As you know, it is your duty to appear when called for jury service. It is our duty to ensure your safety, as well as the safety of the attorneys, the parties, and the community at large.
If you are exhibiting COVID symptoms or have been exposed to COVID 19 please contact the Jury Clerk by email at: [email protected] or by telephone: (269) 657-8200 ext. 2211.
About Jury Service
Jury service is an indispensable function of democracy. Jurors are essential to the administration of justice and our constitutional right to a fair trial. Van Buren County Jury Service's goal is to work effectively with court staff, trial parties, and the public to make jury service reliable and easy.
- Learn more about your role as a juror (PDF)
- Video: Answering the Call for Jury Service
- Video: Jury Orientation
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
- To see if you are required to report or to complete your juror questionnaire online go to Van Buren County Jury E-Response System
- You may also call the Jury Answering System at 1-888-323-5879 for our interactive voice response system.
- Before contacting us, please review the Frequently Asked Questions below.
- If you have other questions, we are here to help! Contact Us .
How did Van Buren County Court get my name?
- Once a year, the Secretary of State Driver’s License Bureau provides us with a list of names of Van Buren County residents who have a driver’s license or state ID. Every two weeks, our computer system randomly chooses names from that list and the questionnaires are mailed out.
What if I’ve moved out of the county?
- You must be a Van Buren County resident to serve as a Van Buren County juror. Please provide the court with your new mailing address along with proof of residency and we will remove you from our mailing list.
What if I’m over 70 years old?
- If you are over 70, you have the choice to serve as a juror. If you choose not to serve, please mark “yes” on question number 8 of your questionnaire and return it to the court.
What if I have changed my name and/or address within Van Buren County?
- Provide your corrected name and/or address on the back side of your questionnaire or email us and we will edit your information in our database.
What if the recipient is away at college?
- Complete the form in their absence and include the dates the recipient will be home. We can transfer their service to a more convenient time. They do not need to sign the document.
I am concerned about a medical problem or disability (personal or as a caregiver) interfering with my ability to serve as a juror. What should I do?
- We will only excuse you from a jury service if you have a doctor’s note. Mail, email, or fax a doctor’s note in and we will honor your doctor’s request.
My job is too demanding, and I do not have time to serve on a jury. Do I still have to serve?
- Yes. A summons is an official court order compelling you to appear for service. Jury duty, although sometimes inconvenient, is not an optional experience. Jurors should also know the following Michigan law:
600.1348 Jurors; threats, discharge, or discipline by employer; requiring additional hours of work; misdemeanor; penalty. Sec. 1348 (1) An employer or the employer’s agent, who threatens to discharge or discipline or who discharges, disciplines, or causes to be discharged from employment or to be disciplined a person because that person is summoned for jury duty, serves on a jury, or has served on a jury, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and may also be punished for contempt of court.
What should I wear and what should I bring if I am called to serve?
- Wear comfortable clothing, however, t-shirts, shorts, midriff baring tops, and inappropriate language / content on clothing is not allowed. You may bring snacks and/or lunch to eat during breaks. Only water is allowed in the courtroom. You may also bring your cell phone, book or magazine to read while you wait but all electronics must be powered off and put away while in court.
How long do trials last? How many days will I be called to serve?
- You will be assigned a two-week term of service. The judges try to seat their juries by noon; therefore, if you are not seated on a case you are normally released by noon. This does vary. If you are chosen as a juror, you should plan to be at the courthouse until 5:00 p.m. The average trial length is one day for District Court and three days for Circuit Court. The judge will inform you of the expected length of the case during jury selection. On average, a panel will serve on one to two trials per term.
Are there breaks during the day in court?
- Yes. The judges typically break at least once mid-morning, an hour for lunch, and at least once in the afternoon.
I do not have a car or transportation. Do I still have to serve as a juror?
- Yes. You will need to set up rides with a friend, a family member, or Van Buren Public Transit.
How much are jurors paid?
- Jurors are paid $30.00 for the first full day; $45.00 each subsequent full day; $15.00 for the first half day; $22.50 for each subsequent half day. Jurors are also compensated for mileage at the current IRS rate per mile from the juror’s home to the courthouse. Jurors will receive a check for the total amount approximately three weeks after the assigned term ends.