Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Why Is Jury Service Important? The United States Constitution and the Texas Constitution guarantee all people, regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin, or economic status, the right to trial by an impartial jury.
Do I Have To Be A Registered Voter To Serve? No.
How Was I selected? You were selected at random from a list of Abilene residents.
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. Your actions and decisions are the foundation of our judicial system.
Are There Rules About Jury Conduct? Yes. The Texas Supreme Court has rules to assist you in your conduct as a Juror, which will be given to you by the presiding Judge.
Why Do I Have To Complete a Juror Information Form Which Contains Personal Information? The attorneys for either sides or the defendant use the information on these forms during the jury selection process. This process saves time for prospective jurors and the attorneys. You may be assured that the information is kept confidential.
How Should I Dress? Court is a formal, serious place, demanding respect, dignity, and solemnity of the court proceedings. ALL persons entering the courtroom should be dressed in clean, neat appropriate attire for Court proceedings. (Shorts, caps or hats, tank tops, rompers, thongs, tattered or soiled clothing, and inappropriate tee shirts are NOT ALLOWED.)
What Are The Qualifications For Jury Service? Jurors must be:
1) Be at least 18 years of age.
2) Be a citizen of this state and a resident of the county in which you are to serve as juror.
3) 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) Be of sound mind and good moral character.
5) Be able to read and write.
6) Not have served as a juror for six (6) days during the preceding three (3) months in the county court or during the preceding six (6) months in the district court.
7) Not have been convicted of a felony or theft offenses
8) Not be under indictment or other legal accusation of a misdemeanor theft, felony theft, or any other felony charge.
Can I Be Excused From Jury Duty? You may be excused from jury service if any one of the following applies:
1) You are over 70 years of age
2) You have legal custody of a child under 10 years of age and jury service would require leaving the child or children without adequate supervision.
3) You are a student at a public or private high school.
4) You are enrolled and attend college
5) You are an officer or an employee of the senate, the House of Representatives or any department, commission, board, office, or other agency in the legislative branch of state government.
6) You are the primary caretaker of a person who is unable to care for himself or herself. (This exemption does not apply to health care workers.) You are not required to claim an exemption. It is your choice.
7) On active duty and deployed, away from the person's home station, and out of the person's county of residence.
If you fall into one of the above categories and you wish to be excused from jury service, you will need to complete and sign the bottom portion of your Jury Summons and mail or fax it promptly to the address shown.
The judge MUST grant the only other excuses from jury service. If you are in doubt, or think you may not be qualified to serve on a jury for one of the above or any other reasons, please notify the Judge.
If you will be unable to be present for jury service and you do NOT fall within one of the categories above, you will be required to mail or fax your reason for not being present for jury service. The letter must include a telephone number where you can be notified of the judge’s decision on normal business days between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. The fax number is (325) 676-6286; the mailing address is
Abilene Municipal Court
P. O. Box 60
Abilene, Texas 79604
How Long Does Jury Duty Last? Jury service is normally for one (1) day
Will I Be Paid For Being A Juror? Yes, you will be paid $6.00 if you are selected to actually serve on the jury. The Abilene Teen Court solicits donations and you may, but are not obligated to, contribute your juror fee to this fund. For more information, please ask the bailiff or other court personnel.
Must My Employer Pay Me While I Am On Jury Duty? Your employer is not required to pay you while on jury duty; however, law prohibits employers from firing an employee serving as a Juror. An employee whose employment is terminated in violation of this section is entitled to return to the same employment that the employee held when summonsed for jury service, if the employee; as soon as practical after release from jury service, gives the employer actual notice that the employee intends to return.
What Happens If I Fail To Answer My Jury Summons? A person who fails to comply with this summons is subject to a contempt action punishable by a fine of not less than $100 or nor more $1,000. Additionally a person shall be fined not less than $10 or nor more than $100 if the person:
(1) Fails to attend court in obedience to the notice without reasonable excuse;
(2) Files a false claim of exemption from jury service.
Who Can Have A Jury Trial? Any person charged with a criminal offense or any party to a civil case has a right to a jury trial. All parties are equal before the law and each is entitled to the same fair treatment.
What Are The Different Types Of Cases? There are two basic types of cases, criminal and civil (including family cases).
A criminal case results when a person is accused of committing a crime. You, as a Juror, must decide whether the person charged is guilty or not guilty. The accused person is presumed innocent, and the State, must prove guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
A civil case results from a disagreement or dispute between two or more parties. In a civil case, you, as a juror, must answer questions of disputed facts based upon the testimony and evidence admitted by the Judge. The answers to these questions are called the verdict. NOTE: MUNICIPAL COURT DOES NOT HEAR CIVIL CASES.