Where did you get my name for jury duty?
Your name was selected from the Guam Voter Registration List. First, a random selection was made to ensure that a pool of prospective participants is from a fair cross-section of the community. Next, you completed the juror qualification questionnaire mailed to you, after which our court determined that that you were qualified to serve as a juror. Lastly, your name was then placed in the pool of qualified participants for the court to randomly draw names when needed for a trial or selection of a new grand jury panel.
Who is considered qualified for jury duty?
The Court will deem any person qualified to serve on grand or petit juries unless he or she:
- is not a citizen of the United States;
- is under eighteen (18) years of age;
- has not resided within the district for a period of one (1) year;
- is unable to read, write, and understand the English language with a degree of proficiency sufficient to satisfactorily fill out the juror qualification form;
- is unable to speak the English language;
- is incapable, by reason of mental or physical infirmity, to render satisfactory jury service; or
- has a charge pending against him or her for the commission of, or has been convicted in a State, Federal, Territorial, or Commonwealth Court of record, of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year and his or her civil right has not been restored.
If one or more of the above categories apply to you, please indicate in your answers to questions 1 through 8 on the Juror Qualification Questionnaire.
Who is exempt from jury service?
Pursuant to Title 28 United States Code, Sections 1861 or 1862, the following groups of persons and occupational classes are barred from jury service on the grounds that they are exempt:
- members in active service in the Armed Forces of the United States;
- members of the fire or police departments of any state, district, territory, commonwealth, possession, or subdivision thereof; and
- public officers in the executive, legislative, or judicial branches of the Government of the United States, or any state, district, or territory, possession, or subdivision thereof, who are actively engaged in the performance of official duties, and who are elected to public office or directly appointed by one elected to public office.
If one of the above categories applies to you, please indicate this in your answers to question 13 on the Juror Qualification Questionnaire.
What are grounds for requesting to be excused from jury duty and how do I request for one?
Upon individual written request, persons in the following groups or occupational classes may be excused from jury service:
- You are 70 years of age or older;
- You served as a grand or petit juror in a State, Federal, Territorial, or Commonwealth Court within the last two (2) years; or
- You serve as “volunteer safety personnel”. Volunteer safety personnel means individuals serving a public agency in an official capacity, without compensation, such as firefighters or members of a rescue squad or ambulance crew.
What are grounds for requesting a temporary excuse and how do I request for one?
If you are summoned for jury service and need to request a temporary excuse, all requests must be in writing and include supporting documentation, when applicable. You must submit your request before your report date, except in emergency situations. Upon review, such persons may be temporarily excused as the Judge or Clerk of Court, under the supervision of the Court, deem necessary. Some reasons may be:
- Persons who can demonstrate that jury service would cause undue hardship or extreme inconvenience (grave illness in the family or any other emergency);
- Persons having active care and custody of a child(ren) under school age whose health and/or safety would be jeopardized by your absence for jury service;
- Persons who are full-time caregivers for an elderly or infirm family member;
- Previously planned vacation or off-island travel (provide travel itinerary);
- Medical appointment (provide doctor’s note); or
- Work-related training or travel.
How will I be notified of my jury appearance?
A jury summons with reporting instructions will be sent by mail.
Where is the courthouse located?
The District Court of Guam is located on Route 1, Marine Corps Drive, next to the Kentucky Fried Chicken Restaurant in Anigua.
Where do I park?
The public parking lot is located between the Kentucky Fried Chicken Restaurant and the courthouse.
If asked to report, how many hours will I be at the Courthouse?
On the first day of jury service, jury duty normally commences at 8:00 a.m. You should plan and arrange for a full day attendance when summoned for jury service.
If selected to sit as a juror for a case, the hours may vary each day and the trial judge will give reporting instructions for the duration of trial.
Where do I report for jury duty?
When instructed, please report directly to the Jury Assembly Room located on the 4th floor of the courthouse. The Jury Administrator or other court personnel will record your attendance and an orientation will be given to jurors reporting for the first time.
What should I bring with me when I report for jury duty?
On the first reporting date, please bring your summons, a picture identification card (driver’s license or passport) and a black or blue pen. You may also bring books, magazines, crossword puzzles, or study materials, however, newspapers are not allowed.
Will I be paid for my jury service?
A $50.00 attendance fee is paid for each day you are required to report for jury duty and your attendance is recorded in the jury management system, whether or not you are selected to serve. The District Court of Guam does not issue or honor any waivers of the attendance fee. If you are a federal employee, you are not entitled to receive the attendance fee unless you are in a “non-pay” status (e.g., leave without pay, regular day off, etc.) or serving as a juror on a legal holiday.
