Juror Frequently Asked Questions
31. What are the standard court hours during a trial?
Most trials begin at 9:00 a.m. and end by 5:00 p.m. Jurors are given at least one hour for lunch and will receive one break in the morning and one break in the afternoon.
32. How do I prove to my employer that I was on jury duty?
As part of the check-in process on the day you report, the jury clerks will ask you if you need a certificate of attendance to give to your employer.
33. What if I am late or just don't show up?
Any person summoned for jury service who fails to appear as directed may be ordered by the district court to appear and show cause for his or her failure to comply with the summons. Any person who fails to show good cause for noncompliance may be fined, imprisoned, and/or ordered to complete community service.
34. What if bad weather is predicted?
For weather-related announcements, you can call the court starting at 6:00 a.m., Central Time. If you are serving in Omaha, call 1-866-220-4381, option 7. If you are serving in Lincoln or North Platte, call 1-866-220-4379, option 7.
Jurors who live some distance from the courthouse should bring enough clothing and personal items to accommodate a stay of up to five days if bad weather is predicted.
35. How are people actually chosen to be on a jury for a specific trial?
The judge, the lawyers, or both the judge and the lawyers will ask the jurors who reported for service a series of questions. The questions can cover topics such as the jurors' background, employment, friends, beliefs, and so on. This questioning, which takes place in the courtroom, is called "voir dire." Based on the answers that the jurors give, the lawyers pick the individuals who will actually be on the jury for that trial. Jurors who are not picked are usually free to leave the courthouse.
36. May I take notes or ask questions during the trial?
The judge will let the jurors know if they may take notes or ask questions.
37. How long does a trial last?
The length of a trial depends on how complicated the issues are. Most trials last three to five days.
38. Does the court provide meals?
The court does not provide meals, so you are free to go out to eat. Court staff can give you a list of restaurants near the courthouse. If you want to bring your own food, the court provides a refrigerator and microwave.
39. May I go home each night? Will I ever be required to serve late in the evening or stay overnight?
Unless the judge tells you otherwise, you may go home each night. Occasionally, trials continue into the evening hours. If this happens, the judge will give you time to make arrangements and to call your family.
It is very unlikely that you would ever be required to stay overnight unless the judge orders the jury in a criminal case "sequestered." A sequestered jury is one kept from most outside contacts during the trial.
40. Will I be asked to report for jury selection more than once during my term of service?
If you report and are not selected as a juror, you could be called to report again. Continue to call the automated jury message system until the court tells you that your service is finished.