I Get Called for Jury Duty: The Summoning

I got this in the mail a few days ago, and it’s the first time I’ve ever been called in to Jury Duty. I brought the form in to work, hoping to ask a few others (who have done this before) what the process is like, and what I should expect.

Here’s the interesting thing: the form I received differed from the one that everyone else got. I talked with Jane, Bryan and Jeff, who have all gone through the process (Jeff just served about 6 months ago).

The regular process, as I understand it, involves you being assigned a date. The day prior to your assigned date… you call in to a number, and find out whether or not you have to report in the next day. If you’re called, you go in; if you’re not called, you don’t need to go in and you’re pretty much done at that point.

Here’s where my thing differs: Not only do I have to call in the night prior to my date, but I also have to call in every single night during my two-week period. So even if I’m not called to appear on the first date, for that two-week duration… every night prior, I have to call and check to see if I have to report in the next day.


And. I was under the mistaken impression that, while you serve as a juror, you get paid the equivalent of what you are earning at your job. Not so. You get paid some sort of nominal stipend. According to Jane, Bryan and Jeff, they all got something like $7 or $14 for the day.

In looking at my form, if I were to serve as a juror, I’d be getting $40 a day, including travel expenses.

I have no idea why this is different, whether it’s just a new system, or if it’s my first time, or what. There’s speculation at the office that I’m part of a jury selection process for some very big, high-profile trial that’s upcoming. At least, one that might require two weeks of culling through potential jurors.

Anyone else gone through this process before? Is this an unusual summons I received, or is it just standard?

It’s crazy to think that this might be for some big trial. Wonder what it might be.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. My gut initially said this was a scam…but then I realized (after you said $40 plus travel) that you’d been selected for FEDERAL jury duty. Most folks get picked for the Cook County Circuit Court.I just had jury duty 3 weeks ago. I didn’t get picked, didn’t even get called into the courtroom. But I did serve, and was jury foreman, when I was 22. Damn proud of that. We can take about that case on more secure lines.Anyway, for normal jury duty you DON’T call in, you are given a specific date. Only people who have stand-by jury duty have to call-in, and it’s only one day that they have to call in (Cathie just had this). For typical jury duty you get $17.20 a day, plus a box lunch for serving. That hasn’t changed since 1996. Pretty pathetic.I hope you get picked. Forty bucks a day from the government, plus other opportunities (again we can talk later on secure lines) could make this a fun and lucrative experience for you.

    Anthony Reply

  2. I’ve never been called to jury duty before, although I’ve wanted to be. I know that in Columbus, you have to go for an entire week to be part of the jury pool. You sit in a room and read or do whatever you’ve brought with you and wait to see if you get called in as a potential juror. Most people spend the whole week sitting in the room and fighting boredom.Based on what Anthony said in his comment about federal court, I found this page of information, which seems to match your details: http://www.ilnd.uscourts.gov/JURY/index.htmlIf that doesn’t match your letter, try this page to find a different federal court in IL: luck, and let us know how it goes!

    juliet Reply

  3. Ooooo! Federal sounds very interesting. I bet these two are right — maybe not R. Kelly, but probably more interesting than my Brady Bunch case!You’d be a great juror, Felix. Probably the one hold-back that can’t be swayed and deliberates through lunch “just to be thorough”… ha ha!

    Jane Reply

  4. I think you got called for Appellate Court — normally they want you for two weeks or longer if you get put on an assignment — therefore the fee would be much higher.

    Ccaswick Reply

  5. Wow – thanks for comment and for reminding me about this little adventure. If you haven’t seen it yet, I’ve got some entries from when I reported for Jury Duty.

    avoision Reply

  6. Your notice is for Federal Court not your local municipal court which is different. You can serve in municipal court and still be summoned do Federal court. Federal court trumps your local court.

    Steve Reply

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