I Have Been Asked to Serve, and am Happy to Serve
Wonderful! As United States citizens, it is our right to a court system that includes a jury of our peers. In order to uphold this right, your participation is absolutely needed.
I have received a postcard:
At this point, we are asking you to complete a questionnaire in order to build a qualified pool of jurors. You may do so in one of four ways:
- Online, using our iJuror system
- Via phone, by calling our automated phone system at (217) 239-5801
- Via text, by texting your juror ID number to: email@example.com
- On Paper, by requesting a written version of the questionnaire. You may do so by calling (217) 531-7408 and asking for one to be mailed to you.
I have received a summons:
You will appear in the Champaign County courthouse on the date listed on your summons, usually at 9:30 am that Monday morning. Be sure to bring your summons, as it will be used to for check in. You should also bring a valid photo ID, and something to read, or otherwise occupy your time.
Remember – no electronic devices of any kind are allowed in the courthouse. For more information about prohibited items, see our Courthouse Security page.
I Cannot Serve – What Should I Do?
I cannot serve, but I received a postcard:
Please complete the questionnaire as described in the process above. There is a place in the questionnaire to describe reasons you may be unable to serve. You may still be summonsed, but you will have another opportunity to be excused at that point.
I cannot serve, but I received a summons:
On the bottom of your summons, you will find dates for the Jury Commission. You will need to appear in front of the Jury Commission in order to be excused. If you cannot appear, you may call the Jury Coordinator at (217) 531-7408. Though she cannot excuse you, she may be able to set over your service to another date. This may only be done once, and when you receive a second summons, you will either need to serve, or appear in front of the Jury Commission. It is also possible that the judge will excuse you during jury selection.
Where to Report
You will report to the Jury Assembly Room in the Champaign County Courthouse. It is located on the first floor, and you will turn right after entering through security.
What Should I Wear?
It is important to be comfortable, as you may be sitting for long periods of time. You do not have to wear business attire, but your clothing should be appropriate for a courtroom. This means that clothing should be clean and well-fitting, and should not be revealing or display offensive writing or slogans. It is a good idea to avoid shorts, flip flops, or short skirts. Each judge has different rules for his or her courtroom, but it is generally good practice to err on the side of more conservative clothing. Dress for the season, though it is also a good idea to bring layers, as the courtroom may sometimes be cold.
What am I Allowed to Bring to Jury Service?
Jury service can require a potential juror to wait a considerable length of time. For this reason, you may want to bring reading material or other things to pass the time, such as crossword puzzles. Though small handicrafts may be used while waiting, please be aware that only plastic crochet hooks or knitting needles will be allowed into the courthouse. NO ELECTRONIC DEVICES ARE ALLOWED IN THE CHAMPAIGN COUNTY COURTHOUSE. This includes: mobile or cellular telephones, laptop computers, tablet computers, eReaders, cameras (still or video), audio recording devices or any other form of electronics. Though it may seem inconvenient, this policy is designed to help protect the identity of jurors, and to ensure a fair and impartial trial.
How Long Will My Service Last?
The average length of service in Champaign County is two days. However, your services may be as short as a morning, or as long as a week. If you receive a Special Jury Summons, that means that the judge expects a trial to last more than a week, so we try to let jurors know ahead of time by sending them a different kind of summons.