Jury trials are a hallmark of the American legal system. Each day around the state, trial courts require hundreds of ordinary citizens to report to the courthouse for jury duty. Both a right and responsibility, service as a juror places the individual citizen in a central role in the justice system.
In DeKalb County, jurors are randomly selected by computer from a master list compiled by the DeKalb County Jury Commission.
Georgia law says you are qualified to be a juror if you:
- Are a U.S. citizen
- Are at least 18 years old
- Are a resident of DeKalb County
- Have had your civil rights restored if you were convicted of a felony
No one is exempt and/or deferred from jury service because of his or her job, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, or economic status.
Upon completion of the proper affidavit, certain exemptions and deferments are allowed. All affidavits must be notarized and can be viewed by using Adobe Acrobat, which is available for free. The categories for exemption and/or deferral from jury service are listed below.
- Any person convicted of a felony, who has not had their complete civil rights restored, may be exempt from jury service upon request and presentation of an appropriate affidavit.
- Permanently mentally or physically disabled person shall be permanently excused upon presentation of a doctor’s affidavit.
- Persons seventy (70) years of age or older shall be permanently excused upon request and presentation of an appropriate affidavit.
- Persons who are the primary caregiver of a child six (6) years of age or younger and have no reasonably available alternative child care or persons who are the primary teacher in a home study program and have no reasonably available alternative for child or children in the home study program shall be excused or deferred upon presentation of an appropriate affidavit.
- Any person who is a primary unpaid caregiver of a person over the age of six (6), who is responsible for the care of a person with physical or cognitive limitations and there is no reasonably available alternative to provide for care shall be excused or deferred upon presentation of an appropriate affidavit and statement from a physician as to the limitations.
- Any service member on ordered military duty, or the spouse of any such service member on active military duty, may be excused or deferred upon request and presentation of an appropriate affidavit.
Jurors are to report to Room 100, 1st floor of the DeKalb County Courthouse, 556 North McDonough St., Decatur, GA 30030.
|Hours of Service
Jurors are to appear at 8:15 AM on their report date. Jury service may last beyond 5:00PM on any given day. Before you report for jury service, please make necessary arrangements to allow you to remain at Court until released.
Casual business attire is required. Shorts, tank tops, bare midriffs, shirts with controversial depictions or wording, or similar dress are not allowed in the courtrooms. The temperature in the courtroom is unpredictable, please dress accordingly. Shoes must be worn at all times; beach sandals or flip-flops are prohibited.
Jurors who are hearing and/or visually impaired are not prohibited from serving on a jury. For ease of accommodation, please notify Jury Management prior to your service if you need assistance. The Jury Assembly Room and most courtrooms are equipped to accommodate the hearing impaired. For teletype assistance call (404)371-7069.
All jurors scheduled for service will receive a brief orientation conducted by the Jury Management Staff. After the orientation is completed, jurors are administered an oath and will remain in the Jury Assembly Room until called to report to a courtroom. Throughout the day, jurors may be selected randomly to report to a courtroom for either a civil or criminal case.
Length of Service
Jury service in DeKalb County operates on the one day/one trial system. A new group of jurors is summoned each day of the week. If selected to serve on a jury, the juror will serve for the duration of the trial. If a person is not assigned to a case, their jury service will be complete at the end of the day. If sent to a courtroom or selected to sit on a trial, jurors will serve until released by the judge.
Jurors are paid daily expenses. An expense check will be mailed within 12-14 days after the date(s) of service. Jurors are paid $15.00 for the first day of service and $25.00 for each additional day.
No employer may discharge or demote any employee because the employee has been called for jury service, or is serving as a juror. Jurors should notify their employer immediately of their jury service. Jury Management will provide jurors with proof of service upon request.
Failure to Appear
Jurors who fail to appear as directed and to attend until duly discharged are subject to a fine as well as potentially subject to the contempt powers of the Court. The Court may sentence a person to confinement in the DeKalb County Jail under its contempt powers.