Jury Service Information

General Information

Welcome to the Jury Service Section of the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico’s internet website. We hope that you find the information here useful.  The jury duty information provided within this site only pertains to serving jury duty within the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, in compliance with the  Amended Plan for the Random Selection of Grand and Petit Jurors Pursuant to the Jury Selection and Service Act, as amended.

 eJUROR  gives jurors the option of responding to to their jury qualification questionnaire or summons online.  Jurors choosing to complete these forms electronically don't have to mail them.  They may also update personal information and check when they need to report for jury service. 

If you received a summons from the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico and want additional information, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions about Jury Duty.

Potential jurors and other persons who may want to learn more about jury service and the importance of the role of a juror are also encouraged to read the Handbook for Trial Jurors Serving in the United States District Courts. To learn more about the federal grand jury and service as a grand juror, read the Handbook for Grand Jurors Serving in the United States District Courts.

Federal jurors actively participate in the administration of justice. There is no more valuable service that a citizen can perform in support of our democratic Government than the good faith performance of jury duty. If you have received a letter to report for jury service, we hope you find your jury service to be an interesting and rewarding experience. We look forward to working with you.
 

Message to Employers

In most instances, the burden of Federal Court jury service is not so overwhelming and can be absorbed by business or other establishments with relative ease. In order to ensure that the serious need for federal jurors is met, the United States Congress enacted the "Protection of Juror's Employment" statute in 1978 (Title 28, United States Code, Section 1875). The statute embodies the intent of the Congress to assure adequate representation and the corresponding duty of employers to their employees and to the justice system. The statute also protects employees from being discharged, intimidated or coerced by their permanent employers because of their service as jurors in Federal Court.

Financial hardship claimed as an excuse by an individual summoned or selected for jury duty is not usually a valid reason for the Court to excuse an individual from jury service, especially if the individual is working regularly in a permanent position with a salary or set hourly rate. Unless there are compelling reasons for that excuse, it will not be granted. If your employment policy is against paying employees while they are on jury duty, you are urged to reconsider that policy. Federal jurors are paid $40.00 per day for their services; paying the difference between that amount and your employee's salary should not be overly burdensome.

The Court will do everything in its power to ensure that employers observe their duty towards those employees selected to serve as jurors of this Court.

Employers are encouraged to read the Court’s Order and Notice from the Clerk concerning protection of petit and grand jury service and protection of jurors’ employment.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a few Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) about jury service in the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico.
 

Is jury duty mandatory?

Yes. The United States Constitution guarantees the right to a trial by jury in both criminal and civil cases. Your participation as a juror helps make that possible.

What are the statutory qualifications to be a juror?

Jurors must be at least 18 years old, citizens of the United States, and able to read, write, speak and understand the English language. Jurors in the District of Puerto Rico are selected at random from the certified lists of registered voters from the State Elections Commission of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. This random selection is done every four years after each election, and is used to select both grand and petit jurors. Juror Qualification Questionnaires are mailed out to each randomly selected person. Once the answered questionnaires are received at the Jury Administration Office, the prospective jurors are qualified based on the information provided.

Most people that are able to read, write, speak, and understand the English language are qualified to become jurors.

Pursuant to Title 28, United States Code, Section 1865(b), you qualify to be a juror if you:

  • are a citizen of the United States
  • are 18 year of age or older
  • have primary residence in Puerto Rico
  • are able to read, write, speak and understand the English language
  • have no felony charges pending against you
  • have been convicted of a felony charge and your civil rights have been restored
  • have no physical or mental disability that would interfere with or prevent your service as a juror
     

What is the difference between a grand juror and a petit juror? 
 

Grand jurors serve on a grand jury to determine whether facts and accusations presented by the U.S. Attorney warrant an indictment in a criminal case. Petit Jurors serve on criminal or civil trials, determine issues of fact, apply the law as instructed by the Judge, and deliberate to reach a verdict. Petit jurors may be called to serve on both civil and criminal trials. Examples of civil cases are contract disputes, civil rights violations, etc. Criminal trials involve a party or parties who are alleged to have violated a federal law and who have been indicted by a grand jury.
 

