All U.S. citizens who are over the age of 18, a resident of the county that issued the jury summons are eligible to serve on a jury in the state of Michigan. The law also provides that a juror be conversed in the English language and be physically and mentally able to carry out the functions of a juror. Of these people, only convicted felons, meaning anyone who has been found guilty of a serious crime, cannot serve. No Michigan citizen otherwise qualified, may be disqualified to serve as a juror because of race, creed, or color.
Juror Qualification Questionnaire
Juror Qualification Questionnaires (PDF) are sent by the Muskegon County Jury Commission to people who have been randomly selected as potential jurors to serve during a given term. The questions on the form are intended to assist the Jury Commission in determining your eligibility to sit as a juror. These forms are to be completed online via the Jury Web Solution website within 10 days of receiving them by the prospective juror.
The questionnaire completed online goes directly into a computerized system. The names of qualified jurors are then available for summoning for jury duty.
Number of Jurors Needed
The number of qualified jurors needed for a given year is determined by the Chief Circuit Judge of the County. The "year" runs from September 1 to August 31 of the following year.
Juror Summons & Personal History Questionnaire
The Juror Summons and Personal History Questionnaire comes to you approximately four weeks prior to your selected week of service. The Juror Summons and Personal History Questionnaire come together as one document. Pages 3 and 4 containing the personal history questionnaire must be completed online within 10 days via the Jury Web Solution website.
The Personal History Questionnaire is seen only by the attorneys and parties involved and is solely for the purpose of jury selection. The questions asked are primarily related to the socio-economic status of potential jurors. Name, occupation, marital status and prior experience with the court system are typical of the questions asked of you.
View a sample Juror Summons (PDF).
If you are unable to serve during the time requested on your summons and you are more than 10 days from service you can change your week of service online via the Jury Web Solution website. If it is less than 10 days from your service you must contact your district court jury office or your circuit court jury office to ask for a postponement.
You can ask for a postponement until a reasonable time in the future when you can arrange your schedule so that jury service is convenient for you. You may have to appear at the courthouse in order to tell the judge the reasons why you cannot serve. Please be prepared to come to court at the time and place the summons says.
Excuses for Undue Hardship
In certain serious cases, after you have been summoned, the judge may excuse you from jury duty because of undue hardship. If you have a personal situation that stops you from being able to serve, email the reason to Juror Response or call your district court jury office or your circuit court jury office. When listing reasons such as medical, job, or dependent care issues, be prepared to receive a postponement and not an excuse.
- To qualify as a juror a person shall:
- Be a citizen of the United States, 18 years of age or older, and a resident in the county for which the person is selected, and in the case of a district court in districts of the second and third class, be a resident of the district.
- Be able to communicate in the English language.
- Be physically and mentally able to carry out the functions of a juror. Temporary inability shall not be considered a disqualification.
- Not have served as a petit or grand juror in a court of record during the preceding 12 months.
- Not have been convicted of a felony.
- A person more than 70 years of age may claim exemption from jury service and shall be exempt upon making the request.
- For the purposes of this section and sections 1371 to 1376, a person has served as a juror if that person has been paid for jury service.
- For purposes of this section, “felony” means a violation of a penal law of this state, another state, or the United States for which the offender, upon conviction, may be punished by death or by imprisonment for more than 1 year or an offense expressly designated by law to be a felony.
Job & School
Your employer must allow you time off to serve on a jury. This is the law. Section 1348 of the Michigan Revised Judicature Act of 1961 is intended to prevent any employer from firing or harassing an employee who is summoned for jury service. If you are harassed or fired, contact the judge assigned to your trial. If your employer has harassed you because of your service on a jury, contact the Court. You can not be forced to work the second or third shift if you have spent a full day as a juror. High school students are exempt from service during the school year.
Remember to keep any certificate issued by the judge to prove that you served and for your employer's records.
Michigan allows payment of $12.50 for a half day and $25 for a full day on the first day of service; and for each subsequent day of service, $20 for a half day and $40 for a full day. Michigan also allows mileage of 54.5 cents per mile round trip for your jury service.