Jurors are also compensated for round-trip mileage from their residence to the courthouse. The current rate for this allowance, which is payable by the mile, can be found at http://www.gsa.gov/mileage.
Is the jury attendance fee reportable income for tax filing purposes?
Yes, the $50.00 per day attendance fee is reportable income on your yearly tax filing. If the total attendance fee paid to a juror equals or exceeds $600.00 within the tax year, the Court will issue the MISC 1099, Miscellaneous Income Form.
What to wear for jury duty?
Jurors play an important role in the very serious process of our justice system. When appearing at the courthouse, please dress appropriately to preserve the dignity of the court. Dress shirt, pants, pantsuits, skirts and dresses are suitable. Please note: Casual attire; T-shirts, shorts, tank tops, or clothing with derogatory or explicit marks/design/graphics, are not appropriate. Because room temperatures in the courthouse vary, you may want to bring a sweater or jacket for your comfort.
Are jurors given breaks, and where do we eat for lunch?
Yes, breaks are given to jurors. The trial judge will discuss break times for the duration of trial. Lunch is only provided for jurors who are deliberating. Jurors are welcomed to bring in their own food to eat during break time.
What if my employer wants proof that I was serving jury duty?
For each reporting date that a juror’s attendance is entered in the jury management system, a certified attendance letter is issued. The attendance letter is proof of attendance and should be provided to your employer.
Can my employer fire me for reporting in for jury duty?
Federal law (28 U.S.C. §1875) provides for the protection of jurors’ employment and prohibits an employer from discharging or threatening to discharge you from your employment, intimidating you, or coercing you because you have to attend jury service. If your employer commits any of the above, please notify the Court immediately.
Prior to reporting for jury service, please check your employer regarding their jury duty policy. Such policies are entirely discretionary with employers. Employers are not specifically obligated to continue a jurors’ regular pay during jury service.
How long is my term of jury service?
Petit Jurors serve a term of 60 days, beginning on the appearance date specified on the summons.
Grand Jurors serve a term of one (1) year and may be extended an additional six (6) months.
Upon completion of your term, jurors are dismissed from federal jury service for a period of two years, if so requested.
What is a petit jury?
A petit jury is also known as the trial jury. This is the group of people who determine any question or issue of fact in any civil or criminal trial according to law and the evidence introduced at trial. In a criminal trial, the jury determines whether the United States has proved the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil trial, the jury decides which side has established their case by a preponderance of the evidence and may also decide that property or money is owed to the prevailing party.
What is a grand jury?
A grand jury is a group of 23 jurors that serves for a period of one (1) year. The grand jury does not determine the guilt or innocence, but only whether there is probable cause to believe that a crime was committed and that a specific person or persons committed the crime. If the grand jury finds that probable cause exists, then it will return a written statement of the charges called an “Indictment.”
Can I bring a cellular phone, tablet or laptop into the Courthouse?
All persons entering the courthouse are required to proceed through a security checkpoint and have bags, purses, packages, etc., examined through an x-ray machine. Jurors are not permitted to bring cellular phones, tablets, electronic devices or newspapers when reporting for jury service.
If I served on jury duty for Superior Court, do I have to serve jury duty for the District Court?
If you are currently serving or recently completed jury service for the Superior Court of Guam, please inform the Jury Administrator or other court personnel. You cannot serve as a juror for federal and state (local) court at the same time.
How can my family reach me in case of an emergency?
In case of an emergency, your family may call the Clerk’s Office at (671) 969-4500 and one of the Clerk’s Office staff will ensure the message is relayed.
What happens if I fail to report in for jury service as directed?
Any person summoned for jury service who fails to report as directed may be ordered to appear and show cause for his/her failure to comply with the summons. Under Title 28, United States Code, Section 1866 (g), a person who has been summoned for jury service and fails to report can be fined up to $1,000, be ordered to perform community service, and/or imprisoned for up to three (3) days, or any combination thereof.
Any juror assigned and sworn to a case that fails to appear at the time fixed by the Court, he or she shall be ordered to appear and show cause for failure to appear. If said juror fails to show good cause and is adjudged in contempt of court, in addition to any sentence imposed by the Court, he/she shall not be paid juror’s fees for the time served on the case to which that juror has been assigned.
If you have any other questions, please contact Leilani Hernandez, Jury Administrator at (671) 969-4521 or Walter Tenorio, Deputy Clerk at (671) 969-4514.