Montgomery County Circuit and District Courts

 

Jury Information

 

Juror Information line (Code-A-Phone)  (334) 269-2888

Frequently Asked Questions about Jury Duty

How to Get to Court

Reporting for Duty

Selection of a Jury

Order of Events in the Trial

In the vicinity of the Courthouse

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Jury Duty

Why is jury duty important?
The United States Constitution and the Alabama State  Constitution guarantees all people the right to trial by an impartial jury. Justice ultimately depends in large measure on the jurors who serve in our courts.

What is my duty as a juror?
As a juror, you must be fair and impartial. Your actions and decisions must be free of any bias or prejudice. You must apply the law given by the judge to the facts given during the trial to make a decision in a case.

How was I selected for jury duty?
You were selected at random from lists of voter registrations of Montgomery County.

Who is eligible for jury duty?
Jurors must:

- Be a citizen of the United States.

- Be over 19 years of age.

- Be a 12-month resident of the county.

- Be able to communicate in the English language.

You cannot serve on a jury if you have been convicted of a felony and your civil rights have not been restored.

If you are in doubt about your eligibility for jury service, you may contact the Jury Coordinator by mail or telephone:

Mail: Court Administrator
Montgomery County Courthouse
PO Box 1667
Montgomery, AL 35104-1667

Phone: (334) 832-1213 or (334) 832-2564

How long does jury duty last?
Service as a juror depends upon many factors, one of which is the type and complexity of the case.  Rarely does service exceed five work days.

Who can be excused from jury service?
Very few people are excused from jury duty. Jurors will be excused only upon a demonstration of undue hardship or extreme inconvenience or for other reasons provided by law.

Can jury duty be rescheduled?
Yes. If you have not been previously rescheduled your turn of service can be deferred to a more convenient time.  Contact the Court Administrator's office by telephone or email.  Have several alternate dates selected when you make your request.  You can also submit your requests in writing to:

Mail: Court Administrator
Montgomery County Courthouse
PO Box 1667
Montgomery, AL 36102-1667

What type of cases are heard by jurors?
Jurors may be selected for criminal cases ranging from traffic offenses to murder as well as civil cases. 

Are jurors paid for jury service?
Jurors are paid $10 each day they report for service in addition to round-trip mileage ($.05 for each mile traveled) from their residence to the courthouse. 

Must my employer pay me while I am on jury duty?
If you are a regular full-time employee, your employer is required to pay you while you are on jury duty.  Employers are prohibited by law from firing an employee for serving as a juror.

 

 

How to Get to Court

Location

Montgomery County Court is located downtown Montgomery, in the Montgomery County Courthouse, at 251 South Lawrence Street.  

Directions

Maps and Directions to the Montgomery County Courthouse

Enter starting street address:

City, State or Zip Code:

 

If you are in the Montgomery County Area:

At I-65 Exit 172B, Turn LEFT (East) onto

SR-108 (Bell St)

 
Bear RIGHT (South-East) onto SR-108

(Molton St)

 
Turn LEFT (North-East) onto SR-108 (Bibb St)  
Continue (East) on SR-108 (Madison Ave)  
Turn RIGHT (South) onto (n) Lawrence St  
End:  Arrive 251 S Lawrence St, Montgomery AL, 36104  
Note:  Jurors are encouraged to take public transportation to the court building. Parking is limited around the courthouse.  Park in the deck at Scott and Lawrence Streets. The court will not reimburse you for parking citations.

Map showing parking area


 

 

Reporting for Duty

Where to go
The Jury Assembly Room is to your left as your leave the elevator on the 3rd floor.  The Jury Line will instruct jurors about where to report.

When to Report
The Jury Line will instruct jurors as to what time to report. Please be prompt. One late juror can waste the time of the many persons involved in a trial.

Identification Badges
Jurors will be issued Juror badges if selected for the trial. Badges should be worn in plain view at all times (including lunch) during jury service.

Smoking
State law prohibits smoking in all parts of the Courthouse. Smoking is permitted outside the building, however, because of time limitations there will not always be opportunities to go outside.

 

 

Selection of a Jury

Voir Dire
After you have reported for jury duty, you will be selected for a jury panel along with other jurors. The jury panel is sent to the courtroom in which the case will be heard. A jury of 12 people will be selected in the courtroom. The judge in the courtroom will explain the case and introduce the lawyers and other participants. As part of jury selection, the judge and the lawyers will then question the jury panel members to determine if anyone has knowledge of the case, a personal interest in it, or feelings that might make it hard to be impartial. This process is called "voir dire", a phrase meaning "to speak the truth".

Questions asked during voir dire may seem personal but should be answered completely and honestly. The questions are not intended to embarrass anyone but are used to make sure that members of the jury do not have opinions or past experiences which might prevent reaching an impartial decision.

Challenges
During voir dire the lawyers may ask the judge to excuse a juror from sitting on the case. This is called "challenging a juror". There are two types of challenges: a challenge for cause and a peremptory challenge.

A challenge for cause means the lawyer has a specific reason for thinking that a juror would not be able to be impartial. For example, the case may involve driving under the influence of alcohol. If a juror had been in an accident with a drunk driver and was still upset about it, the defense attorney could ask that the juror be excused for that reason. There is no limit to the number of jurors who may be excused for challenge for cause.

Peremptory challenges do not require the lawyers to state any reason for excusing a juror.

Peremptory challenges are intended to allow lawyers, both prosecution and defense, to do their best to assure that the trial is fair. 

 

 

Order of Events in the Trial

After the jury is selected, the trial will generally follow this order of events:

Opening Statements: The lawyers for each side may explain the case, the evidence they will present, and the issues for the jury to decide.

Presentation of Evidence: The evidence consists of the testimony of witnesses and the exhibits allowed by the judge. Exhibits admitted into evidence will be available to the jury for examination during deliberations. The jury will be asked to make decisions regarding disputed facts; therefore, jurors attention at all times is critically important.

Juror note-taking or the use of any notes will be determined by the judge.  However, if allowed, juror may not use his/her own notes to sway other jurors.  Notes are for personal use only.

Rulings by the Judge: The judge may be asked to decide questions of law during the trial. Occasionally, the judge may ask jurors to leave the courtroom while the lawyers make their legal arguments. The jurors should understand that such interruptions are needed to make sure that their verdict is based upon proper evidence, as determined by the judge under the Rules of Evidence. Jurors may give the evidence whatever weight they consider appropriate.

Closing Arguments: After instructions, the lawyers have the opportunity to summarize the evidence in their closing arguments.

Instructions to the Jury: At the close of all the evidence, the judge will read the instructions to the the jury, explaining the law and other considerations in the case.

 

Deliberation: After closing arguments, the jury is isolated to decide the verdict in the case.

 

 

In the vicinity of the Courthouse

Meals
Downtown Montgomery has a number of fine restaurants, within a short walk from the courthouse. If you are selected to serve on a jury, adequate time for lunch will be allowed. 

Government
The Court is located near other city, county, state, and federal government buildings. You can renew vehicle license tabs, pay property taxes or utility bills (or ask questions about property taxes or utility bills), apply for a marriage license or a passport, submit building permit plans, or sit in on a County Commissioners meeting, all within a few blocks of the Court.