What if I already received a Juror Qualification Questionnaire? 
 

Juror Qualification Questionnaires are sent to people randomly selected from the voter rolls (these are not to be confused with the update cards found at the back of the Summons to Jury Duty). The questionnaires are used to determine who is qualified to serve on jury duty. Please complete the form, sign it, and return it in the business reply envelope. There is a space on the back of the form if you wish to write a message. If you claim a medical hardship you must include a doctor's note. If you recently served on jury duty in another court, you must include a copy of your jury certificate. If you are found to be qualified for jury service, you will receive a Jury Service Summons at a later date.
 

How often must I serve jury duty?

 
Under Federal law, a person cannot be required to serve jury duty more often than once every two (2) years. Title 28, United States Code, Section 1866(e) . If you have served in the United States District Court or in the local court within the last two (2) years, and wish to be excused, please mail a copy of your official jury certificate, together with our questionnaire, in the return envelope.
 

How long will I serve? 

If you are selected as a petit or trial juror on a case, you must serve until the conclusion of the case. Petit jurors should be prepared to remain the entire day.  Petit jurors’ normal service hours are 7:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. (Monday to Friday). Petit or trial jurors serve a total of 30 duty days; grand jurors will serve 1 to 2 days a month for a period of at least 18 months.
 

When must I call to confirm my scheduled attendance for jury duty?

 
The Court's schedule sometimes changes at the last minute. Rather than have you sit in the jury room all day, we may change the date you must report for jury duty. It is therefore important to call the telephone number printed on your notification letter on the evening (or weekend) before your scheduled date to report for jury duty. You will hear a recorded message, available 24 hours a day. The recording may instruct you to report to the courthouse on the date indicated in the notification letter, or it may delay your date to report.
 

How is my job protected during the duration of my service as juror? 

You are protected by federal statute from being discharged, intimidated or coerced by your permanent employer because of your attendance as a juror at this Court.  See, Title 28, United States Code, Section 1875. The Court takes this matter very seriously and will do everything in its power to ensure that the job protection statute is enforced. For more information concerning employment protection of petit and grand jurors, read the Court's Order and Notice from the Clerk. The Jury Administration Office will provide any additional guidance or information you may require.
 

What are the grounds for requesting an exemption or excuse from service as a juror?

Pursuant to Title 28, United States Code, Section 1863(b)(5), the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico approved an Amended Plan for the Random Selection of Grand and Petit Jurors Pursuant to the Jury Selection and Service Act, as amended, which specifies those groups of persons or occupational classes whose members shall, on individual request therefor, be excused from jury service.

The Jury Selection and Service Act, Title 28, United States Code, Section 1863(b)(5)(B), specifies that you are barred from jury service if you fall into one of the exemption categories. If you claim one of these exemption categories, please send that information in writing to the Jury Administration Office. You are exempt from jury service if you are:

  • a member in active service of the Armed Forces of the United States
  • a member of the fire or police departments of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any federal or local law enforcement agency
  • a public official in the executive, legislative, or judicial branches of the governments of the United States or of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or its political subdivisions, who is actively engaged in the performance of official duties on a full-time basis

There are certain categories of persons who, upon their specific written request, may be excused from service as a juror. If you claim to be excused because you fall under one of these categories and you wish to be excused, you must send a written request to the Jury Administration Office. Of course, if you wish to serve and meet the statutory qualifications, you are welcome to do so and need not contact the Court prior to the date specified in your notification letter. You may be excused from jury duty if you are:

