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Juror Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where did you get my name?

    The United States District Court for the District of New Mexico randomly selects names from the voter registration lists within the State of New Mexico. Any registered voter is subject to jury service. Please note that it is not a requirement in other New Mexico courts that you be a registered voter to serve as a juror.

  • I received a Notification of Jury Service and I am requesting to be excused. Do I still need to comlete the juror questionnaires?

    Yes. Complete both the Qualification Questionnaire and the Voir Dire Questionnaire. On the Voir Dire Questionnaire, note any reasons why you feel you should be excused.
     
    If you have moved out of New Mexico, you may fill out the Qualification Questionnaire only and include your new address and phone number.
     
    If you are 70 years of age or older and wish to be excused, please complete the Qualification Questionnaire only. Please provide your date of birth.

  • What if I am physically or mentally unable to serve?

    If you have a medical condition which you believe precludes you from serving, the Jury Division requires a current doctor's note from your physician indicating that you cannot serve due to your medical condition, whether it be on a permanent or temporary basis. The note should indicate the timeframe during which you will be unable to serve. Your doctor may fax the note directly to the Jury Division at 505-348-2117, or it may be mailed to the Jury Division.

  • My profession does not allow me to be away from work for any period of time. Can I be excused?

    Having a certain profession does not preclude you from serving as a juror, unless you are a police officer, firefighter or an elected public official to the United States, state or local government. However, you (not your employer) may submit an excuse to be reviewed by the Court. After an excuse is requested, you may call the Jury Information Line to obtain the status of your request.

  • What if I have vacations, exams, doctor's appointments, or other events scheduled during my term?

    Please advise the Jury Division before being summoned for service, either by calling 505-348-2070 or completing a request for temporary excuse through eJuror. Temporary excuses are generally granted.

  • Are cell phones allowed in the courthouse?

    Cell phones and smart phones with cameras are allowed in the courthouse; however, the use of the camera or recording features while in the courtroom or court environs are prohibited by local rule.

  • What is the proper attire for serving on a jury?

    Attire should be worn in accordance with the dignity of the Court. Shorts, tank tops and torn jeans are not permitted in the courthouse.

  • When am I supposed to serve on jury duty?

    You will receive a Summons for Jury Service alerting you that you are required to report for jury service. You will receive this notice approximately 1 week before you are due to report.

  • How long is my term of service?

    Your term of service depends on whether you are a Petit Juror or a Grand Juror, and which Jury Division you are assigned to.
     
    Term of Service for Petit Jurors:
    All Petit Jurors are required to be on call for a period of 2 months regardless of days served or trials selected for.
     
    Term of Service for Grand Jurors:
    If you are a Grand Juror, your term of service is 12 months with no maximum number of times to report. In most instances, you will be required to report once a month for 1-3 days until your term expires.

  • After I have served a term, when can I be called back to serve again?

    You do not have to serve a second time if you have served as a juror in federal court within the last two years. You will only be excused upon request.

  • If I am not selected on a case, what next?

    Upon release from jury service that day, you will be notified via a Summons for Jury Service regarding your next reporting date.

  • What Jury Division do I belong to?

    The United States District Court for the District of New Mexico is comprised of two divisions:
     
    Northern Division
    Court in this Division will primarily be held in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The Northern Division is comprised of the following counties: Bernalillo, Cibola, Colfax, Curry, De Baca, Guadalupe, Harding, Los Alamos, McKinley, Mora, Quay,  Rio Arriba, Roosevelt, San Juan, San Miguel, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Socorro, Taos, Torrance, Union and Valencia.  
     
    Southern Division
    Court in this Division will primarily be held in Las Cruces and occasionally in Roswell. The Southern Division is comprised of the following counties: Catron, Chaves, Dona Ana, Eddy, Grant, Hidalgo, Lea, Lincoln, Luna, Otero and Sierra.
     
    Click here to see a Jury Division map.

  • Will I ever have to serve in a division other than my own?

    In most instances, Petit Jurors will be asked to report to a court location within their Jury Division. However, on occasion a juror from one division will be asked to report in another division.
     
    Grand Jurors selected from the Northern Division will serve in Albuquerque. Grand Jurors selected from the Southern Division will serve in Las Cruces.

  • What fees are paid to jurors?

    All jurors who report for jury service are paid a $50.00 per day attendance fee. Federal employees are only paid an attendance fee for days that fall outside their work schedule.

     

    All jurors are also reimbursed for their round trip mileage from their home to the courthouse they are required to report to. The current rate for mileage is $0.56 per mile. This rate is subject to change.

  • When will I receive payment for my jury service?

    Jury checks are generally mailed to your home address on the Friday after the week of your jury service. Your payment will be sent in the form of a U.S. Treasury check. We do not provide itemized information regarding your payment.

  • Does my employer have to let me off for jury duty?

    Under federal law, employers must allow their employees time off for jury duty. An employee cannot be punished or harassed by their employer for being summoned or for reporting to jury service.

  • Does my employer have to pay me or at least make up the difference when I serve on a jury?

    The majority of employers make up the difference between your regular day's pay and the attendance fee(s) you received for serving. Jury service policies will differ from employer to employer. Check with your Human Resources Department, your personnel handbook, or your supervisor.

     

    If you need to give your employer the court fees you received for serving, you will give your employer the $50.00 attendance fee for each day you were away from work and reported for jury service. Any per diem or mileage expenses you were reimbursed are not recoverable by your employer.

