Status of Jury Trial Summons
JURY SERVICE FOR SEPTEMBER 28, 2020, IS CANCELLED. THOSE RECEIVING SUMMONSES FOR THIS DATE ARE RELEASED FROM SERVICE AT THIS TIME.
In Louisiana, the parties in a legal matter have the right to have important questions decided by a jury of impartial citizens. This is not true of all countries in the world. Jury trial is one of our most significant legal rights; it can be preserved for us only if our citizens are willing to do their duty - to report for jury duty when they receive a summons to appear and to serve on a jury if selected for a particular case.
Jurors are drawn at random by a computer from a master list which is compiled by the Jury Commission. This list is called the General Venire. The Jury Commission compiles the General Venire from sources such as voter registration and driving records. When the Jury Commission draws a panel for a particular jury, each person has as much of a chance to be drawn for jury service as any other person. As a result, some people are called more frequently, and some are never chosen. This is simply the luck of the draw!
Please consider that if you had a criminal charge lodged against you, or if you had an important civil dispute, you would want a fair and impartial jury.
Until a few years ago, the law allowed judges to excuse or exempt people whose jobs the legislature considered essential. That is no longer true. Now, everyone who is qualified must report for jury duty unless such service would result in an "undue hardship or extreme inconvenience." In short, a person may not be excused unless 1) you do not possess the qualifications of a juror as required by law, 2) you have an exemption from jury duty allowed by law which you choose to claim, or 3) you suffer an undue hardship or extreme inconvenience.
Qualifications for Jurors
Louisiana law provides that in order to serve as a juror, you must possess the following qualifications:
A citizen of the United States of America, and you must have resided within LaSalle Parish for at least one (1) year immediately prior to jury selection
At least eighteen (18) years of age
Able to read, write and speak the English language
Not be interdicted or incapable of serving as a juror because of mental or physical infirmity
Not be under indictment for a felony or convicted of a felony for which you have not yet been pardoned
Exemptions from Jury Duty
Louisiana law provides that some persons may be exempt from serving as jurors, provided they claim their exemption and request to be excused. Those having exemptions are as follows:
A potential juror is seventy (70) years of age or older
A potential juror has served as a grand juror or petit juror in a criminal or civil case within a two (2) year period immediately prior to jury selection
What To Do If You Receive a Summons
If you receive a jury summons, and you possess the qualifications required by Louisiana law for jurors and cannot claim (or do not want to claim) an exemption for jury service, you must report for jury service. Please follow the instructions on the summons, and call the jury service telephone number ((318) 992-7315) or consult this website after 3:00 p.m. on the Friday before you are summoned for instructions. If you believe that you lack a qualification, or would like to claim an exemption from jury service. or have an undue hardship or extreme inconvenience, please contact Emmy Coldiron of our office at (318) 992-2002 before 4:00 p.m. on the Thursday before the date you are summoned. Otherwise, no excuse from jury service may be provided.