Petit Jury Service
Welcome to the jury panel of the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. We hope you will find your term of jury service an interesting and satisfying experience.
You will see a film and receive a briefing which explains your duties and responsibilities as a juror. This booklet will answer questions of a more immediate nature.
Change of Address, Telephone Number, or Employment
Jurors who have a change in address, phone number, or employment, should submit these changes as soon as possible. A current address is important because your checks are mailed to you. A current phone number is important to contact you in the event a case settles.
You will report for jury duty on the third floor of the Courthouse. When you exit the elevator, there will be signs directing you to the registration. Restrooms are available in the hallways of each floor. A lounge area and restrooms are provided in the Jury Assembly Room located on the first floor.
Vending machines are located in the basement of the Courthouse. Coffee, tea, hot chocolate and various snacks will be available for jurors in the Jury Assembly Room, as well as a soft drink / snack machine.
There are many restaurants within walking distance of the Federal Courthouse. You will receive a list of restaurants during orientation. There is also a refrigerator and microwave in the Jury Assembly Room for your use if you want to bring your lunch.
Your name was taken from the voter registration list of your county, according to guidelines which assure a random selection from a fair cross-section of the community. You were then mailed a qualification form to complete and return in the provided envelope or via eJuror. After it was determined by the Court that you were qualified to serve, you were summoned for duty. After you have completed your term you will not be called again unless your name is again drawn from the voter registration list in future years. If you are called again within two years after federal service, you may be excused upon request.
The Courthouse is located at 200 N.W. 4th Street, between Harvey and Robinson. This is approximately 1 block west of Broadway (E.K. Gaylord Boulevard) and 5 blocks east of Classen Boulevard. It is easily accessible from several I-40 and I-235 Highway exits.
Except for employees of the U.S. Government (excluding U.S. Postal Employees), a $40 attendance fee is paid for each day you are required to and do report for duty whether or not you are selected to serve. $0.56 cents per mile round trip from your home to the Courthouse is allowed as reimbursement for travel expense. You will also be reimbursed for tolls you may have to pay, but not for taxi fares. These provisions are established by law and are not determined by the Court. If you drive 75 miles or more one way and you spend the night in town, you will receive $160 per day subsistence. Be sure to ask for Government rates when staying at your choice of motel. Jurors entitled to subsistence will need to submit a lodging receipt to the Jury Clerk.
Your check will be mailed to you when the jury term is completed. Please allow 3-4 weeks after your term for delivery.
The $40 attendance fee must be reported as income for tax purposes. You must keep a record of the amounts you receive as no tax has been withheld. If your attendance fee exceeds $600, 1099 forms are furnished for tax purposes. You do not need to report the travel allowance as income.
Do NOT park on the street or at a parking meter. You will not have time to leave the Courthouse to pay meter charges and the Court is not responsible for any parking violations. Several commercial parking lots are located near the Courthouse. You may use any parking lot or garage you choose. Please allow yourself extra time for locating a parking space.
You will be reimbursed for your parking fees, at a maximum rate of $7.00 per day. If you park in a garage, be sure to inquire about accessibility to your vehicle after hours in case you are required to stay after 5:00 p.m.
Reporting for Duty
Jury duty can commence early in our Court and it is CRITICAL that you report on time for juror orientation. Due to the volume of cases scheduled, you should allow a full day for jury service.
- Be punctual in attendance
- No tobacco use in any form will be permitted at any time in the Court spaces
- Do not prop feet on tables or chairs
- No bottles, beverage containers, paper cups, edibles or chewing gum should be brought into the Courtroom
- No reading material is allowed in the Courtroom, unless it is part of the evidence in the case
- Everyone must rise when instructed to do so
- Anyone who appears in Court under the influence of alcohol, drugs or narcotics may be held in contempt
- Everyone shall refrain from assuming an undignified posture, shall be attired in a proper manner, and shall abstain from wearing any apparel calculated to attract attention to themselves
- No talking will be permitted while Court is in session
- Courtrooms are cool – bring a sweater or jacket
Jurors are advised that the Court’s security plan does not allow cell phones, laptop computers, pagers, cameras or recording devices inside the Courtroom. Please leave these items at home, at the office or in your car. Empaneled jurors will be provided an electronic device card after selection. If there is an emergency and someone needs to contact you during your service, they may call 405/609-5555 and a message will be delivered to you promptly. Please have them specify that you are on jury duty.
Length and Frequency of Service
If you report for jury duty and are not selected, you will receive instructions regarding future reporting dates. We will give you as much notice as possible. The term of service is four to five weeks. This does not mean you will be here every day. You could be directed to report every week during the four to five week term or you may be called only once. Until you are directed to report for service, continue your daily activities. Sometimes trials are canceled at the last minute. In the event that this happens, every effort will be made to contact you so that you do not need to report unnecessarily.
Most trials average 3 days. Occasionally, a trial will last for several days. The judge will dismiss the jury each evening and tell you exactly when you must return.
Trials usually recess around 5:00 p.m. If it is necessary for the trial to continue later into the evening than expected, you will be given enough time to get in touch with your family and to make arrangements for transportation if necessary. For this and other reasons, it is important to make sure there is some way to get a message to your family by telephone any time that you must serve on the jury for a case.
It is rare for a jury to have to remain overnight. If this happens, you will be paid a basic subsistence allowance at the rate established for Court personnel when required to travel on government business. If a jury is sequestered (kept together for security purposes), the government will pay for food and lodging at the allowable rate.
In accordance with Title 28 U.S.C. § 1875, your employer shall not discharge or threaten to discharge you because of your jury service. If you have a question in this area, see the jury clerk.
Federal law is strict on excuses altogether. Do NOT wait until the week prior to reporting for jury duty to request excusal or deferrment. Only extreme hardship requests for excusal should be submitted, as soon as possible after receipt of summons, in writing, to:
U.S. Court Clerk (Attention: Jury Section)
United States District Court
200 N.W. 4th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73102-3092
Jurors who fail to report for jury duty and who are not excused by the Court may be served a show cause order by the U.S. Marshal Service. Those jurors will be ordered to appear before a U.S. Magistrate Judge to show cause why they should not be held in contempt of the Jury Service and Selection Act. Contempt penalties range from a $100 fine to three days imprisonment, or both.
Temporary excuses may be granted under special circumstances. In this case you will be rescheduled for service.
The jury clerk will provide you with an attendance certificate showing the dates you served. It will be mailed to you, along with your check. Some persons need this certificate in connection with their employment, others may wish a certificate for their personal records.
If you have additional questions in connection with your service in this Court, feel free to contact the jury clerk at (405) 609-5040.