COURT SERVICES
JURY DUTY

JUROR'S HANDBOOK
31st CIRCUIT COURT
72nd DISTRICT COURT
PROBATE COURT
Jury Clerk's Office: (810) 985-2202
Jury Recording: 1-800-462-2781 or (810) 985-2339

WELCOME TO JURY SERVICE
You have been summoned for jury duty in St. Clair County. This information is provided to assist you and answer questions you may have. The list below links to specific topics of concern to jurors.

IMPORTANCE OF JURY SERVICE
AM I ELIGIBLE TO BE A JUROR?
HOW LONG WILL I SERVE ON JURY DUTY?
PARKING
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I GET THERE?
JUROR'S RESPONSIBILITIES.
HOW DO I GET PAID?
CIRCUIT, DISTRICT and PROBATE COURT JUDGES.

IMPORTANCE OF JURY SERVICE
Jurors perform a vital role in sustaining the American System of Justice.
The protection of our rights and liberties is largely achieved through the teamwork of judge and jury who, working together in a common effort, put into practice the principles of our great heritage of freedom. The judge determines the law to be applied in the case while the jury decides the facts. Thus, in a very important way, jurors become a part of the court itself.

Efficient jurors are men and women of sound judgment, absolute honesty, and a complete sense of fairness. Jury service is a high duty of citizenship. The juror's greatest reward is the knowledge that he or she has discharged this duty faithfully, honorably and well. In addition to determining and adjusting property rights, jurors may also be asked to decide questions involving a crime for which a person may be sentenced according to law. In a very real sense, therefore, the people must rely upon jurors for the protection of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

AM I ELIGIBLE TO BE A JUROR?
You are exempt from jury service if:

1. You are not a resident of St. Clair County;
2. You have served as a juror within the last 12 months;
3. You are 70 or older - you may choose not to serve;
4. You have been convicted of a felony; or
5. You are on probation or parole.

HOW LONG WILL I SERVE ON JURY DUTY?
You are required to serve one month. Jurors are assigned a juror number and a panel letter at the beginning of their month of service by mail. Juror panels are assigned to a courtroom on a rotation basis as trials are confirmed. Jurors need to call in each Monday and follow the instructions for the remainder of the week during their month of service.

PARKING
Parking passes are included in your orientation package.
Juror Parking Map

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I GET THERE?
Jurors are directed at call-in to report to a specific courtroom for jury service. Courthouse security and information staff is available to direct you to the proper location for service when you arrive. Once in the assigned courtroom, attendance will be taken and an orientation will be provided by the jury clerk.

When court begins, a number of jurors will be selected at random to sit in the jury box. If you are selected as a juror, you will receive additional instruction from the judge and courtroom staff. Trial times and the expected duration of the trial will also be explained to you at that time.
 

Waiting
There is an old saying that "Those also serve who sit and wait." This is especially true for jury service. There are many cases set for trial on the day you are called for jury duty. While you are waiting, the judges, lawyers and litigant are making last efforts to settle those cases without the expense and delay of a jury trial. Often it is the mere presence of jurors that encourages an agreement that avoids a prolonged trial.
During this waiting time, however, we must prevent any interaction which could prejudice the pending trials. To protect the integrity of the system and to prevent mistrials, you must stay in the courtroom unless excused by the Jury Clerk (you may not sit in or wander in the hallway). We will try to make your waiting as convenient as possible. Food/beverages are not allowed in the courtrooms.
Lunch will be at your own expense.

Dress code
Proper courtroom attire is required of jurors, staff, attorneys and all those having business before the Court while in the courtroom. Exotic or scant clothing should not be worn. Improper attire includes, but is not limited to the following: Shorts, cutoffs, sleeveless t-shirts, slippers, bare midriffs, tanks and halter tops, spandex pants and tights.

Smoking
The County Courthouse is a SMOKE FREE building.
 

JURORS' RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Jurors must be prompt in arriving at the court. A trial cannot begin unless all jurors are present.
  • Jurors must give their undivided attention to the witnesses, attorneys, and proceedings. Remember that the outcome of the case is very important to those concerned.
  • Jurors must not let radio, television, newspaper articles or other publicity concerning a case affect their decision. A verdict must be based on the evidence presented at trial.
  • Jurors must not discuss the case with friends, relatives, or trial participants. If you are approached about the case, report the incident to the bailiff or judge immediately.
  • Jurors must not become involved in independent investigations about the case. When it becomes necessary to inspect a scene, the jury will do so as a group under the court's supervision only.
  • Jurors must be impartial and avoid comments or expressions during the trial that convey feelings about the case.

HOW DO I GET PAID?
In accordance with State Law, jurors selected to report will receive $25.00 for the first day ($12.50 for the first half day) and $40.00 ($20.00 for each half day) of each subsequent day of actual service plus $.24 a mile in travel expenses.  Reimbursement checks are issued within two (2) weeks of the last day of your term of service. The stub will show the dates of service and the compensation received. If required by your employer, an attendance statement can be requested at the end of each week of service.

FINAL NOTE
The jury is a critical element in our system of justice. You should be proud of your service as a juror. Your presence in the panel is necessary, regardless of whether you are selected to serve on a case. The court and the litigants appreciate your service.

31st CIRCUIT COURT JUDGES
Cynthia A. Lane
Daniel J. Kelly
Michael J. West

72nd DISTRICT COURT JUDGES
John D. Monaghan
Cynthia S. Platzer
Michael L. Hulewicz

PROBATE COURT JUDGES
John Tomlinson
Elwood L. Brown


Contact Information

Court Contact Information:
201 McMorran Blvd.
Port Huron MI 48060

Circuit Court:
     (810) 985-2031
     (810) 985-2030 (fax)
     Email: Circuit Court

District Court
     Room 2900
     (810) 985-2076
     (810) 982-1260 (fax)
     Email: District Court

Probate Court
     Room 2700
     (810) 985-2066
     (810) 985-2179 (fax)
     Email: Probate Court