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Jury FAQs

What is a PETIT jury?

Answer: A PETIT jury is a trial jury for both civil and criminal cases. The PETIT jury listens to evidence offered during a trial and returns a verdict. A verdict in a civil case may be a finding for the plaintiff or for the defendant. A verdict in a criminal case finds the defendant guilty or not guilty.

Individuals who appear in Court solely for the purpose of being excused are not paid the mileage and attendance fees normally associated with Jury Service.

What is a GRAND jury?

Answer: A GRAND jury does not determine guilt or innocence, but whether there is a probable cause to believe that a crime was committed. The evidence is normally presented only by an attorney for the government. The GRAND jury must determine from the evidence whether a person should have formal charges filed by the government. If the GRAND jury finds probable cause, then it will return a written statement of the charges called an "indictment".

How do I get to the Courthouse and the Clerk's Office? What is the address and telephone number?

Answer: Please refer to the package you received in the mail with map included, refer to the bottom of this page, or click here to go to the maps and directions part of our site. Be sure to select the appropriate office from the left-hand menu.

How was I selected for jury duty?

Answer: The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky uses the lists of registered voters as the source for jury pools. A computer randomly draws jurors from the jury pools.

Why did I get a summons to appear in a county other than the one I reside in?

Answer: This district includes 67 counties and is separated into six (6) divisions. The federal courthouse for your division may be located in a different county from all that it serves.

How long must I be on jury duty?

Answer: Twenty days or 6 months, whichever comes first. The 6 month period begins the first date the petit juror is notified to appear, even if the trial is canceled. The 6 month period is extended by the number of days excused during the term of service.

What does "on call" mean?

Answer: You will be expected to be available to appear whenever instructed during your time of service. This means you will be expected to report when notified.

Why is it important that I call the toll-free telephone number the evening before I am to report?

Answer: The recorded message will provide the most recent instructions on whether you are to report or not, room location, time changes, if any, or any other message the court wishes to relay to you. Click here for more detailed information regarding Juror Call-In Reporting Instructions.

How may I get excused if a medical or hardship problem would prevent me from serving?

Answer: All requests to be excused must be submitted to the Clerk's Office in writing. Requests cannot be taken over the telephone. You may submit your request to your division by email, fax or U.S. Mail. Please be as detailed as possible. A statement from a doctor, explaining the specific medical condition that prevents you from serving, must be provided if requesting a medical excuse. Click here to go to the juror pages for contact information. Be sure to select your division from the left-hand menu.

Is there an age limit for prospective jurors?

Answer: There is no age limit. However, you may request to be excused due to other reasons. A written request is required. A medical excuse requires a letter from your doctor stating your specific medical condition and how it affects your ability to serve jury duty.

I live a long distance from the courthouse and may prefer to spend the night in the city where the courthouse is located. Is it possible that I may be reimbursed for my room and travel expenses in connection with my jury service?

Answer: You may receive a subsistence allowance if the Clerk of Court determines that you meet the criteria to do so. Contact the Jury Clerk for information pertaining to your specific circumstances.

What is my compensation for serving as a juror (jury fees) in federal court?

Answer: Jurors receive $50.00 attendance fee for each day they are required to report for duty, whether they are selected or not. Round-trip mileage is reimbursed at the current federal government mileage allowance. When reporting for the first time, check your mileage and report it to the Clerk. Tolls will be reimbursed but not taxi fares. You may use public transportation, such as a bus. These provisions are established by law and are not determined by the court.

Jury fees will be issued by check for your attendance during any week you report and mailed to you within 10 to 20 days of your initial day of service. Make sure the Clerk's office has your correct mailing address and telephone number where you may be reached.

Attendance fee of $50.00 for jury duty must be reported for tax purposes. A 1099 Form will be forwarded to you if you earn over $599.99 during the year. If you have earned less, it is your responsibility to report the earnings on your income tax form.

What should I bring with me when I report for jury duty?

Answer: Jurors reporting to the Lexington Clerk's Office should be sure to bring their yellow parking token from one of the authorized parking facilities to receive a validated card from the jury clerk. The courtrooms are often quite cool, so you are advised to bring a jacket or sweater. There occasionally may be a period of time to wait, so you may want to bring a book or magazine. PLEASE NOTE: Newspapers, cell phones, laptop computers, and other electronic devices are not permitted. If you bring these items, you will be required to leave them with Court Security.

What should I wear for jury duty?

Answer: All jurors must wear appropriate attire for jury duty. Shorts and halter tops are not considered appropriate.

What if I am late?

Answer: It is extremely important that you be prompt at the time you have been notified to report. It is particularly important when you are selected to serve on a trial as the entire proceeding could be delayed because of tardiness of one juror, which could result in that person being held in contempt. If you are delayed due to circumstances beyond your control, call the divisional clerk's office to inform the court of the situation. Refer to the bottom of this page for telephone numbers.

Is there available parking?

Answer: Refer to your mailing packet for parking instructions. Jurors reporting to the Lexington Clerk's Office should bring the yellow parking token from one of the authorized parking facilities to receive a validated card from the jury clerk.

Failure to report for jury service.

Answer: Any persons failing to report for jury service that is not excused by the Court may be served with a Show Cause Order. Subsequently, those jurors will be required to show cause why they should not be held in contempt of the Jury Selection Act. Contempt penalties can be at least a $100.00 fine, three days imprisonment, or both. (United States Code 28 Section 1866(g).


Phone Numbers for Jury service information:


Division Local Numbers Long Distance
Ashland 606-329-2465 1-866-349-0349
Covington 859-392-7925 Call Collect - Daytime
Covington 859-392-7928 Call Collect - Evening
Frankfort 502-223-5225 Call Collect
Lexington 859-233-2503 1-800-432-0657
London 606-877-7910 1-866-239-9358
Pikeville 606-437-6160 1-800-660-0126