What if I am not a county resident?
If you are not a county resident, you do not have to serve a juror in this county. That information should be included in your juror questionnaire.
Do I get paid?
Summoned prospective jurors who have appeared at the courthouse for jury duty receive $10 a day for their service. Jurors living outside the city limits of the courthouse will be reimbursed for their mileage. Payment is made by the county around the first day of following month.
What age disqualifies you as a juror?
While there is a no law regarding the maximum age of jurors, the 6th Judicial District will excuse jurors over the age of 75, if requested.
What if I have a disability?
The 6th Judicial District will accommodate anyone wishing to serve as a juror. You may also be excused, if you are disabled and jury service would create a hardship.
How often will I have to serve as a juror?
The 6th Judicial District will not require you to serve more than once in a 12-month period. If you are summoned, as a juror, twice in a 12-month period, please indicate such on your questionnaire and the court will excuse you from jury service.
Jury duty is an important and hopefully, interesting service, you, as a citizen, is asked to perform. Jury service is a citizen's right and responsibility. It is a segment of the law that protects our fundamental rights. The district court could not administer fair and efficient justice without your cooperation.
Many people are unfamiliar with courtroom procedures and what is expected of a juror. The following is a short explanation to help you understand your rights and duties when you are summoned for jury duty.
What is a jury?
A jury is composed of normally six or twelve citizens of your county. Panels of potential jurors are randomly selected by a computer, from your county's drivers license list. Depending on the type of trial, courts usually summon between 35 to 75 potential jurors for each trial.
Types of trials
There are at least two parties represented in every trial. In civil cases, one party is the plaintiff and the other is the defendant. These cases usually involve property, money or civil rights. In criminal cases, the State of Kansas is the plaintiff and the defendant is a person who is charged with a crime. In addition to a fine, the defendant's life or liberty may actually be at stake. The criminal cases are normally prosecuted by the county attorneys in your county.
Conduct of trial
Selection of the jury
The entire group of people summoned for jury service is called a panel. The jury is selected from this panel.
A computer places the names of the jury panel in a random order. The court uses this list to call potential jurors to the jury box. After you are seated in the jury section of the courtroom, the judge may ask the panel, or you personally, questions. The attorneys may also ask you questions. These questions are not meant to embarrass you. They are asked only to check your ability to serve as a fair and impartial juror. If you feel, for any reason, you cannot serve as a fair and impartial juror, you should state that to the judge or attorney at the time of questioning.
After the questions are concluded, attorneys may dismiss you without cause. The law allows certain challenges without stating a reason. These are called "preemptory challenges" and are not an adverse reflection on anyone being excused.
After the selection of the jury, attorneys for both sides explain the positions of their respective clients, and what they expect to prove. These statements are not evidence but explanations and the claims must be proven by competent evidence.
Examination of witnesses
Both parties usually attempt to prove their sides of the case through witnesses. The witnesses are first examined by the attorney that called them. This is called direct examination. Then the other attorney questions them. This is called cross examination.
Objections made by the attorneys are sometimes technical, but they are made in an effort to limit the testimony to what is relevant to the case. If the judge sustains the objection, the questioning is not proper; and if the judge overrules the objection, the witness may answer the question asked.
Sometimes, during a trial, the jurors are excused so that the attorneys may present an argument to the court concerning a legal matter. This is done so that the jurors will not be prejudiced by any statements made. Lawyers are within their rights and have a duty to object to evidence which they believe is improper.
The first argument is presented by the plaintiff's attorney who will review their version of the case. The defendant's attorney will follow with their view of the facts. Then, under the law, the plaintiff's attorney has the concluding argument.
At the conclusion of the trial, the judge will instruct the jurors as to how the law applies to the case. Jurors must base their verdicts on the judge's instructions and the law, rather than on their own notions of what the law is, or ought to be.
The jurors, upon being taken to the jury room, will first select a presiding juror to preside over the deliberations. Jurors will discuss the evidence and attempt to arrive at a fair and impartial verdict according to the facts presented from the witness stand and the law as given to you by the judge's instructions. When you have done this, you will be returned to the courtroom where your verdict is read.
Never be late, always sit in the same seat, and give your full attention to the witnesses and attorneys.
You should not talk with anyone about the case during the trial.
When in doubt, ask the judge
In each case on which you act as a juror, the judge will give you instructions applicable to the case. The information in this brochure is not intended to take the place of and must not encroach on those instructions.
This information is based on Kansas law and is to provide general public information, not specific legal advice. The facts involved in a specific case determine the application of the law.