New rules for jury duty
Tue, 01/29/2019 - 1:18pm admin
—Jurors now file information online, receive text or e-mail
• Do not ignore postcard from Judicial Branch. • If summoned, make sure to fill out online questionnaire. • If no computer, call into number listed every Tuesday after 5 p.m. • Failure to appear could bring Contempt of Court charge.
Des Moines - The Iowa Judicial Branch has launched a new juror notification process. Beginning Dec. 3, prospective jurors in Iowa no longer received a paper juror questionnaire in the mail with a summons to report for jury duty. Instead, prospective jurors are to receive a post card with information on how to complete the questionnaire online.
Each postcard will be specific to the county of residence and include the website address for the online questionnaire, the address of the courthouse with a small map, a juror number, the service start date, the term of service and the juror badge.
The updated online questionnaire, eJuror, will include a section for jurors to enter a cell phone number or e-mail address for notification by text message or e-mail three days prior to the jury service start date and again 24 hours prior to the start date. A prospective juror may also reschedule his or her service date online, one time.
“This will simplify the process and make it more convenient for citizens summoned for jury service,” State Court Administrator Todd Nuccio said. “We anticipate a better response rate because people can easily complete the juror questionnaire on their phones or at their home computer
24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We plan to look at the utilization rate after the launch to see if the new process has improved the response.”
Along with the new juror notification process, the Iowa Judicial Branch added a new jury service page to its website at https://www.iowacourts.gov/iowa-courts/jury-service/.
The page includes a link to the online juror questionnaire, along with an overview of jury service, answers to frequently asked questions, directions on how to complete the online questionnaire, what to expect during a trial, a link to a short video on the history of jury service and information on how to identify and avoid jury scams.
A portion of the frequently-asked-questions section explains how citizens are selected for jury service and includes a link to the master list of names in the jury pool. The judicial branch compiles lists of licensed drivers, state identification card holders and registered voters residing in each county to create the Master Jury List. The Master Jury List is online at https://data.iowa.gov/Govern ment/Master-Jury-List/cajy-5hfr.
The judicial branch website also has individual pages with juror information for each county. The county specific pages include contact information, what to wear to court, where to park and jury check-in information. A link to the pages is at https://www.iowacourts.gov/court-directory/ .
The new process results from recommendations in the March 2018 Iowa Supreme Court Committee on Jury Selection report at https://www. iowacourts.gov/collections/41/ files/499/embedDocument/ .