JURY DUTY SCAM
Please note: Rutherford County will never call you and ask for confidential information or for money regarding a failure to appear warrant due to missed jury service. If you receive a call like this, please hang up and contact your local law enforcement agency.
Jury service is a vital function of democracy and is one of the most important duties of citizenship. It is not voluntary; it is a civic duty. It is also a very rewarding experience which will give you an opportunity to participate directly in the administration of justice. While it may require some adjustment of your normal schedule to serve as a juror, we believe you will enjoy the opportunity to see your Courts in action and to learn more about our system of justice. The right to trial by jury is one of the cornerstones of the American legal procedure and one of the few areas in which every citizen may participate in this fundamental principle of our American heritage. Thank you so much for your willingness to sacrifice your time and for your effort to be diligent in fulfilling your civic duty.
Jury Instruction Line: 615-907-3566 (4:30 p.m. - 8:00 a.m.)
Jury Online Summons Questions: https://juryinfo.rutherfordcountytn.gov
Jury Coordinator Phone: 615-907-3566 (8:00 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.)
Email: [email protected]
Address: Rutherford County Judicial Building
116 W. Lytle St.
Murfreesboro, TN 37130
Parking: Free parking is available in the parking garage located at 233 North Maple St., across from the Judicial Building.
Judicial Building Security
Security screening is heavily enforced at the Rutherford County Judicial Building. To expedite the screening process, we ask that you limit the amount of items you bring with you during jury duty. Please allow extra time to get through the security line and do not bring any weapons (this includes pocketknives), bags, or purses.
Jury Duty FAQ
What should I wear?
You may dress comfortably but keep attire appropriate for the courtroom, here are some guidelines: jurors should not wear shorts, short skirts, sagging pants, see-through or suggestive clothing, visible undergarments (including undershirts and tank tops), flip flops, house shoes, bandanas, hats, caps, or clothing with inappropriate or offensive advertisements or slogans. We recommend you bring a sweater or jacket because of the fluctuating temperatures in the jury assembly room and courtrooms.
How are jurors selected?
Jury selection begins when a name is randomly selected from a master computer generated list of persons with Tennessee driver’s licenses. Those randomly selected citizens are sent a summons which is a Court Order stating the required time and place to appear.
How long will I serve as a juror?
Petit Jury service is for one (1) month and the jurors will be “on call”. This means, jurors will call the jury instruction line (615-907-3566) during their assigned month Monday through Friday after 4:30 PM and listen to a recorded message for their group number and further instructions. If your group number is called, follow the instructions on the recorded message and report to the Jury Assembly Room accordingly. Please note you must attend the juror orientation date on your summons prior to calling in.
Grand Jurors serve the first three (3) days of the month for three consecutive (3) months. Grand Jurors are selected randomly during every third juror orientation.
What should I bring with me?
You will spend some time waiting in the Jury Assembly Room before being seated on a jury panel. You may bring reading material to pass the time. You may also bring paperwork or laptop computers; however, there is no internet in the Jury Assembly room. You can bring a cell phone, but you must silence it before entering a courtroom. There are no refrigerators in the Jury Assembly room; therefore, please do not bring a lot of food or any perishable items. You may bring a small snack and bottled water/soft drinks. Absolutely no glass bottles allowed. You may also bring a sweater as the Jury Assembly room temperature is unpredictable.
What happens if I ignore my summons?
A juror summons is a Court Order. Any juror who fails to appear when summoned may be fined and/or held in contempt of court.
How often do I have to serve?
Following jury service, a citizen shall be exempt from jury duty for 2 years.
What kind of trials do jurors hear?
Jurors hear either criminal or civil cases.
What kind of case will I be on?
You are part of a jury pool for trials in Criminal, Civil, and Chancery Courts.
What is the role of a juror?
Your job as a juror is to listen to all the evidence presented at trial and make a decision based on the facts.
Will I be sequestered?
Sequestration is a term used to describe jurors staying at a local hotel at the county’s expense during the trial. Sequestration occurs rarely but may happen.
Does the court provide childcare?
No. Children are not allowed in the Jury Assembly Room or in courtrooms. Please make arrangements for childcare.