  • a person 70 years of age or older
  • a minister of the Gospel or a member of a religious order of any denomination, actively so engaged on a full-time status
  • an actively practicing attorney, physician or dentist
  • a teacher in a private, parochial or public school or college, actively engaged in teaching, on a full-time status
  • a person who has served as a grand or petit juror in federal court within the past two years
  • a full-time student
  • a person rendering professional nursing or medical services (including, but not limited to, registered or licensed nurses, student nurses, medical laboratory technicians, therapists, and students of the medical laboratory sciences)
  • a person with the custody and care of a child under 10 years of age whose health and/or safety would be jeopardized by his/her absence for jury service, or a person who is essential to the care of elderly or infirm persons
  • a volunteer safety personnel serving a public agency

        Lack or transportation or Distance from your home to the Court is not a valid excuse for not serving as a juror, nor is having a full-time job.

If you have any other reason you think may preclude from performing jury duty, please inform it to the judge, when you report for jury duty. The judge will evaluate it and determine if you are still eligible to become a juror.

Excuses and exemptions may be requested by filling in the appropriate information on the Juror Qualification Questionnaire. All requests to be exempted or excused from serving as a juror must be in writing, complete with the supporting verifying information. The letter of request must be from the person who received the questionnaire, not an employer or physician, for example. Letters from employers or any other source will only be considered to support a request. Do no have employers or physicians call the Jury Administration Office.

No excuses will be taken over the telephone. The only time that you should call the Jury Administration staff regarding an excuse is when you have a last-minuteemergency that cannot be handled through the mail.
 

What if I have not been disqualified, exempted or excused and yet fail to report for jury duty after notified to do so?

 
Title 28, United States Code, Section 1864(b) states that persons who are requested to appear for Federal Jury Service and fail to appear may then be ordered to show cause why they should not be held in contempt of court for not complying with the court's letter of notification to report for jury duty. Persons who fail to appear or to show cause for not appearing may be fined not more than $1,000.00, imprisoned not more than 3 days, ordered to perform community service, or any combination thereof.
 

What if I have an emergency and cannot report for jury service?

It is important that jurors report promptly when they are required to report. Absences may delay or even jeopardize trials. If jurors are faced with an emergency such as a sudden illness or a death in the family, they should follow the instructions that they were given by the Court. If they are unable to do so, they should telephone the Jury Administration staff.
 

Will I be paid for my jury service?

The United States District Court will pay each juror an attendance fee of $40 per day of attendance plus a travel fee of 56.5 cents per mile, paid round trip, to the juror's home town (Mileage Chart). Jurors whose one-way commute is more than 90 miles away from the Court are eligible to stay at a hotel within the San Juan Metro Area at government expense. Authorized lodging expenses for jurors attending a specific trial will be eligible for reimbursement. The payment will be made by check and mailed to the juror's home address. Jurors are paid twice a month.
 

Will parking be provided if I drive my car to jury service? 

There is free parking for jurors in the lot adjacent to the Clemente Ruiz Nazario Federal Building and Courthouse. The entrance to the parking lot is located to the right after the main entrance gate to the Federal Building and Courthouse. It has a sign that reads “Visitor's Parking Lot.” You must show your jury duty notification letter to the guard on duty and he/she will direct you to an available parking space.

Due to the limited number of parking spaces, we suggest you arrive early to avoid finding a full lot. If this happens, you may use the private parking facility located across the Capital Center Building at nearby Arterial Hostos Street, subject to reimbursement.

If you live outside the San Juan Metro Area and drive your car, the Court will reimburse your toll costs, over and above the mileage fee. If you are notified to report for jury duty at proceedings to be held at the José V. Toledo U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building in Old San Juan, the Court will reimburse parking costs in a private or municipal parking lot.

Receipts are required for reimbursement of parking and toll costs.
 

How do I get to the Clemente Ruíz Nazario U.S. Courthouse?

Refer to the travel location information provided by selecting the Location Map link for Court location in the General Information Section of this website.