  • What if I need to prove to my employer that I reported for jury duty?

    Upon request the Jury Division will furnish you with a Certificate of Attendance stating the date(s) you reported and whether you were paid a $50.00 attendance fee.

  • Will I receive a 1099 tax form for jury service?

    A 1099 tax form will be sent to those jurors who have received $600.00 or more in attendance fees only ($50.00/day of service). Per diem and mileage fees are reimbursable expenses and do not need to be reported on your taxes.

  • May I travel the day before my reporting date?

    If you live 70 miles or more away from the courthouse you are reporting to, you may travel the evening before you are due to report and spend the night. You will be paid an attendance fee for the day you travel as well as the day you are required to report, plus per diem which will cover lodging and meals for that night. In some instances, if you live less than 70 miles from the courthouse you are reporting to, you may authorized for travel reimbursement if you show good reason for having to travel the night before. You must make this request to the Jury Division prior to traveling in order to receive permission to incur travel expenses for reimbursement.

  • If I travel, how much will I be paid for reimbursement?

    If you are able to front the cost of staying at a hotel, you should make your own reservations and pay your own bill. When you make your reservations, please ask if they have special rates for federal jurors. You will be reimbursed the full per diem rate on your check. You do not need to bring your hotel receipt when reporting for jury service. Please note you will only be reimbursed up to the maximum per diem rate established for the courthouse location you are reporting to. Any expenses incurred over this amount are the sole responsibility of the juror.

     

    The per diem rates (as of October 2021) are as follows:

     

    Santa Fe Courthouse: $202.00 per night (March-December) and $173.00 (Jan-Feb)

    Albuquerque Courthouse: $180.00 per night

    Las Cruces Courthouse and Roswell Courthouse: $155.00 per night

     

    These rates cover the expenses of lodging and meals for the day.

     

    These rates are subject to change.

  • What if I need to travel and spend the night, but don't have the money up front?

    If this is the case, contact the Jury Division immediately at 505-348-2070 and we will make arrangements at a local hotel for your stay. If the Jury Division makes reservations and pays for your room, you will only be paid for meals at the following rate:

     

    Santa Fe Courthouse: $69.00 per day

    Albuquerque Courthouse: $69.00 per day

    Las Cruces Courthouse and Roswell Courthouse: $59.00 per day

     

    Please note these rates are subject to change.

     

    When hotel arrangements are made by the court, it will be the juror's responsibility to cancel the reservation if the case cancels.

  • On the first day of jury duty, what happens and how long will I be there?

    New potential jurors will receive orientation on the first day they are required to report for jury service. After orientation, the potential jurors will be sent up to the courtroom for voir dire. Voir dire is a line of questioning by the attorneys and the judge directed to the jurors and pertaining to the case at hand. A description of what the case is about and the expected length of the trial will be addressed by the trial judge. If you are selected to serve, you will most likely begin the trial that day. There are no standard trial hours, however, most trials run from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM with at least an hour for lunch and breaks approximately every 1-1/2 hours during the trial.

  • How long do trials last?

    Jury trials can last anywhere from two days to two weeks in length. The majority of our trials last 2 to 4 days, not including deliberation. If a lengthy trial causes a hardship for you, please advise the Judge regarding the specific conflict and request an excuse during the voir dire examination when you report for jury service.

  • Will I ever be required to serve late in the evening or be sequestered?

    Sometimes trials will run into the evening hours. If that happens, you will have ample time to make any necessary arrangements. Sequestration is a possibility, but is very rare. Sequestration occurs when jurors are set apart from outside influences during their deliberations. You will be notified ahead of time if sequestration is a probability.

  • Where do I park?

    When you receive your Summons for Jury Service with a reporting date and time, a map and directions to the respective courthouse to which you are reporting to, will be included. You may also click on the links below for a map and directons for parking availability for the courthouse you are reporting to.
     
    Albuquerque Pete V. Domenici United States Courthouse at 333 Lomas Blvd NW
     
    Albuquerque Historic United States Courthouse at 421 Gold
     
    Santa Fe Santiago E. Campos United States Courthouse
     
    Las Cruces United States Courthouse
     
    Roswell United States Courthouse

  • What is the difference between a Petit Juror and a Grand Juror?

    A Petit Juror's function is to determine issues of fact in civil and criminal cases, then reach a verdict in conjunction with those findings.
     
    A Grand Juror's function is to determine whether the facts and accusations against alleged violator(s) of federal law presented by the United States Attorney, warrant an indictment.

  • What types of cases will jurors help to decide in federal court?

    Both civil and criminal cases are tried in federal court. Criminal trials consist of juries composed of 12 to 18 jurors. Civil trials consist of juries composed of 6 to 12 jurors. The number of jurors on a trial has no bearing on the significance of the trial. It is a matter of judicial preference and the desires of the parties involved in the case.

  • Who should I contact if I have additional questions?

    You may call the Jury Division in Albuquerque at 505-348-2070. If you would prefer to use email, you may send your questions to jury_division@nmd.uscourts.gov.

    If you are a juror who has been selected for a specific term, you may dial 505-348-2073 or 1-800-240-6366 to reach the Automatied Jury Information Line 2 weeks prior to the term beginning. You will need your 9-digit participant number in order to hear further instructions.