What if the weather is bad?
In the event of inclement weather, please call the juror instruction line (615-907-3566) before you leave to report for service. A voice recording will be left as soon as the information is available.
What happens if I am 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 jury coordinator at 615-907-3566 immediately.
How do I get out of Jury Duty?
- are not citizens of the United States (citizenship documentation required)
- have not resided in Rutherford County for at least 12 consecutive months (proof of residency required)
- are under the age of 18 (contact the Jury Coordinator)
- have been convicted or pled guilty to any felony offense, perjury or subornation of perjury (written notice)
Some jurors may be temporarily excused if the juror:
- can prove a medical condition or disability (medical excuse required)
- has served on jury duty within the last two years (contact Jury Coordinator)
- is self-employed (business license/tax information required)
- is a caregiver (contact the Jury Coordinator)
- is active U.S. Military (copy of Orders required)
- extreme physical or financial hardship (medical excuse/tax information required)
Request to be Excused/Postponed
If any of the above hardship/exemptions apply to you, you must submit your request in writing along with the required documentation. You may complete this request online at https://juryinfo.rutherfordcountytn.gov/, email a written statement with documentation to [email protected], or mail a written statement and documentation to:
116 W. Lytle St.
Murfreesboro, TN 37130
Inconvenience or work hardships are not adequate reasons to be excused from jury duty; however, you may request to be postponed to a later date. You must provide documentation if you are requesting to be excused, failure to do so will result in a denial of your request.
Juror Qualifications and Exemptions:
Jurors must be:
- a citizen of the United States
- a resident of Rutherford County for at least twelve (12) consecutive months
- 18 years of age or older
Serving on a jury is an awesome responsibility and is one of the only opportunities citizens have to participate directly in our process of governance. Unlike voting, jury service is mandatory. We urge all citizens to respond to their summons for jury duty and to put forth their best effort to serve when called. We recognize, as do the Courts, that jury duty imposes a heavy burden on many citizens. However, those who fulfill their civic duty will find that they are appreciated by the court system and often report that serving was a positive and educational experience.
The jury system is the foundation of our system of justice. If we as citizens do not assume the mantel of responsibility, we cannot ensure that fair juries will be found to decide the cases in which we may be involved. Remember, you would want a fair, unbiased jury to decide your case. The only way to achieve that is to commit to serve when called for jury duty.
However, Courts do understand that there may be substantial and legitimate reasons that inhibit your ability to serve, and they have developed procedures to ease the burdens of service.
T.C.A. § 22-1-103 Effective July 1, 2021:
A person who is seventy-five (75) years of age or older is excused from jury service upon showing that the person is seventy-five (75) years of age or older and that the person is incapable of performing jury service because of a mental or physical condition. The Jury Coordinator of the county shall excuse the person from jury service upon receiving a written declaration stating the person's name and date of birth and declaring the mental or physical condition that causes the person to be incapable of performing jury service. The declaration may be completed by the person or the person's personal representative. This bill does not prevent a person seventy-five (75) years of age or older from participating in jury service. Please see the Age Exemption Bill for more information.
Juror Compensation and Employer Responsibility:
Jurors are paid $11.00 each day that they report. Juror checks will be mailed out by the 15th day of the following month of service. A certificate of attendance is available for juror's employers and can be obtained from the Clerk's office.
No employer shall discharge or in any manner discriminate against an employee for serving on jury duty.
If an employee is working a night shift or is working during hours preceding those in which court is normally held, such employee shall also be excused from employment for the shift immediately preceding the employee’s first day of service. After the first day of service, if the employee is serving more than three hours during a day, shall be excused from the employee’s next scheduled work period occurring within twenty-four hours of such day of jury service.
If an employer employs less than five people on a regular basis or if the juror has been employed by an employer on a temporary basis for less than six months, the employer is not required to compensate the juror during the period of jury service. All other Tennessee employers must provide a juror’s usual compensation for the time the juror actually spends serving and traveling to and from jury duty. An employer has the discretion to deduct the amount of compensation the juror receives from the court.
You can read Tennessee Code Annotated 22-4-106 to learn more about your employment rights during jury duty.