Jury Duty Information
You have received a summons to serve as a juror at the 47th
District Court and almost immediately you have questions.
can I expect?
long will it take?
a vacation scheduled that month; can I get rescheduled to another
affect my job?
I’ve moved? Do I still have to serve?
How do I get to the 47th
These and other questions are natural responses to receiving a
summons for jury duty. This information section has been
designed to answer these questions and others and hopefully make
you look forward to your upcoming experience as a juror.
General Overview of the Jury System
In the United States, jury service is a responsibility of
citizenship. In our free society, the jury trial is the
ultimate tool for peaceably and fairly resolving disputes.
The goal of a jury trial is simply to do justice. In a jury
trial, the authority to determine the facts and reach a decision
rests not with the government, but with a jury, which is a small
cross-section of the people in the community.
In the State of Michigan, a jury trial is a matter of right in
criminal cases. In civil law suits, a jury trial is an
option available to the parties, but there is a required fee for
requesting a jury trial in a civil law suit. In Michigan,
juries are made up of six citizens, except for criminal felonies
(offenses in which a convicted defendant may be sentenced to a
year of more in prison), which have twelve person juries.
Questions and Answers Regarding Your Service at the 47th
I selected for jury service?
The jury selection process is a random process from start to
finish. Initially, your name was among those from Oakland
County randomly selected from the State of Michigan drivers’
license and state identification lists. From the initial
pool of juror candidates received from the State, the Oakland
County Jury Commission issues qualification and personal history
questionnaires to a randomly selected sample. Upon receipt
of the completed qualification questionnaires, the Jury Commission
reviews and qualifies potential jurors according to law.
Questionnaires for a random pool of qualified jurors from
Farmington and Farmington Hills are then forwarded to the 47th
District Court for summonsing.
can I expect as a juror at the 47th District Court?
The 47th District Court conducts jury
trials during one week each month and uses a “one week – one
trial” jury system. This means that your term of service
will last for the duration of the selection process (a maximum of
one week, but typically 1 – 3 days) or the duration of one trial
if you are seated on a jury. District Court trials are for
misdemeanor criminal offenses (offenses in which a convicted
defendant may be sentenced up to a maximum of 1 year in jail) and
civil law suits in which the amount in dispute is less than
$25,000. Jury trials for these types of cases
generally last anywhere from 1 day to 1 week, although
occasionally a trial may continue beyond 1 week.
The 47th District Court has two judges: the Honorable Marla E.
Parker and the Honorable James B. Brady. During a typical
jury week, one judge is scheduled with criminal jury trials and
the other with civil jury trials. Jury trials are generally
scheduled several months in advance and each judge may have as
many as twenty jury trials originally scheduled for a given jury
week. Between the time the cases are scheduled and the
actual selection of a jury, the judges do everything they can to
resolve the cases short of jury trial. Many of the cases are
resolved by settlement, plea or dismissal, which saves money for
the community and time for prospective jurors. Typically,
only a few or the originally scheduled cases are left for each
judge on the day of jury selection.
Of those that are left on jury selection day, many reach
resolution without an actual jury trial taking place. The fact
that the jurors are in the courthouse and ready for selection
often drives parties to the realization that reaching an agreement
on their own – even with compromise – is more attractive than
leaving the decision to an objective third party like a jury.
In other words, your mere presence as a juror helps to resolve
disputes, even if you never get in the jury box.
When you arrive at the 47th District Court on the date and time
for which you have been summoned, you will be checked in by the
jury clerk and provided a juror badge and information manual.
Court staff will provide you with an orientation program outlining
specifics about what you can expect when you are sent to the
courtroom for selection.
I have a schedule conflict with when I’ve been summonsed, can I
If upon receiving your summons you realize you have a
scheduling conflict (for example, a pre-purchased or planned
vacation, a scheduled medical procedure, a business trip, etc.),
47th District Court Jury Clerk
for information on rescheduling your service. No more than
one postponement will be granted.
serving on jury duty affect my job?
Your employer is required by law to release you for jury
service. An employer who discharges or disciplines or
threatens to discharge or discipline an employee because that
person is summoned for jury duty may be charged with a misdemeanor
and also may be punished for contempt of court. In addition,
an employer may be charged with a misdemeanor if he/she forces an
employee to work any number of hours during a day which, in
combination with the hours served as a juror that day, exceeds the
number of hours normally and customarily worked by the person
during a day (unless otherwise provided in a collective bargaining
Although not mandated by State law, many employers today will
continue to pay you during your jury service. As mandated by
law, jurors receive not less than $25/day ($12.50/half day) for
the first day of jury service; $40/day for each subsequent day
($20/half day). Also jurors are paid $0.10 per mile for
roundtrip travel from home to the 47th District Court.
Should your employer continue to pay you during jury service,
he/she may require you to remit your juror compensation.
Each juror serving at the 47th District Court shall receive a
certificate of appreciation signed by the Chief Judge, which may
be used for verification of service to your employer. Should
you need additional verification, please contact the
if I’ve moved? Do I still have to serve?
If you have moved outside the jurisdiction of the 47th District
Court (Farmington and Farmington Hills) you may be excused from
service by forwarding a copy of your driver’s license with the
change of address noted by the Secretary of State’s Office to the