Jury Service System
Dallas County was one of the first metropolitan areas to implement the “One Day/One Trial” system. This means if you are not selected to serve on a jury the day you report for jury duty, you will be released, unless the trial court instructs you to return. If you do not receive a Court assignment by 4:30 p.m. on the first day of your service, you will be dismissed. Please plan to spend the entire day as Dallas County Jury Services provides jurors for over 80 Courts.
Dallas County is fairly lenient regarding postponements of jury service, as long as you serve within 2 months from your original report date. You may mail a letter to the address on your summons requesting postponement. If you do not receive a response before your original appearance date, you do not need to appear or call. A jury summons with a new appearance date will be mailed to you when you have been rescheduled. Jury Services receives a large volume of mail which frequently cannot be answered before appearance dates. Do not worry. You will not be arrested.
The law does not allow a person to be excused for economic reasons or business reasons. Nurses, doctors, teachers, and police officers are not exempt or disqualified because of their profession. (Judges must serve jury duty.) However, you may speak to the Judge in the Court to which you are assigned during the voir dire phase of the trial about your particular situation but there are no guarantees that you will be excused.
NOTE TO EMPLOYERS: Texas law prohibits discharging, harming, or threatening to harm an employee as a result of jury service. Any such act by an employer can be punished as a misdemeanor (up to $2,000 fine and/or 2 years in jail) or as a felony (up to $5,000 fine and/or 2 to 10 years in the penitentiary). Civil Practice and Remedies Code Ch. 122; Penal Code Sec. 36.03 and 36.06. An employee whose employment rights under Ch. 122 Civil Practice and Remedies Code are violated is entitled to reinstatement to his/her former position, and to recover damages from the employer up to an amount equal to 5 years compensation at the rate at which the person was compensated when summoned for jury service. The employee is also entitled to have the employer pay the fees of the employee’s attorney, an amount approved by a court.