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What must I do when I receive a jury summons?
Immediately tell your employer about your jury service date. If you need to be excused or postponed please provide proper documentation to the court. You may also Register Online HERE.
What about child care?
Children are not allowed to come to jury duty with you, and there is no child care available at the courthouse
How was I chosen for jury duty?
Your name is put in random from Hamilton County licensed drivers and picked out of a “jury pool” in groups.
How often can I serve?
Once every two (2) years.
 • Who is eligible for jury duty?
To be eligible for jury service, you must be at least 18 years of age, a citizen of the United States, a resident of Hamilton County. If you have ever been convicted of a felony, you must have had your civil rights restored.
Who can be excused from serving?
Those eligible may be excused with satisfactory documentation.
What about my job?
TCA 22-4-106
How much do jurors get paid?
Hamilton County jurors are paid $13.00 for each day served. If you are selected you will receive compensation from the first day and then any day there after.
How long does jury duty last?
How many days and hours you work as a juror depends on the case. You may be selected on a case that is going to last the whole two weeks and work everyday from 9:00 A.M until 6:00 P.M. or later. However, the judge will determine the time for each case. Most cases last a few days and are usually released by 6:00 P.M. You may experience some waiting time. For example, you may have to wait before you are placed on a jury. During trial you may have to wait in the jury room while the judge and lawyers settle questions of law. Judges and court personnel will do everything they can to minimize the waiting both before and during trial. Your understanding is appreciated.
 • What should I wear?
Dress comfortably. No shorts, halter or tank tops, and/or T-shirts are allowed in the courtroom. Hats may not be worn in the courtroom, anything distractive may not be worn. We recommend you bring a sweater or jacket because of the fluctuating temperatures in the courtroom.
What can I bring with me to jury duty?
The ideal item to bring would be a book or magazine.
What happens if I’m late?
As the trial cannot proceed until all jurors are present, it is important that you are on time. If you are unavoidably delayed, please call the court immediately.
Can I go home during a trial?
Usually. In extremely rare cases, however, you may be “sequestered” during the trial or during jury deliberations. This is done to assure that the jurors don’t hear or see something about the case that wasn’t mentioned in court.
 • What types of cases will I hear?
Jury cases are either criminal or civil. Civil Cases are disputes between private citizens, corporations, governments, government agencies, or other organizations. Usually, the party that brings the suit is asking for money damages for some alleged wrong that has been done. For example, a person may sue for medical malpractice, a car accident, or contract work. The party that brings the suit is called the plaintiff; the one being sued is called the defendant. There may be a number of plaintiffs or defendants in the same case. Criminal Cases a criminal case is brought by the state, or a city or county, against one or more persons accused of committing a crime. In these cases, the state, city, or county is the plaintiff; the accused is the defendant.
 • What is expected on the first day?
The first day will be very busy; the parking garage will fill up quickly. There will be anywhere from one hundred and fifty (150) to two hundred (200) people in the jury assembly room. At 9:00 A.M. you will watch a short film about jury duty. Once the film is over the judge will go over a few things with you and swear you in. We will pick eight (8) panels of twelve (12) people for the jury. If you are not selected you do not have to serve on jury duty at this time.
Where do I park?
You may park in the Republic Parking garage located between the Courthouse and the Courts building, you can enter on Cherry Street or Walnut Street. You may park at any Republic Parking lot that has a cashier and the court will validate your parking ticket for a two ($2.00) dollar credit AFTER THE FIRST DAY. Republic Parking has several lots available, there is a garage in the SunTrust Bank building located on Cherry Street, and there is a lot across the street from that on Eighth (8th) Street. These garages vary in price, the garage between the Courts building and Courthouse is five ($5.00) dollars a day. You may also park at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Republic Parking garage and ride a shuttle to the Broad Street Regions Bank. A shuttle leaves every five (5) to seven (7) minutes and takes about fifteen (15) minutes to arrive.
What happens during jury selection?
Once you have been selected, in the courtroom, the judge will tell you about the case, and then introduce the lawyers and others who are involved in it. You will also take an oath, in which you will promise to answer all questions truthfully. After you are sworn in, the judge and the lawyers will question you and other members of the panel to find out if you have any knowledge about the case, any personal interest in it, or any feelings that might make it hard for you to be impartial. This questioning process is called “voir dire”, which means to “speak the truth.” Though some questions may seem personal, you should answer them completely and honestly. If you are uncomfortable answering them, tell the judge and he/she may ask them privately. Remember: Questions are not intended to embarrass you, they are intended to make sure members of the jury have no opinions or past experience which might prevent them from making an impartial decision.
What is the role of the juror?
Your job as a juror is to listen to all of the evidence presented at trial and to decide issues of fact. The judge’s job is to “decide the law” – make decisions on legal issues that come up during the trial. You do not need special knowledge or ability. It is enough that you keep an open mind, use common sense, concentrate on the evidence presented, and be fair and honest in your deliberations.
What are alternate jurors?
Additional jurors are chosen, known as alternates, in the event that any members of the jury are unable to complete the trail for some reason. Alternate jurors participate in the trial proceedings but do not take part in deliberations unless they have been called to replace members of the jury.
What if I don’t go to jury duty?
If a person who has been summoned but not excused or discharged fails to appear for service or otherwise respond as directed, a show cause order shall issue.
What if the summons is wrong or the person has died?
Wrong address: Please note wrong address and send back.
Addressee has died: We apologize if you received a summons addressed to a family member who has died. Jury lists are compiled every two (2) years from names obtained from the Hamilton County licensed drivers database that give us information before your family member passed or didn’t know about the death. If the mailer is unopened please write “Deceased”, on the outside of the mailer and mark it “Return to Sender”. If the mailer has been opened, please send a copy of the death certificate.
What if the weather is bad?
In the event of inclement weather, please call 423.209.6737 for a recording of court status. If you are unable to call, the radio or television will list Hamilton County Courts “Closed” or “Delayed” follow those instructions.
Do I have to go to work if I am dismissed from jury duty early?
Some companies have their own policies concerning jury duty, if so, follow their policy. If not, then  refer to ( TCA 22-4-106) to read the statute.
What if I work a night shift?
( TCA 22-4-106)
What about an attendance letter?
If your employer needs specific times, your employer must provide you with a time sheet. You may request an attendance letter on a daily basis or at the end of your term.
Whom do I contact with questions about the American Disabilities Act “ADA”?
Call: 423.209.6120
 • What if my summons was sent to my parents' house or in my maiden name?
The jury pool is selected from the DMV database. Sometimes we get an old file and your name or address may not have been updated. Simply mark through the wrong address or name and put the correction next to it.
How will my family contact me in case of an emergency?
They can call our office at 423.209.6711 and we will contact you.
What if my son or daughter receives a jury summons and they are in college or the military?
Send in documentation on their behalf.
 • Still have questions?
E-mail the jury coordinator at: juryclerk@hamiltontn.gov or call 423.209.6711 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
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