are not selected, you will return to the jury room and may be sent to another courtroom with another panel.
How long does jury service usually last?
Petit jurors in McLean County serve for one week, unless a trial to which you are assigned runs longer. During your week of service, when not actually on a trial, you will be on telephone alert. This allows you to go about your daily business until needed. If you have been selected as a Grand Juror, your term of service will be one day a week for a two-month period. If you have been selected as a Coroner Juror, your term of service will be one day per month for a two-month period.
What type of trials may I be selected to serve on as a juror?
There are basically two types of jury trials, criminal and civil. In a Criminal trial, the jury decides the guilt or innocence of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. In a Civil trial, the jury decides whether any monetary damages should be awarded.
Is jury service mandatory?
The United States Constitution and the Illinois State Constitution guarantees the right to trial by jury. Failure to respond to a jury summons may subject you to penalties provided by law. All McLean County residents are obligated by state law to serve as a juror unless they are:
Not a United States citizen
Not a resident of McLean County, Illinois
Not 18 years of age or older
What is the proper dress attire for jury service?
Jurors should dress comfortably, but properly for a courtroom.
What am I allowed to bring to jury service?
Jury service can require a potential juror to wait a considerable length of time. For this reason, you may want to bring reading material or office work. ELECTRONICS ARE ALLOWED IN THE Law and Justice Center INCLUDING: cellular telephones, laptop computers, tablet computers, ipods/mp3 players. We have free Wi-Fi. In addition, jurors may NOT BRING: weapons, knives, forks, spoons, chemical agents, scissors, or other contraband.
What happens if you fail to appear for jury service?
Failure to appear for jury service when summoned is a serious matter. You may be held in contempt of court and could be fined. It is in your best interest to appear if you are summoned to avoid any further court action.
Free parking is located in the City of Bloomington Parking Garage located adjacent to the Law and Justice Center.
Are employers required to pay employees while on jury service?
No. An employer is NOT required by law to pay employees who are on jury service. However, many employers do. You need to check with your company's human resources department before serving to see if your company pays your salary for days you are a juror. If you DO receive your salary, your company may require a letter of attendance from the jury clerks.
How soon after jury service will I receive my juror pay?
Jurors will be paid $10.00 per day plus 38 cents per mile, round trip, from your home to the Law and Justice Center. Payment is computed on the last day of your service week, and a check will be mailed to your home address within 14 working days.. Your employer may require you to turn in your jury pay.
Does my employer have the right to terminate or penalize me for performing my American right as a juror?
No. Illinois law prohibits an employer from terminating or otherwise penalizing an employee because the employee serves as a juror.
Excuse from Service:
May I request an excuse from jury service?
A prospective juror may be excused if he/she: (1) has a physical or mental disability that would prevent him/her from serving; (2) is unable to read and or understand the English language; or (3) is member of the active military service.
Each request is individually reviewed. A prospective juror may be required to provide documentation verifying illness/disability and/or military service. Potential jurors are encouraged to express their request truthfully and to the best of their knowledge. Failure to do so is against the law. Jury service is a citizen's civic duty and responsibility.
I am unable to judge anyone because of my moral or religious beliefs. May I be excused?
Illinois law does not provide for an excuse from jury service for moral or religious beliefs. You are still required to appear for jury service. During the voir dire, the trial judge will decide.
I know that I will not be selected to be on a jury because of my career, my relatives and or my friends. May I be excused?
You are still required to report for jury service. A trial judge will decide if you should be excused.
Is deferment of jury service an option?
The Jury Commission realizes prospective jurors may have been summoned at an inconvenient time. Our office is willing to defer service to a more convenient time in most instances. Jurors may request a Onetime postponement after being summoned. Subsequent postponements are not allowed unless it is an extreme emergency that was not anticipated when the original summons was sent.
Hopefully, we have been able to provide you with the information that you have needed. However, if you feel your individual question has not been addressed call the McLean County jury clerks at (309) 888-5241 for further advice and assistance.