Got a Jury Duty Notice? Judge Doesn’t Like Being Ignored
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - ‘Tis the season for jury duty notices to find their way into your mailbox.
KGVO News spoke to Amy McGhee, Clerk of Missoula District Court about the postcards from the various judicial districts that will be coming in the mail.
Over 100,000 Persons are Eligible for Jury Duty in Missoula County
“The clerk of District Court is the Jury Commissioner for Missoula County,” began McGhee. “I receive a combined list from the office of the court administrator, and that list includes people that are active registered voters, licensed drivers, or holders of Montana ID cards. That's a combined list and this year; I just pulled the report, and I received over 103,000 names.”
McGhee described how many potential jurors will be needed for each judicial district.
Each District Requests a Certain Number of Jurors
“For Municipal Court this year they've asked for 8,000 names, and to be considered for a Municipal Court jury you have to live in the city limits. Justice Court has asked for 5,500 names and obviously, they live in the county. There's also a coroner and they get a small portion of the names because they conduct coroner's inquests, and they those need a jury as well, so they've asked for 500 names. And me, the clerk of District Court, I've asked for 16,500 of those names.”
McGhee said if and when you receive a jury duty notice, please follow the directions in the packet.
“The postcard directs you,” she said. “It says there's nothing needed from you at this time, and you'll receive a packet in the mail if you are summoned. If you are, the summons inside that packet will have a questionnaire and the return envelope that we ask that you send along with any supplemental questionnaire that the judge may have for that trial, back to my office, and if there are any excuses (for not being able to serve), it's best to get those in right away so we can get that to the judge for the determination.”
To Avoid the Ire of a Judge be Nice to the Court Clerks when they Call
One very important point that McGhee wanted to emphasize was to be polite when the court contacts you for jury duty.
“For people who have questions or they receive their jury summons, I'd be happy to answer questions,” she said. “People can just email or call my office (at 406-258-4797). The judges don't like it when the general public isn't kind to the clerks or my jury clerk. I can't speak to what the judge would or could do; that’s within their purview. So, don't do that.”
In order to be eligible to serve as a trial juror, you must be 18 years of age or older, a resident for at least 30 days of the state and of the city, town, or county in which you are called for jury service and a citizen of the United States.