COMMON JUROR QUESTIONS
K.S.A. 43-155 states, "The public policy of this state is declared to be that jury service is the solemn obligation of all qualified citizens."
Accordingly, jury service is the duty of all citizens, including employers and employees. Employers must not reprimand employees for jury duty. If needed, the Clerk of the District Court will provide a letter documenting attendance and verifying jury duty upon request.
The First Judicial District primarily uses the list of licensed drivers provided by the Kansas Department of Motor Vehicles. A computer randomly selects a pool of potential jurors for each trial. If a mailing address is incorrect on the summons, it is usually because the information is incorrect on the driver’s license list received from the State.
All persons called for jury duty will receive a summons and questionnaire by U.S. mail. The questionnaire is used for the purpose of assisting the judge and attorneys in the jury selection process.
ALL JUROR QUESTIONNAIRES MUST BE COMPLETED AND RETURNED TO THE CLERK'S OFFICE FOR PROCESSING.
The First Judicial District will accommodate anyone wishing to serve as a juror. Please indicate any needs when returning the questionnaire.
If it is necessary for another person to fill out the jury questionnaire for the potential juror, please state name, address, and the reason for filing out the questionnaire for that potential juror on the back side of the questionnaire.
Only Leavenworth County residents may serve on a Leavenworth District Court case.
A juror hotline is available at (913) 684-0724 from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. daily to keep potential jurors informed with the latest information available regarding jury service. The hotline will contain recorded messages advising whether jurors should report for their scheduled jury trials. Potential jurors scheduled to report for jury duty should call this service on the evening before their scheduled report date.
Jurors receive $25 for their first day of service, and $50 for each successive day. Additionally, jurors living outside the city limits will be reimbursed for mileage. Payment is made by the county within 2-3 weeks of completion of jury service.
Citizens will NEVER be asked to make any payment as part of their jury service in any court. If that ever occurs contact your local court immediately.
AT NO TIME will a juror be asked to provide personal information, including credit card information, over the telephone or via email.
A juror is only required to serve once in a twelve-month period.
Please review Common Juror Questions for additional information.
THE TRIAL PROCESS
Jury service is an important duty of all citizens, and hopefully an interesting experience. All potential jurors are encouraged to review the Handbook for Jurors published by the Kansas Judicial Council.
A jury is normally composed of six or 12 citizens of the county. Panels are selected randomly by a computer from the driver’s license list. Depending on the type of trial, usually 50 to 80 potential jurors are summoned.
The entire group of people summoned for jury service is called a panel. A computer places the jury panel name in random order. This list is used to call potential jurors to the jury box in the courtroom. After seated the judge and/or attorneys may ask questions of the panel members. The questions are not meant to embarrass anyone, but to examine a person's ability to serve as a fair and impartial juror.
After questioning a potential juror may be excused without cause. There will also be preemptory challenges in which more jurors may be dismissed, and are not an adverse reflection on anyone.
After jury selection, attorneys for both sides make opening statements in which they explain their positions and what they expect to prove. The statements are not evidence, but explanations of the claims that must be proven.
Both sides usually call witnesses that are questioned to prove their side of the case.
Sometimes, jurors are excused so attorneys may argue legal matters in front of the judge without prejudice to the jury.
Final arguments are presented by both sides.
At the conclusion of the trial the judge will instruct the jurors as to how the law applies in the case. Jurors must base their verdicts on the judge’s instructions and the law.
Jury deliberations are held in a private room. A presiding juror is elected, and jurors discuss evidence to arrive at a fair and impartial verdict according to the facts presented and the law given by the judge. The jury will return to the courtroom where the verdict is read.
A sworn juror should give full attention to the witnesses, attorneys, and judge. Always be on time, and sit in the same seat once assigned. Do not discuss the case with anyone or allow anyone to discuss it in the jurors’ presence during the trial.
The Leavenworth District Court will resume jury trials in the very near future. The Kansas Supreme Court has issued administrative orders and other guidance for the safe resumption of jury trials in the district courts. Please consult the following resources for additional information.
News Release (August 4, 2020)
Safe Juries For Kansas Courts (video)