Jury Duty

General Qualifications of Jurors (C.Cr.P. Art. 401)

In order to qualify to serve as a juror, a person must meet all of the following requirements:

(1) A citizen of the United States and of this state who has resided in the parish in which he is to serve as a juror for at least one year immediately preceding his jury service; and
(2) At least eighteen (18) years of age; and
(3) Able to read, write, and speak the English language and be possessed of sufficient knowledge of the English language; and
(4) Not under interdiction or incapable of serving as a juror because of mental or physical infirmity, provided that no person shall be deemed incompetent solely because of the loss of hearing in any degree; and
(5) Not under indictment for a felony nor have been convicted of a felony for which he has not been pardoned.

 

Exemptions

(1) Seventy (70) years of age
If a person is seventy (70) years of age or older he/she may claim an exemption. If a person wishes to waive his/her right to the jury process, the court must receive a written request claiming the exemption.
(2) Prior jury service within past two years
If a person has served on a jury (actually chosen) as a (grand), (petit) or (civil) juror within the immediate past two years prior to the current subpoena’s date of service, he/she may claim an exemption. Proof of service must be provided, or if the service was in St. John the Baptist Parish, the date of service and type of trial is necessary to check the records.

 

Excuses

Anyone who wishes to be excused from jury service or deferred to another date for reasons of undue hardship or extreme inconvenience, must submit a WRITTEN REQUEST explaining the excuse and providing supporting documentation. Medical excuses must be accompanied by a doctor’s excuse specifically referencing the inability to serve.

Procedure for Requesting Excuse/ Exemption/ Deferral/ Disqualification:

If you should be legally unable to serve for any reason, you must submit a WRITTEN REQUEST. You must complete the form provided with your subpoena, Juror’s Request For Disqualification, Exemption or Excuse, and return it to the appropriate judge. The judge’s name, address and fax number are listed on your subpoena. You must also provide supporting documentation and a phone number where you can be reached.

Events may occur whereby a jury will not be needed for the date subpoenaed, but this may not be known until a day prior to the trial date. Please call (985) 331-4590 or check the website www.stjohnclerk.org after 4:30 p.m. the day before you are scheduled to appear in order to determine whether the trial has been rescheduled or cancelled.

For Your Information

The Reserve ferry is currently closed. For a ferry service update the DOTD may be reached at (225) 379-1100.

If you need transportation to and/or from the courthouse, the River Parishes Transit Authority provides a public transportation system for residents of the River Parishes. Reservations must be made 24 hours in advance. Cost is $2.00 each way. The phone number is: (877) 651-1171 and the website link is: http://www.sjbparish.com/rpta.asp

What to Wear and What to Bring

You are expected to wear comfortable, respectful attire befitting court attendance. No shorts, tank tops, hats, or flip-flops may be worn in the courtrooms. You may want to bring a sweater or jacket.

Please bring your subpoena with you. Reading and writing material, computers, headsets and cell phones are permitted outside the courtroom. However, electronic devices must be turned off in courtrooms. Wireless internet is not available in the courthouse. Please bear in mind that you are subject to search upon entering the courthouse. Weapons and items perceived to be weapons will be confiscated. Pocket knives, scissors, etc. should be left at home or in your vehicle.

Due to limited eating facilities available at and around the courthouse you are welcome to bring snacks or lunch, particularly if you have special dietary needs. Vending machines with drinks and snacks are on the premises, but they empty quickly on jury days.

Do not bring children!