Do you have questions about serving on a jury? Watch this video to learn about jury service, the courtroom and trial procedure. Close-caption is available.View Video »
Jury service in the 63rd District Court is for a two-week period. Jury Trials are generally held on Thursdays, so you will likely have to serve two Thursdays. You will be given instructions on when and how to call in if you are Summoned for Jury Service.
You will be compensated for jury service as follows:
Step 1 – Once a year the Secretary of State will compile a list of citizens who may be eligible to serve on a jury from a list that identifies citizens who possess a driver’s license or State of Michigan identification card.
Step 2 – Identified citizens are mailed a Juror Qualification Questionnaire. After the questionnaire is completed, returned, and evaluated, a “qualified” citizen may be called to serve on a jury.
Before the selection of jurors begins, you will be asked to swear or affirm that you will truthfully answer the questions concerning your fairness and ability to sit as a juror on a particular case. As a prospective juror you will be questioned by the judge or trial attorneys. This process, referred to as Voir Dire, is conducted to determine whether you have opinions or attitudes which would bias you in favor or disfavor of either side. While some questions may be personal in nature, they are not intended to embarrass you even if that becomes the result. They are asked to determine if there is a reason you should not sit on the case. Jurors may be excused for cause for reasons such as a personal or financial relationship with a party which would impair their ability to be fair. In addition, each side may excuse a limited number of jurors by peremptory challenge without any reason. Jurors who are excused for one case may be eligible to sit on another.
Jurors must be prompt in arriving at the court. A trial cannot begin unless all jurors are present.
Jurors must give their undivided attention to the witnesses, attorneys, and proceedings. Remember that the outcome of the case is very important to those concerned.
The trial will begin with opening statements by the attorneys for both sides. The examination of witnesses and presentation of evidence will begin after opening statements.
In final arguments, both attorneys will have an opportunity to summarize their positions and review the facts of the case. At the conclusion of the final arguments, the judge will issue instructions to the jury concerning the law and its application to the particular case.
The jurors will then proceed to the jury room to begin deliberation. The jurors must select a fore person who presides over these deliberations. You will discuss the evidence and attempt to arrive at a fair and impartial verdict based on the facts presented during the trial and the law as given by the judge’s instruction. When deliberations are complete, you will return to the courtroom for the presentation of your verdict.
1950 East Beltline NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Monday - Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm
Judge Sara J. Smolenski, Chief Judge
Judge Jeffrey J. O’Hara
J. Kevin McKay, Court Administrator