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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

When reporting to the United States Courthouse- Brownsville Division, please observe the following guidelines:

  • A photo I.D. is required to gain entrance to the U.S. District Courthouse.
  • Note that all personal belongings may be inspected by court security personnel prior to entry to the courthouse.
  • Cellular devices are not allowed in the courthouse.
    If you do bring a cellular device, please be advised that you will be prompted to leave it with the security officer at the entrance, and it will be placed in holding for you during your visit.

How should I dress?

Due to the dignity of Court proceedings, it is requested you wear business casual attire. The following are NOT permitted in the courtrooms: shorts, tank tops, flip flops or beach attire.

How long will I serve?

As a general rule, you will only be asked to come to the courthouse twice. If you are selected as a juror, then your service ends when the trial ends. Your summons gives you the date you need to report to the courthouse.

To confirm whether you need to report on that date call 1-800-582-9109 and listen to the recorded message (have your nine-digit participant number available) or click here to check your status on-line. The message about your reporting date will be posted by 6:00 p.m. on the evening before your reporting date. You will need to report to the courthouse if instructed.

If you have a question or concern, please call our jury section at (956) 548-2508 during normal business hours.

What if I am unable to attend?

You may request to be exempted or excused from jury service or have your juror service postponed. You can either select the link for Postponement or Excuse Request to submit your request on-line, or you can put your request in writing. You must appear unless the Court has granted your request.

You may click here to check your status on-line, or call the toll free number, 1-800-582-9109 to verify if your request to be excused or postponed has been granted.

Mail requests to: United States District Court, Attn: Jury Section, 600 E. Harrison Street #101, Brownsville, Texas, 78520.

Exemptions

The Court may exempt you from service if you are:

  • A member in active service of the armed services of the United States.
  • A member of a fire or police department.
  • An elected official actively engaged in the performance of official duties.

Excuses

The Court may excuse you from jury service if you are a:

  • Person not employed outside the home, having active care and custody of a child under the age of ten whose health or safety would be jeopardized by their absence for jury service; or a person who is essential to the care of the aged or infirm persons and who is not employed outside the home.
  • Person who have served as a grand or petit juror in federal court within the past two years.
  • Person over seventy years of age.
  • Member of a federal law enforcement agency (like agents for Postal, FBI, Customs, etc.).
  • Member of a volunteer safety organization and work in an official capacity without compensation (fire fighters, rescue squads or ambulance crews).
  • Person for whom the jury service would cause undue hardship or extreme inconvenience. (medical excuses require a precise doctor's statement; full-time students need to provide a copy of your class schedule)

Postponements

The Court may postpone your jury service. Any request for postponement must show why the delay is unavoidable.

Do I reside in the Brownsville Division?

The Brownsville Division consists of:  Cameron and Willacy counties.

Will I be paid?

Federal law authorizes the following payments:

  • $40.00 each day you come to the courthouse;
  • $.56 cents for each mile driven. The route driven must be the shortest practical one to and from the courthouse.

Other expenses including road tolls, parking and public transportation.

How am I paid?

You will be paid at the end of your jury service. A United States treasury check will be issued and you should receive it within about seven to ten business days.