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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where is the Jury Commissioner's office located?
    601 North 46th Street, Lincoln, NE 68503-3720. The Jury Commissioner's office is located in the same building as the Election Commissioner. Map
  2. Is the Jury Commissioner elected or appointed?
    In Lancaster County, the Election Commissioner serves as the Jury Commissioner. The Governor appoints Election Commissioners for a four-year term in counties with a population larger than 100,000. Currently, David J. Shively serves as Lancaster County Election and Jury Commissioner. His current term ends on September 6, 2011.
  3. What are the qualifications to serve on Jury Duty?
    • You must be a citizen of the United States.
    • You must be 19 years of age or older.
    • You must be physically and mentally capable.
    • You must be a resident of the county from which you have been called.
  4. What could disqualify me from Jury Duty?
      The following may disqualify you from jury duty:
    • You have been convicted of a felony punishable by imprisonment in an adult correctional facility and a conviction has not been set aside or a pardon issued.
    • You are a Judge, clerk of a District Court, a sheriff, or a jailer.
    • Your spouse has been summoned to the same jury panel that you have been summoned.
    • You, and/or your spouse, are party to a lawsuit pending for a jury panel during the same time you have been summoned for jury service.
    • You no longer reside in Lancaster County.
  5. When and where do I report for Jury Service?
    Normally, the Jury Commissionerís office will telephone you at least one business day prior to the day you will be required to report for jury duty with date, time, and location of where you will report. The vast majority of trials are held at the Lancaster County Hall of Justice, 575 South 10th Street, Lincoln and will be held on either the 3rd Floor (District Court) or the 2nd Floor (County Court). If you are to report to an alternate location, detailed information will be provided to you by the Jury Commissionerís office.

    Do not report unless you have been called by the Jury Commissionerís office with a date and time to report.

    Once the jury term for which you have been summoned begins you will not be excused or deferred to another term unless you have an emergency.
  6. If I am called to report for Jury Duty where do I park?
    A map directing you where to park was included with your original summons. However, the primary juror parking lot is located north of the County/City Building. The entrances are located on 10th or K Streets. For a copy of the map please click here.
  7. I'm busy. Why should I serve as a juror?
    As a juror, you participate in an important public process and fulfill a civic obligation. All persons accused of a crime or involved in a civil dispute have a constitutional right to have a jury decide their cases. When you serve on a jury, you make important decisions affecting other people's lives as well as your own community.
  8. What if I am unable to serve during the timeframe for which I have been summoned?
    If the report date that you have been assigned creates a conflict with your schedule, you may request to have your service deferred or postponed to a later jury term. You must request this in writing and you still must complete and return your qualification form along with your contact information. Do not wait until you have been called to report for jury duty to request a postponement or deferral.

    Prior to the granting of a deferral or postponement, you must specify a specific timeframe for which you will be able to appear for jury service. Postponement dates cannot be more than six months after the original date of service. You will only be granted one request for deferral. If you request a second deferral it must be approved by a district court judge. For additional information regarding deferrals, please contact the Jury Commissionerís office at (402) 441-6553.
  9. Iím over 65. Must I serve as a juror?
    Individuals who are 65 years or older may request not to serve, but they must do so at the time their Juror Qualification Form is returned.
  10. What if I am unable to serve due to my health?
    You will need to provide a current physicianís statement stating the nature of the health issue. However, you must still complete and return the qualification form along with the contact information card. A judge will review your situation and determine if you are to be excused.
  11. What if Iím a full time student and am not able to serve?
    If you are a full time student and are not residing in Lancaster County, you are still responsible for contacting the jury office with your residence information either by phone or by indicating where you are currently residing on your Juror Qualification Form. You may also submit a written request to be excused or deferred when returning your qualification form.