The U.S. District Court's is housed at the Clemente Ruíz Nazario U.S. Courthouse and the Clerk's Office is located at the adjacent Federico Degetau Federal Building, both at 150 Carlos Chardón Avenue, Hato Rey, Puerto Rico. The Clemente Ruiz Nazario U.S. Courthouse is the one-story building to the right, while the first floor of the Federico Degetau Federal Building, to the left, houses the Clerk’s Office at Room 150.

Driving Directions:

If you come in using the F.D. Roosevelt Avenue eastbound from Plaza Las Américas, turn left at the first traffic light (McDonald's/Zipperle/Oui Boutique) intersection (César González Street). Turn right when you reach the next traffic light (Autogermana on the right corner, and Plaza Chardón on the left corner), onto Carlos Chardón Street. The Federico Degetau Federal Building and Clemente Ruíz Nazario Courthouse are located on the right side of the street, right after the Indulac milk plant.

The Federal Building has a full-service cafeteria on the Seventh Floor open to the public from 6:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. There is also a small convenience store on the Seventh Floor where you may purchase snacks, sodas, magazines, and newspapers, that is open to the public from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

It is important that you always have a valid photo I.D. with you in order to enter the Courthouse.

 

Is there a dress code?

While no formal dress code exists, jurors are requested to dress in a manner respectful to the Court. You will have to pass through a metal detector each time you enter the courthouse. Please leave excess metal and jewelry at home to speed your entry.
 

Can I bring my cellular telephone, smartphone, tape recorder, camera, beeper, or computer?

Cellular telephones, smartphones, tape recorders, and cameras are prohibited inside the courthouse and will be checked at the door. Beepers are allowed in silent mode and computers are generally not allowed. You may bring an iPod or MP3 music player. Public telephones are available throughout the courthouse. Once you are selected as a grand or petit juror or alternate, you may request assistance from the Court should you need to place a telephone call.

If there is an emergency and someone needs to contact you during your service, they may call the Jury Administration Office and a message will be delivered to you promptly. Please have them specify that you are on jury duty.
 

How can I get proof of my jury service?

When you have completed your jury service, the Court will automatically mail a letter certifying your jury service to your home address. The letter will list only the days you were present in the courthouse and it should arrive within two weeks. (Please note your juror's check will not be enclosed in this letter.) Once you have served, you are exempt from jury service in any other court for at least the next four years. Keep the original letter as it is the only way to prove your jury service if you are notified or summoned by another court.
 

Should I be concerned about providing personal and other sensitive or identifying information to the Jury Administration Office?

The federal judiciary makes every effort to protect all identifying information provided by potential jurors. Federal courts do not require anyone to provide any sensitive information in a telephone call or by e-mail. Most contact between a federal 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 other sensitive information. Persons receiving such telephone calls or electronic communications should not provide the requested information, and should notify the Jury Administration Office immediately.

 

Contact Information

Jury Administration Office

Federico Degetau Federal Building Room150

150 Carlos Chardón Street

San Juan, Puerto Rico 00918-1767

 

Telephone and Facsimile Numbers:

  • (787) 772-3333 HOTLINE for local calls (do not leave voice messages in this number)
  • (800) 981-3420 toll free for calls from outside the Metropolitan Area
  • (787) 766-5639 for emergency calls (leave a message should an emergency arise and you cannot make it to Court)
  • (787) 766-6475 (fascimile)
  • (787) 772-3042 Carlos Rodríguez, Jury & Naturalization Specialist
  • (787) 772-3034 Anthony Figueroa, Jury Clerk
     

Learn More

To learn more about how grand and petit juries are selected, read the Amended Plan for the Random Selection of Grand and Petit Jurors Pursuant to the Jury Selection and Service Act, as amended. To learn more about trial jury duty, including what to expect during a trial, read the Handbook for Trial Jurors Serving in the United States District Courts. To learn more about the federal grand jury and service as a grand juror, read the Handbook for Grand Jurors Serving in the United States District Courts.