Welcome! You have been chosen for jury service in the Dodge County Circuit Court System. The right to a trial by jury is the cornerstone of your Country's justice system. As a juror, you have a vital role to play!
Have Questions? This page's purpose is to answer some of the most common questions asked.
Why not? Trial by jury is a cherished constitutional right. Every resident of an area served by a circuit court who is at least 18 years of age, a U.S. citizen, and able to understand English, is qualified to serve as a juror.
No person who is qualified and able to serve may be excluded on the basis of sex, race, color, sexual orientation, disability, religion, national origin, marital status, family status, income, age, ancestry, or physical condition.
A person selected for jury service is selected at random from a master listing using the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's list of people with motor vehicle licenses or identification cards who live in Dodge County.
Do I have to Serve?
Yes - in most instances. The law requires all qualified state citizens be available to serve as jurors. Not all persons summoned actually serve as a juror. A person may not be selected as a result of a process known as "voir dire" (vwa deer) whereby the parties in the case (and the judge in some circumstances) ask questions to determine a potential juror's qualifications or degree of impartiality to serve on a particular trial.
The court may excuse a person from jury service if the court determines the person cannot fulfill the responsibilities of a juror. If the court determines jury service would entail undue hardship, extreme inconvenience, serious obstruction or delay of justice, the court may defer service to a later date set by the court. The court may require a person document the basis for any excuse or deferral.
What about my job?
Jury service is a civic duty. State law protects your job. Your employer can't fire you, demote you, threaten or intimidate you because of jury service.
What should I wear?
Dress comfortably, but avoid extremes in dress; for instance, ragged cutoff jeans/T-shirts or clothing with inappropriate or offensive writing on them. There are no prescribed dress codes, but judges have been known to order people to reappear in appropriate attire. Slacks or skirts with a blouse, shirt or sweater for women; slacks with a shirt or sweater for men are all appropriate attire.
Will I be waiting long?
Resolving legal disputes can be complex and unpredictable work. Often, cases are settled at the very last minute. When the jury is actually ready to hear the case, the parties often work out a last-minute compromise rather than gamble on what the jury will decide. These settlements may seem very inconvenient to you, but such settlements usually save time for all trial participants - and saves the taxpayers' money. And yes -- you may want to bring something to read -- it will help make the time pass.
What if I have a Disability?
If you have a disability which will require an accommodation by the court to allow you to serve as a juror, please contact the Clerk of Court's Office as soon as possible.
Can I go Home at Night?
Most trials last only one day. When a trial does last longer, the judge usually adjourns so that you can return home each day at a reasonable hour. Very rarely are you required to stay overnight.
What are My Duties as a Juror?
Now that you may actually have the opportunity to serve on a jury you may be wondering just how to act and what exactly is expected of our as a juror. Your are in a position of responsibility. You are expected to conduct yourself in way that on one may question your impartiality and integrity as a juror.
The court has developed ten basic, yet very important, rules for jurors to follow. They are intended to help maintain order, fairness and impartiality in court proceedings.
Your most important qualifications are fairness and impartiality. Follow these ten rules and you should do just fine.
- Listen carefully and observe.
Weigh the credibility of witnesses and evaluate exhibits. You must base your decision on all the evidence presented to you.
- Keep an open mind.
Do not form hasty opinions or conclusions. Wait until all the evidence is presented and closing arguments are made.
- Control your emotions.
You may be confronted with exhibits or testimony that makes you uncomfortable. Be prepared. You should not give any visual or audible indication that you have been affected.
- Do not discuss the case.
During the trial, you should not talk about the case to anyone, including other jurors. Such discussion could cause you to form conclusions before all the evidence has been presented.
- Do not read, view, or listen to media accounts.
Newspaper, radio or television reports might present a biased or unbalanced view of the case. You must make your decision based on the evidence presented in court.
- Do not talk with anyone related to the case.
You should not talk to attorneys, parties, witnesses, or anyone connected to the case. This might be perceived as an attempt to influence your verdict.
- Do not investigate the case on your own.
Since the only evidence you can consider is that presented in court, you are not allowed to make an independent investigation or to inspect the places involved in the case on your own.
- Report problems to the court.
If you become aware of anything that causes you concern, whether inside or outside the courtroom, the court should be made aware of it. Report your concern to the bailiff or court clerk outside of the hearing of other jurors. Do not discuss the matter with other jurors.
- Report emergencies to the court.
If an emergency or illness affects your jury service during the trail, inform the bailiff or court clerk.
- Be on time for court.
Since each juror must hear all the evidence, tardiness causes delay and wastes everyone's time.
Noon lunch will be provided to those who are selected to sit as jurors.
Items to Leave at Home
Please do not bring to court with you any of the following items: food, beverages, cell phones or pagers. Also – Please no gum chewing in the courtroom.
You will be paid $30 per day and .51 cents per mile round trip to the Courthouse for each day you are required to report. It is important that you inform the Jury Clerk as to your mileage so that you can be reimbursed properly. This is the mileage from your home, to the courthouse, and then back again.
There is ample parking in front of the Dodge County Courts.
When to report for Jury Duty
You will be mailed a summons for each trial that you are required to serve on. If you receive more than one summons you will be required to serve at each of them unless cancelled. Dodge County uses a voice mail recording system, and the internet, to verify if the trial is still scheduled, or if it has settled during the last hours prior to the trial. The internet system will allow for the most advance notice of trial cancellation and may be checked on a regular basis for trial updates. Click here for the current jury trial schedule. There is also a link at the top of this page that you may use after reading these instructions. With the phone system, call the night before the trial to (920) 386-3919 anytime after 5:00pm. The recording is on until 8:00am the following morning. Once the month has passed, you have fulfilled your civic obligation for at least four years. Infrequently, jurors may be selected for a longer trial which may go beyond the one month period.
Please be advised that you may be required to show a picture ID at the time you check in for jury duty.
- (920) 386-3930 Jury Clerk
- (920) 386-3919 Tape-recorded message for jurors to report is available between 5:00pm and 8:00am Monday through Friday and all weekend long.
The online Jury Trial Schedule may be used in place of the phone system and may provide more advance notice of jury trial cancellations than the phone system. If the Internet is unavailable for any reason, you must still check-in to find out if you need to report for jury duty. Please use the phone system in this case.
You may complete the jury questionnaire you received in the mail, or complete one online. To complete one on the internet, go to the Wisconsin Courts Jury Qulification Questionnaire page and follow the instructions. You will need the Juror ID number from the questionaire you received in the mail to complete the online questionnaire.
To learn more about jury service, visit the Wisconsin Court System website and look for The Wisconsin Jury Handbook.