    If you are a full time student residing in Lancaster County, you may be required to serve as a juror. Please complete the Juror Qualification Form and contact card and return to the Jury Commissionerís Office. If you believe that serving during the jury term for which you are summoned may present some difficulties for you, please send a request to be excused along with a copy of your class schedule for the term for which you have been summoned. This request must be submitted within ten days after you have received your summons. You will be notified by mail if you have been either excused from jury duty or deferred to a new date outside of your school term.
  12. If I have moved out of Lancaster County do I still have to serve as a juror?
    No, but you will still need to fill out and sign the qualification form so that we can update our files. There is a question on the qualification form that asks if you are a resident of Lancaster County. If you answer that question ďnoĒ, then you are asked to indicate where you are currently residing.
  13. How do jurors get picked for jury duty?
    Jurors are randomly picked from a combined list of the Lancaster County Voter registration list and Driverís License/State Identification Card Holderís list.
  14. Why do I always get summoned but other people don't?
    Selection is random. There is no minimum amount of time allowed between jury summons in Nebraska. The only exceptions to this are seated Grand Jurors and jurors having served more than four calendar weeks within a five year period. Those jurors may request to be excused. Specific questions regarding this issue may be addressed by the Jury Commissionerís staff.
  15. What if I do not speak English?
    You do not need to speak perfect English to serve as a juror. The court uses common, everyday language that people can understand. The work done by the courts affects all people, so it is important that all communities be a part of our justice system. No one person has to know everything.

    Jurors decide the outcome of a trial as a group, with each member making an important contribution. If you cannot understand English, you must respond appropriately to the question on the qualification form.

    If you need assistance, a friend or a family member who speaks and reads English may assist you in completing your qualification form.
  16. What if I care for a child or an adult?
    If you have a child or an adult under your care, you may ask for a postponement or excusal from jury service. That request must be in writing. If a Judge denies your request to be excused, you are responsible for finding care.

    If you are a mother who is nursing a child, you may request a deferral or postponement for up to one year by filling out the Juror Qualification Form. You will also be required to provide physicianís certificate in support of your request.

  17. What do I do if I need special accommodations?
    If you need special accommodations, please provide that information on the Juror Qualification Form under Question # 24.

  18. Will my employer allow me to take time off for jury service?
    State law prohibits your employer from penalizing you. You cannot be fired, lose pay (except that your employer may reduce your pay by the $35.00 per day you receive for jury duty), lose sick leave, or lose vacation time.

    You must give your employer reasonable notice that you have received a jury summons.

    Any person summoned must be excused by their employer, upon the jurorís request, from any shift work. (Nebraska Revised Statute ß 25-1640) If requested, an attendance report may be provided at the time of service.

  19. How long will it take for me to get paid?
    Checks are generally mailed out 2-3 weeks after the last day of the jury panel.

  20. What if I need a statement to show my employer the days I served on Jury Duty?
    You may obtain a statement at the end of your jury service from the Judgeís bailiff or from the Jury Commissionerís Office:

    601 North 46th Street
    Lincoln, NE 68503
    (402) 441-6553

  21. How long does a trial take?
    The length of each trial varies depending on the type of trial, the complexity of the issues involved with that trial, and how long jurors are expected to spend in deliberations. Most trials are completed within a few days to a week. However, occasionally there are trials that may last more than two weeks. During a trialís jury selection process (which is also known as voir dire), the judge and the attorneys involved with the trial will indicate how long they expect the trial to last. Judges are aware that long trials may be difficult for some people. It will be your responsibility to let the judge know if it may be a serious hardship for you to serve on a long trial. Please be patient during the jury selection process, because other potential jurors may have similar concerns about time.

  22. What kinds of trials will I hear?
    There are two types of trials that have juries: criminal trials and civil trials. Juvenile and family law trials do not have juries. Jury trials are held in both District Court and County Court.

  23. What happens if there is inclement weather?
    If there is inclement weather and you are to serve on jury duty and do not know if you should come in, please call the Jury Commissionerís Office at (402) 441-6553.

  24. What if I am called as a grand juror?
    The grand jury is different from a trial jury (known as a petit jury). People called for grand jury duty should follow the instructions on the summons.

    If inquires need to be made call (402) 441-6553.

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