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Juror Information

From the Presiding Judge

JOSEPH L. BOOHAKER
PRESIDING JUDGE
TENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT OF ALABAMA
Jefferson County Courthouse, Room 370
716 Richard Arrington, Jr. Boulevard North
Birmingham, Alabama 35203

On behalf of the Courts of Jefferson County, Alabama it is my privilege to welcome you to jury duty.  We know that jury duty is inconvenient for most of you but it is one of the most important obligations of citizenship.  We will do our best to make efficient use of your time here.

Under the Constitution of the State of Alabama and of the United States, we are guaranteed the right to trial by jury in most civil and criminal cases and this fundamental right must be zealously protected by all of us.  Trial by jury is fundamental to democracy.  Thomas Jefferson, for whom this county is named, said, "I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution."  Your presence here signifies your commitment to our system of government.

In a jury trial, the jury determines the true facts from the evidence.  At the end of the trial the judge will instruct the jury to consider the evidence and the law and return a "verdict."  The root of the word "verdict" is "to speak the truth."  For those of you who are selected to hear a case, that is what you will be asked to do: return a verdict that is fair and impartial and speaks the truth.

Occasionally, we hear of a jury verdict that seems to be out-of-line.  Those deviations are the ones that are newsworthy but we rarely hear of the thousands of accurate verdicts handed down every week in courts across this country.  Our method of resolving disputes by jury trial works very well and we are especially proud of how it works in Birmingham.

The Jefferson County Juror Handbook and the Juror Exit Questionnaire are available for download as a PDF file.

We are grateful to you for rendering this valuable service to your fellow citizens and hope that you will find jury duty a pleasant and informative experience.

We welcome your suggestions as to how we can make this a better experience for our jurors.

JOSEPH L. BOOHAKER
Presiding Circuit Judge

Directions & Parking Information

Limited parking is available in the Jefferson County parking deck located on the corner of Rev. Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd. and Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. North. Our overflow parking is at the Boutwell Auditorium Parking Deck, 801 North 19th Street. We can only cover your parking if you park in one of these decks.

The Jefferson County Courthouse Complex

Important Information

All persons entering the court facilities are subject to being searched.  No weapons, sharp objects, or recording devices are allowed in any Jefferson County Court building without court permission.  If you have any doubt about an object, the best course of action would be to leave it at home.  Turn off any cell phones, pagers, or other electronic devices before entering a courtroom.

Should you have an emergency, please contact the Jury Assembly Room at either 325-5063, 325-5064 or Bonita G. Conley, Court Administrator, at 325-5674.

When you receive your summons for jury duty, you must notify your employer immediately in order to be excused from work.  Full time employees are entitled to their usual compensation while serving as a juror.  A juror cannot be terminated from employment for serving as a juror.  Click on the "Juror FAQ" tab for more information.

Jurors are paid $10.00 per day and $0.05 per mile for each day of their service.  Work certificates are issued to each juror at the end of their service indicating the number of days served and the amount of pay they received.

The Jefferson County Jury Assembly Room

Frequently Asked Questions

Wireless internet access is now available in the jury assembly room.

What are the general qualifications for jurors?

To qualify for jury duty one must be reputed to be honest, intelligent, possess integrity, good character and sound judgment.  A juror must also be an American citizen who has resided in the Birmingham Division of Jefferson County, Alabama for at least twelve months; over 19 years of age; able to read, speak and understand instructions given in the English language; physically and mentally capable of serving; and not have lost the right to vote because of a criminal conviction.

What are my responsibilities as a juror?

  1. Jurors must be prompt.
  2. Jurors must give their undivided attention during trial.  Listen carefully to the testimony and the judge’s instructions
  3. During jury selection, jurors must provide complete and accurate information to all questions.  It is better to give too much information than not enough.
  4. Until the judge tells the jury to begin deliberations, jurors must not discuss the facts of the case among themselves or with anyone.  Jurors must not engage in conversations with anyone involved in the trial, including attorneys, parties and witnesses.
  5. Jurors must decide the case based on the evidence presented during trial.  Therefore, jurors must not conduct any independent investigation of their own, such as visiting the scene of an incident, considering news reports, and consulting the internet, dictionaries, and other publications.
  6. Jurors must remain impartial until they have heard all of the evidence and the law.  Keep an open mind until the conclusion of the case.
  7. When the trial and deliberations are concluded the jury must render a verdict in accordance with the facts as determined from the evidence and the law given to you by the judge.
  8. After the trial is over jurors are not obligated to answer questions from the lawyers, the press or the parties.  If unwanted questions persist, contact the court immediately.

What do I tell my employer?

When you are summoned for jury duty, you must immediately notify your employer in order to be excused from work.  If you are released from jury duty during the week, you must return to work.  When you are discharged from jury duty, you will be given a Certificate of Jury Service to take to your employer as proof of your jury service.  Full time employees are entitled to their usual compensation while serving as a juror.  A juror cannot be terminated from employment for serving as a juror.  (Ala. Act No. 2005-311.)

Am I compensated for jury service?

You will be paid $10 per day for jury duty along with mileage for traveling to the Courthouse.

What should I wear during jury service?

Wear comfortable clothing, but dress in a way that reflects the seriousness of jury service.

Who can I contact about jury service?

Contact the Jefferson County, Birmingham Division Court Administration at (205) 325-5674.

Bogus Phone Calls on Jury Service May Lead to Fraud

In various parts of the United States, citizens are being targeted by phone calls and threatened with prosecution for failing to comply with jury service in federal or state courts.  In the calls, the threat of a fine for shirking jury service is used to coerce those called into providing confidential data, potentially leading to identity theft and fraud.  These calls are not from real court officials.

State courts do not require anyone to provide any sensitive information in a telephone call.  Most contact between a state court and a prospective juror will be through the U.S. Mail, and any phone contact by real court officials will not include requests for social security numbers, credit card numbers, or any similar sensitive information.

Jury duty is a vital civic responsibility and should be taken seriously by all citizens.  However, it is a crime for anyone to falsely represent himself or herself as a state court official.  The state judiciary takes seriously such an offense.

Persons receiving such a telephone call should not provide the requested information, and should notify the Court Administrator's office.

Invalid E-mail Subpoenas

Reports have been received of bogus e-mail grand jury subpoenas, purportedly sent by Federal or State courts.  The e-mails are not a valid communication from a federal or state court and may contain harmful links.  Recipients are warned not to open any links or download any information relating to this e-mail notice.  The emails were sent from a uscourts.com address.  The federal Judiciary’s email address is uscourts.gov and state emails are sent from an alacourt.gov address. Law enforcement authorities have been notified.