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51st District Court
If you received a summons, then your name has been drawn in conformance with Michigan State statutes for a term of jury service as a juror in the 51st District Court. The Court realizes that serving on a jury may be inconvenient for some citizens. However, being a juror is a vital part of our justice system. Thomas Jefferson once said, “I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.” The jury system is the cornerstone of the American justice system and we hope you take pride in your role as a juror.
Serving on a jury is an important responsibility, but it can also be interesting. Although coming to the courthouse may be disruptive to your normal schedule and may cause hardships at home or work, the Judges and Staff of the 51st District Court hope you look forward to your jury service. We value your time and participation and we will do our best to minimize any inconvenience to you and your family and to make your experience informative and enjoyable.
Jury selection may be a full day, 8:30AM until 4:30PM or until all cases have been completed. During this time, you will serve on a panel with many jurors to be selected for various cases. The Court may have up to 20 or more cases called during a selection. Individual juries of seven jurors will be selected for each case. The actual trial will be scheduled to commence within one month of the date of jury selection. On the day of selection, you will be notified of the date and time to appear for any trial you are selected to serve on.
Although the Court always tries to minimize delays, they happen from time to time during the jury selection process. The Judges and Staff will keep you informed of delays as much as possible. However, please keep in mind that the reasons provided to you may be vague. This is not meant to be disrespectful of you or your time. Instead, the Judges and staff are often prohibited from divulging specific information about cases up for selection in the event that it may bias your opinion about the case itself. The Court is committed to moving the process along as efficiently as possible. In the event of a delay, you may want to bring a book or magazine with you to pass the time.
The only items you are required to bring with you on the date of selection are your jury summons and valid photo identification. You may also want to bring this brochure. Cell phones are allowed in the building and you may bring them; however, the use of your phone will be restricted to specific times and areas of the building.
Additionally, your movement throughout the building will also be restricted. Our Jury Clerk as well as additional security and courtroom staff will guide you through the building and assist you while you are here. We ask that you follow their directions and remain with the jury pool at all times. This is done to ensure your safety and to guard against any accidental contact with the judges, defendants, parties or attorneys. Again, this is not meant to be disrespectful. The judges, defendants, parties and attorneys are prohibited by law from interacting with the jurors outside of the courtroom while a case is pending.
The courthouse is located on Civic Center Drive amongst the other Waterford Township offices. Civic Center Drive is located off of Crescent Lake Road between Hatchery Road and M-59. Parking is available in front of the courthouse and in front of Town Hall, which is located next to the courthouse. Please view this map link for general directions. If you need more specific directions, please contact the court staff at (248) 674-4655.
Please also note that proper attire is required in the courthouse. Please do not wear jeans, shorts, halter tops, etc. Business or business casual attire is preferred. Additionally, children are not permitted at jury selection.
You will receive some monetary compensation for your time spent at the courthouse. The rates are established by state law and start at $12.50 per half day. If employed, you may want to check with your employer about your company’s jury service and compensation policies.
Please note that even though it may be inconvenient for some jurors to serve, there are very few reasons a juror may be excused from service. The majority of jurors who have been summonsed have work or childcare concerns. Although the Court understands these concerns, we cannot excuse you from service unless there is an extraordinary circumstance.
If necessary, you may submit a request to be excused in writing for the Court’s consideration. Please call the Court at (248) 674-4655 and ask for the Jury Clerk or send an email for further information about a request to be excused and the deadline to submit your request. Please be prepared to provide documentation, such as a doctor’s note or airline tickets, in support of your request to be excused.
Additionally, please feel free to contact the Court if you have any other questions or concerns about your jury service. In the event of inclement weather, please call the Court’s Weather Emergency Hotline at (248) 618-7480 for information regarding Court closings.
Again, we hope you take pride in your service as a juror of the 51st District Court. We will do our best to make your experience efficient, informative and enjoyable.