Juror FAQs

 

Frequently Asked Questions


Where did you get my name for jury duty
Who is considered “Qualified” for jury duty
What are grounds for requesting permanent excuse
What are grounds for requesting temporary excuse
What will happen if I don’t report for jury duty
How will I be notified of my jury attendance date
Where is the Court located
Where do I park
Where do I report
What time do I report
How long should I expect to be at the Courthouse
Will I be paid for my jury service
Is there a dress code for jury duty
Are jurors given breaks and where do we eat for lunch
How long will I be a juror for
What if I move, change my telephone number, or get a new job
What if my employer wants proof that I was serving jury duty
What if my employer threatens to fire me for reporting for jury service
What is necessary to clear the court security

Answers

Where did you get my name for jury duty? back to top
Names were obtained from the CNMI Voter’s Registration list. The prescribed guidelines used by the Court assures a random selection from a fair cross-section of the community.
Who is considered “Qualified” for jury duty? back to top
The Court will deem any person qualified to serve on grand or petit juries in the District Court unless he/she:
  • Is not a citizen of the United States
  • Is less than eighteen (18) years old
  • Has not resided within the district for a period of one (1) year
  • Is unable to read, write, speak and understand the English language
  • Is incapable, by reason of mental or physical infirmity, to render satisfactory jury service
  • Has a charge pending against him or her for the commission of, or has been convicted in a State, Federal, Territorial, or Commonwealth Court of record, of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year and his or her civil rights has not been restored.
 
What are grounds for requesting permanent excuse? back to top
  • Over 70 years of age
  • Served as a Grand or Petit juror within the past two (2) years
  • Volunteer safety personnel, rescue squad or ambulance crew
  • Public Official (one elected to public office, or appointed by one elected to public office)
  • Members of the fire or police departments
  • Military (Members of the Armed Forces of the United States)
What are grounds for requesting temporary excuse? back to top
Temporary excuses can be granted for doctor’s appointments, planned vacations or work related travel, etc. A temporary excuse must be submitted in writing and prior to the day that you are summoned to appear. Please attach supporting documentation such as a doctor’s note or itinerary. Please submit your requests, as soon as possible after receipt of the summons to:
Clerk, U.S. District Court
for the Northern Mariana Islands
2nd Floor Horiguchi Building
Beach Road, Garapan
P.O. Box 500687
Saipan, MP 96950
Section 11 of the Court’s Jury Plan provides that jurors who do not make a request in advance to be excused, and who report for jury service and request immediate release, will not be paid by the Court unless they can prove that circumstances warranted their making the trip to the Courthouse.
What will happen if I don’t report for jury duty? back to top
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 United States Marshal. Those jurors will be ordered to appear before the Judge to show cause why they should not be held in contempt of the Jury Selection and Service Act. Contempt penalties range from monetary fines to imprisonment, or both.
How will I be notified of my jury attendance date? back to top
A jury summons will be mailed to you informing you of the date to report for jury service. Please check your mailboxes frequently.
Where is the Court located? back to top
The U.S. District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands is located on the 1st Floor of the Horiguchi Building on Beach Road in Garapan, Saipan, NMI. The Clerk’s Office is on the 2nd Floor of the same building. The mailing address is:
United States District Court
for the Northern Mariana Islands
P.O. Box 500687
Saipan, MP 96950
The telephone number is (670) 237-1200 and the fax number is (670) 237-1201.
Where do I park? back to top
Please park at the Kristo Rai Church parking lot. DO NOT PARK in any of the RESERVED parking spaces located immediately adjacent to the Horiguchi Building.
Where do I report? back to top
Please report to the Jury Assembly Room, Room 215, located on the 2nd floor of the Horiguchi Building.
What time do I report? back to top
Jury duty normally commences at 9:00 a.m., however, it is advisable to always refer to your summons for the exact time you are required to appear. It is critical that you report on time. We highly recommend that you report at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled summons time so that the Jury Clerk can make a record of your attendance.
How long should I expect to be at the Courthouse? back to top
Due to the nature of the jury selection process, be prepared to spend a full day at the Court. If you are travelling from Rota or Tinian, always be prepared to stay a few days. Further, it is required that you call the jury hotline number at (670) 237-1220, in advance of your summoned appearance, to get updates and current information regarding jury selection scheduling.
Will I be paid for my jury service? back to top
A $40.00 attendance fee is paid for each day you are required to report for jury duty, whether or not you are selected to serve. If you are a federal employee (Postal Service excluded), you are not entitled to receive the attendance fee unless you are in a “non-pay” status (e.g. leave without pay, annual, or off-duty) or when serving as a juror on a federal holiday.

For residents of Saipan, the standard Federal Mileage Rate, round trip from your home to the Court is paid to you.

For residents of Rota and Tinian, the Court will pay the costs of round trip transportation, which will include air and ground transportation. In addition to the attendance fee, residents are entitled to travel allowance if required to stay overnight.

A check for attendance, travel allowance, etc. will be processed as soon as possible after the conclusion of the first day’s session for off-island jurors. Otherwise, checks will be processed and distributed within one week after service. In the event of a jury session that lasts for several days, your checks may be made in partial payments. You may personally pick up your check at the Clerk’s Office, or it will be mailed to you.

The $40.00 per day attendance fee must be reported for income tax purposes. A Form 1099M will be mailed to you at the conclusion of your one-year term on or before January 31 of the following year. However, mileage reimbursement and travel allowances are not taxable and not reported on tax forms.
Is there a dress code for jury duty? back to top
The U.S. District Court has a dress code which is strictly enforced. Shorts, t-shirts, halter tops, zories, sandals, and other inappropriate attire are not permitted. Also, it should be noted that the Courtroom is air conditioned and you may need a jacket or sweater for your comfort.

Possession and chewing of betelnut in the court building is prohibited.
Are jurors given breaks and where do we eat for lunch? back to top
Jurors are allowed breaks throughout the day as the schedule permits. Lunch is not provided to jurors unless you are empanelled. The Courthouse is located in Garapan with several restaurants located close by.
How long will I be a juror for? back to top
If you report for jury duty and are not selected, you need not return until you receive another notice or summons.

The trial may last for several days. In most cases, the Judge will dismiss the jury each evening and will tell you exactly what time you must return the following morning. If it is necessary for the proceedings to continue into the evening later than expected, you will be given enough time to get in touch with family and to make arrangements for transportation if necessary. For this and other reasons, it is important to ensure that there is some way to get a message to your family, by telephone or otherwise, during your term of jury service.

Of the jury is sequestered (kept together for security purposes), the government will pay all expenses for food, lodging, and transportation.
What if I move, change my telephone number, or get a new job? back to top
Jurors who change their address, telephone or fax number, or place of employment, should submit these changes to the Court as soon as possible.

A current address is important to ensure that we mail your checks to the right location. Further, a current phone or fax number, or information as to the location of your residence (if you do not have a phone) is important in order for the Clerk’s Office to contact you in the event of a change in jury schedule.
What if my employer wants proof that I was serving jury duty? back to top
Upon completion of your jury service you will receive a certificate of attendance showing the dates you served.
What if my employer threatens to fire me for reporting for jury service? back to top
Jurors are protected by federal statute, Title 28 USC §1875, from being discharged from employment.
What is necessary to clear the court security? back to top
Each person entering the federal building must produce a photo identification of themselves and present it to the court security officer. Further, please be advised that all electronic devices such as cellular phones, pagers, notebook computers, iPads, cameras, and newspapers are prohibited in the court facility.