Jury Duty

Why is Jury Service important? The United States Constitution and the Texas Constitution guarantee all people, regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin, or economic status, the right to trial by an impartial jury.

What is my duty as a Juror? As a juror, you must be fair and impartial. Your actions and decisions must be free of any bias or prejudice. Your actions and decisions are the foundation of our judicial system.

How was I selected? You were selected at random from the list off of the Ellis County voter registration listing. Jury service will only require your presence for one day.

You may claim an exemption from jury service if one of the following pertains to you:  

  • Are over 70 years of age.
  • Have legal custody of a child or children under twelve (12) years of age and serving jury duty would necessitate leaving this child or children without adequate supervision.
  • Attend high school or are enrolled in college, attending full-time.
  • Are an officer or employee of the legislative branch of state government. (This exemption does not include municipal police officers, county sheriffs, or peace officers.)
  • Are the primary caretaker of a person who is an invalid.
  • Have a medical condition that prevents you from serving. 

You may claim a disqualification from jury service if one of the following pertains to you.

  • You are not at least 18 years of age.
  • You do not live in Dallas County  If you make this selection, your voter registration will be deleted in Dallas County.
  • You are not a United States citizen. If you make this selection, your voter registration will be deleted in Dallas County.
  • You are not of sound mind. If you claim this disqualification, you must submit a letter from your doctor indicating the nature of your illness and why this will prevent you from serving jury duty.
  • You cannot read and write. You must still report on your scheduled date and appear before the judge to claim this disqualification. The Jury Services staff is unable to excuse you.
  • You have served as a petit juror for more than 5 days in district court during the last 6 months or county court during the last 3 months.
  • You have been convicted of a felony. Most first and second DWI convictions are misdemeanors. Felony charges are heard in a district court; misdemeanor charges are heard in a county court. Once deferred adjudication probation is completed on felony charges, you should be able to serve. These will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
  • You are under legal accusation of theft or any felony. The only misdemeanor charge which disqualifies you from serving as a juror is a theft charge. 

NOTE TO EMPLOYERS: Texas law prohibits discharging, harming, or threatening to harm an employee as a result of jury service.  Any such act by an employer can be punished as a misdemeanor (up to $2,000 fine and/or 2 years in jail) or as a felony (up to $5,000 fine and/or 2 to 10 years in the penitentiary). Civil Practice and Remedies Code Ch. 122; Penal Code Sec. 36.03 and 36.06.  An employee whose employment rights under Ch. 122 Civil Practice and Remedies Code are violated is entitled to reinstatement to his/her former position, and to recover damages from the employer up to an amount equal to 5 years compensation at the rate at which the person was compensated when summoned for jury service.  The employee is also entitled to have the employer pay the fees of the employee’s attorney, an amount approved by a court.