Jury check-in takes place at the Rice County Courthouse, 218 Third St. NW, third floor, Faribault. Enter through the west side entrance. All prospective jurors must go through courthouse security.
For more information, call the Jury Office at 507-497-7134.
How a jury is chosen
After you have reported for jury duty, the jury panel is sent to the courtroom for jury selection. A jury of 12 people will be selected for felony trials; six for gross misdemeanor, misdemeanor and civil trials. The judge in the courtroom will explain the case and introduce the lawyers and other participants.
As part of jury selection, the judge and lawyers will question the prospective jury members to determine if anyone has knowledge of the case, a personal interest in it or any feelings that might make it hard to be impartial. This process is called “voir dire,” a phrase meaning to speak the truth.
Questions asked during voir dire may seem personal, but should be answered completely and honestly. The questions are not intended to embarrass anyone but are used to make sure that members of the jury do not have opinions or past experiences which might prevent an impartial decision.
During voir dire the lawyers may ask the judge to excuse a juror from sitting on the jury. This is called “challenging a juror.” There are two types of challenges: a challenge for cause and a peremptory challenge.
A challenge for cause means the lawyer has a specific reason for thinking that a juror would not be able to be impartial. For example, the case may involve a driving under the influence of alcohol. If a juror had been in an accident with a drunk driver and was still upset about it, the defense attorney could ask that the juror be excused for that reason. There is no limit to the number of jurors who may be excused for cause.
Peremptory challenges do not require the lawyers to state any reason for excusing a juror. Peremptory challenges are intended to allow lawyers, both prosecution and defense, to do their best to assure that the trial is fair.
- Are jurors compensated for jury service?
Jurors are paid mileage and per day attendance pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 593.48. Checks are usually mailed 30 days after completion of the jury term. Call the Court Administrator’s Office at 507-497-7134 with questions about checks or other information.
- Can I avoid jury duty?
No, unless you are over 70 and request to be excused, or if you don’t meet the requirements of Minnesota Statutes for extreme hardship. For more information, please contact the Jury Office at 507-497-7134.
- Can jury duty be rescheduled?
Yes. However, you will need to state the reason, in writing, why you cannot serve on a jury term. If approved, you will be rescheduled to a future two-week term. For more information, please contact the Jury Office at 507-497-7134.
- How long does jury duty last?
Jury duty in Rice County is one month. However, if you are seated on a jury, your service will be continued until the trial is completed. Jurors are required to serve for the duration of a trial. For more information, please contact the Jury Office at 507-497-7134.
- How was I selected for jury duty?
You were selected at random from lists of voter registrations, driver registrations, and Minnesota identification cards for residents of Rice County. For more information, please contact the Jury Office at 507-497-7134.
- Is my employment protected if I serve on jury duty?
Yes, your employment is protected under Minnesota Statutes 593.50, Subdivision 1. An employer shall not deprive an employee of employment, or threaten or otherwise coerce the employee with respect thereto, because the employee receives a summons, responds thereto, serves as a juror, or attends court for prospective jury service. For more information, please contact the Jury Office at 507-497-7134.
- Must my employer pay me while I am on jury duty?
Your employer is not required to pay you while you are on jury duty, however, many employers will pay the difference between your jury payment and your salary, but they are not required to do so. For more information, please contact the Jury Office at 507-497-7134.
- 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. You must apply the law given by the judge to the facts given during the trial to make a decision in a case. For more information, please contact the Jury Office at 507-497-7134.
- What type of cases do jurors hear?
Jurors hear felony, gross misdemeanor, misdemeanor, and civil cases. Some types of cases are driving under the influence, assault, domestic violence, or theft. Jurors will also hear civil cases in property disputes, contracts and personal injury. For more information, please contact the Jury Office at 507-497-7134.
- Who is eligible for jury duty?
- Be a citizen of the United States.
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Reside in Rice County.
- Be able to communicate in English.
You cannot serve on a jury if you have been convicted of a felony and your civil rights have not been restored.
If you are in doubt about your eligibility for jury service, you can contact the Jury Office by calling 507-497-7134 or by mail:
Rice County Court Administrator
218 NW 3rd Street
Faribault, MN 55021
- Why is Jury Duty important?
The United States Constitution and the Minnesota State Constitution guarantees all people the right to a trial by an impartial jury. Justice ultimately depends in large measure on the jurors who serve in our courts. For more information, please contact the Jury Office at 507-497-7134.