Contacting the Champaign County Jury Personnel:
How can I reach the Champaign County Jury Commission and Jury Clerks?
Champaign County has three jury commissioners and two jury clerks. The Jury Commission meets once a month at the Brookens Administrative Center, 1776 E. Washington St., in Urbana. They hear requests for excusal or deferment from those individuals summoned but unable to serve. The jury clerks are responsible for preparation of all jury lists, conducting jury check-in and orientation, and providing juror information to the Court. They are available Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m until 4:30 p.m. and can be reached at (217) 531-7408. Typically, the office is closed on all legal holidays. The Jury Assembly Room is located on the first floor of the Champaign County Courthouse.Champaign County Courthouse 101 E. Main Street Urbana, Illinois 61801
How does the Jury Management obtain names of prospective jurors?
All jurors are selected for service by a computer system that randomly selects individuals from a list of county residents who hold a drivers license, a voters registration card, a state identification card, a disabled persons identification card, or who are receiving unemployment compensation.
I can no longer fulfill my duties as a juror. I would like your office to remove my name from your records.
Under no circumstances are the jury clerks allowed to remove an individual's name without judicial approval. If you feel you are not qualified you may wish to contact the Jury Commission.
I am not a resident of Champaign County or a citizen of the United States, may I serve?
No. You must be a Champaign County resident to serve as a juror in Champaign County. The law automatically disqualifies residents that are non-citizens.
Why is jury service important?
The United States Constitution guarantees all people, regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin or economic status the right to trial by an impartial jury of one's peers. In order to uphold this guarantee, we need those summoned to participate in the jury process to ensure every citizen's right to have their case decided by an impartial jury selected from a representative pool of their peers.
Who is entitled to a jury trial?
Any person charged with a criminal offense or any party in a civil case has the right to a trial by jury. All parties are equal before the law and each is given the same fair and impartial treatment.
What are my duties as a juror?
Your duty as a juror is to weigh all of the evidence and testimony presented to you and to decide the outcome of the case based upon the law and the evidence. Your decision must be fair, impartial and free of any bias or prejudice. Jury service is the basis of our judicial system and is essential to the administration of justice.
How are jurors selected for a trial?
After your panel is selected and reports to a courtroom, a process known as voir dire begins. During voir dire, the judge and possibly the attorneys will ask you questions to see if you can keep an open mind and be fair. After you have been questioned, you will either be selected or excused from that particular case. If you are selected, you and the other selected jurors will receive instructions from the judge. If you are not selected, you will receive instructions as to whether you are to return to the jury room or released and asked to check on your status later in the day.
How long does jury service usually last?
Jury service in Champaign County is usually one week. However, sometimes special juries are impaneled to handle cases longer than one week. The jury summons will indicate the length of your service.
What type of trials may I be selected to serve on as a juror?
There are basically two types of jury trials, criminal and civil. In a Criminal trial, the jury decides the guilt or innocence of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. In a Civil trial, the jury decides whether any monetary damages should be awarded.
Is jury service mandatory?
The United States Constitution and the Illinois State Constitution guarantees the right to trial by jury. Failure to respond to a jury summons may subject you to penalties provided by law. All Champaign County residents are obligated by state law to serve as a juror unless they are:
Not a United States citizen
Not a resident of Champaign County, Illinois
Not 18 years of age or older
What is the proper dress attire for jury service?
Jurors should dress comfortably, but properly for a courtroom.
What am I allowed to bring to jury service?
Jury service can require a potential juror to wait a considerable length of time. For this reason, you may want to bring reading material or office work. You may bring electronics into the courthouse and use them appropriately in public areas. Devices must always be on 'silent' mode and may never be used in courtrooms. In addition, jurors may not bring: weapons, knives, chemical agents, scissors, or other contraband.
What happens if you fail to appear for jury service?
Failure to appear for jury service when summoned is a serious matter. You may be held in contempt of court and could be fined. It is in your best interest to appear if you are summoned to avoid any further court action.
Free parking is located in the city parking lots 5, 9, 10F and 22 indicated on the map below. Please hang the orange parking permit from your rear view window. Handicapped parking is available on the east side of the courthouse.
Are employers required to pay employees while on jury service?
No. An employer is NOT required by law to pay employees who are on jury service. However, many employers do. You need to check with your company's human resources department before serving to see if your company pays your salary for days you are a juror. If you DO receive your salary, your company may require a letter of attendance from the jury clerks.
How soon after jury service will I receive my juror pay?
Jurors will be paid $10.00 per day plus 20 cents per mile, round trip, according to your zipcode. Payment is generally paid within 30 days after completion of your jury service. Your employer may require you to turn in your jury pay.
Does my employer have the right to terminate or penalize me for performing my American right as a juror?
No. Illinois law prohibits an employer from terminating or otherwise penalizing an employee because the employee serves as a juror.
Excuse from Service:
May I request an excuse from jury service?
A prospective juror may be excused if he/she: (1) has a physical or mental disability that would prevent him/her from serving; (2) is unable to read and or understand the English language; or (3) is member of the active military service.
Each request is individually reviewed. A prospective juror may be required to provide documentation verifying illness/disability and/or military service. Potential jurors are encouraged to express their request truthfully and to the best of their knowledge. Failure to do so is against the law. Jury service is a citizen's civic duty and responsibility.
I am unable to judge anyone because of my moral or religious beliefs. May I be excused?
Illinois law does not provide for an excuse from jury service for moral or religious beliefs. You are still required to appear for jury service. During the voir dire, the trial judge will decide.
I know that I will not be selected to be on a jury because of my career, my relatives and or my friends. May I be excused?
You are still required to report for jury service. A trial judge will decide if you should be excused.
Is deferment of jury service an option?
An individual requesting a deferment can attend a meeting of the Jury Commission to have their request addressed.
Hopefully, we have been able to provide you with the information that you have needed. However, if you feel your individual question has not been addressed call the Champaign County jury clerks at (217) 531-7408 for further advice and assistance.