You are here

Houston Division Juror Information

  Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Please read the following important information regarding COVID-19 and jury service:

In order to protect the health and safety of the jurors, the parties, the lawyers, and the court staff the following procedures have been implemented for jury selection and jury trials.

  • Masks are required to enter the building and must always be worn in public and shared spaces. If you do not have a mask, please identify yourself as a juror to the Court Security Officer, and a mask will be provided.
  • Once you enter the building and pass through the initial security screening, you will proceed directly to the jury selection area. Floor decals and seating will be arranged for proper social distancing.
  • Latex gloves will be available for those who wish to wear them, but gloves are not required.
  • Hand sanitizer (alcohol based) will be available at multiple locations inside the courthouse. You may ask court staff to make it available at any time during your service if it is not handy.
  • Those selected for a jury panel will be seated in a courtroom large enough to achieve social distancing between panel members.
  • Those selected as jurors will be spaced and/or separated by partitions, to achieve social distancing between jurors during the trial.
  • The trial will be held in a courtroom large enough for parties, witnesses, lawyers, court staff, and others all to maintain social distancing easily.
  • The jury box, jury room, and jury room bathrooms will be cleaned each evening when the court recesses, and this will continue throughout the trial.
  • Individual lunches will be provided to the jurors during each day of the trial, to minimize any travel in and out of the courthouse and to minimize each juror’s need to interact at local restaurants.
  • Jurors will meet before court begins each day and will take recesses and deliberate in rooms large enough to permit easy social distancing.

Contact the Jury Office to arrange for a postponement if you:

  • have been diagnosed by a licensed physician as having COVID-19 anytime within the past 30 days;
  • are actively caring for a family member or loved one who has tested positive for the COVID-19 or is particularly vulnerable to severe consequences from COVID-19; or
  • are now in self-quarantine status and that status will continue through your term of service.

Proper documentation may be required.

Qualification Questionnaire
Reporting Instructions
Postponement or Excuse Request
Juror Information Form
Certificate of Attendance 
I received a Juror Qualification Questionnaire. How do I complete the Qualification Questionnaire online?

This is NOT a summons to report for jury service. The purpose is to determine if you are qualified to serve as a juror for the U.S. District Court. If qualified to serve, you may be randomly summoned to serve at a later date between October 2013 and September 2017. To complete the Juror Qualification Questionnaire online, select the Qualification Questionnaire link, otherwise mail the completed form in the postage-paid envelope provided.

I have been summoned for jury service. How do I complete the Juror Form online?

To complete the Juror Information Form, select the Juror Information Form link, otherwise mail the completed form in the postage-paid envelope provided.

How long do I serve?

Although you are on call for six work days, generally, you will only be asked to come to the courthouse once.  Your summons tells you the date of your first service.

To confirm whether you need to report on one of your six service dates, select the Reporting Instructions link or call 1 (800) 582-9109 after 6:00 p.m. the evening before the date.  Have your nine-digit participant number available.  The message will give you specific instructions.  Only report to the courthouse if your message says to come.

If you are told to report and you are selected for a jury, your service will end when the trial ends.  If you are not selected, your service ends when the message says you are released from further service.  After that message no additional calls are necessary.

If you have a question, please call our jury section at (713) 250-5501 during business hours.

What if I can't be there?

You may request to be exempted or excused from service or to have your service postponed. You can either select the Postponement or Excuse Request link above or put your request in writing. You must appear unless you are notified that the Court has granted your request.

Mail requests to: United States District Court, Attn: Jury Section, P.O. Box 61010, Houston, TX 77208.

Exemptions

The Court may exempt you from service if you are:

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

Excuses

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

  • 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.
  • Have served as a grand or petit juror in federal court within the past two years.
  • Over seventy years of age.
  • A federal law enforcement agent (like agents for Postal, FBI, Customs).
  • A member of a volunteer safety organization and who works in an official capacity without compensation (fire fighters, rescue squads or ambulance crews).
  • Someone for whom the jury service would cause undue hardship or extreme inconvenience. Medical excuses require a precise doctor's statement.

Postponements

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

Where do I report?

Report to the Jury Assembly Room, room number 1211, on the first floor of the United States Courthouse, 515 Rusk at Smith in downtown Houston.

Do I reside in the Houston Division?

The Houston Division includes these counties:

Austin, Brazos, Colorado, Fayette, Fort Bend, Grimes, Harris, Madison, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Walker, Waller, Wharton

Will I be paid?

Under Federal law you may be paid:

  • $50.00 each day you come to the courthouse;
  • $0.56 for each mile driven on the shortest practical route to and from the court;
  • A subsistence rate for hotel lodging and meals. or a meal allowance if you stay with a friend or relative, may be allowed if you live over fifty (50) miles from the courthouse and you must stay overnight to attend court. Lodging receipts much be provided to the court, or, if you stay with a friend or relative, you must provide the name, address and phone number of the friend or relative. For prevailing subsistence rates please click here.
  • Other expenses including road tolls, parking, and public transportation.