Jury Duty

Letter from Judge Marvin L. Tyler

Jury Duty

Most people consider jury duty to be an unpleasant and inconvenient obligation. I realize that you, like most people, are busy and that you have to put aside other important things in your daily life to answer the call for jury duty. Jury duty is always inconvenient, jury service may even cause financial hardship, and, quite simply, it is not an easy task to perform. Nonetheless, service as a juror is a duty and a responsibility of every citizen – even if you have dedicated yourself to public service.

Throughout the history of the United States, our citizens have been placed in harm's way, they have fought and they have died, and they are doing so now, to defend and to preserve our beliefs in certain basic human rights – rights to life, liberty, property, and freedom in the pursuit of individual happiness. Within our system of justice, anytime a basic right is at stake, the right to a full and fair trial by a jury is guaranteed to those parties who are affected. Participation as a potential juror is indispensable to the proper functioning of our system of justice, which guarantees the parties a full and fair trial. No other service, other than perhaps military service, is more important.

Our judicial system rests upon the quality of those who participate in it. Jury service is tremendously important and should demand the attention of the very best members of our community. The Court truly appreciates all potential juror participation in our judicial system and assistance in providing a full and fair trial by jury to those parties whose basic rights (i.e., life, liberty, property, and pursuit of happiness) are affected.

- Judge Marvin L. Tyler

Common Questions

Jury Panel: The Sublette County Office of the Clerk of District Court calls potential jurors to appear in jury trials for the Ninth Judicial District Court. Jurors are summoned on a yearly basis, from April 1 to March 31, during which time they only need to appear if contacted directly by the Clerk of District Court's Office.

If you are selected to serve as a District Court Juror, you will receive a telephone call from one of our staff who will give you the date, time, place, and other details to appear for the jury trial. THERE IS ONLY ONE PHONE CALL FOR THIS.

Payment: The fee for Jury Duty is $30 per day (plus mileage if you live more than 5 miles from the courthouse.) You will be supplied with a voucher on the date you appear for Jury Duty that must be completed with your current mailing address in order to receive payment.

Food & Beverages: Only bottled water is allowed in our courtrooms, which will be provided by the court. NO OTHER FOOD OR BEVERAGE IS ALLOWED.

Prior Notice & Emergencies: The District Court Office will try to provide two week's notice prior to your need to appear. If you have an emergency after hours, you may call (307) 367-4376 and leave a message.

What qualifies me as a potential Juror? Wyoming State Statutes §1-11-101 says that a person is competent to act as a juror if he/she is:

(i) An adult citizen of the United States who has been a resident of the state and of the county ninety (90) days before being selected and returned;

(ii) In possession of his natural facilities, of ordinary intelligence and without mental or physical infirmity preventing satisfactory jury service;

(iii) Possess of sufficient knowledge of the English language; and

(iv) Has never been convicted of any felony.

What does exempt or excuse me from Jury Duty? Wyoming State Statutes allow for only a few exemptions.  HOWEVER, just because you may be exempt, YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO EXERCISE YOUR EXEMPTION STATUS. Instead, you may choose to exercise your exemption status on a case-by-case basis.

The following persons can claim an exemption from jury duty:

(a) A salaried and active member of a fire department– WS §1-11-103

(b) An active law enforcement member – WS §1-11-103

(c) An elected public official. – WS §1-11-103

(d) Members of the Wyoming National Guard – WS §19-9-401(A)(II)

(e) Licensed Embalmer – WS §33-16-105

Wyoming Statute Ann. § 1-11-104 sharply limits the Court's authority and discretion to excuse a potential juror to only those reasons or grounds expressly stated in the law:

A juror may not be excused for a trivial cause or for hardship or inconvenience to his business, but ONLY when material injury or destruction to his/her property or property entrusted to him/her is threatened, or when his/her health or the sickness or death of a member of his/her family requires his/her absence.

A person may be excused at his request if he is over seventy-two (72) years of age.

A person may be excused from jury duty when the care of that person's young children requires his absence.

If you feel you would meet one of these criteria for exemption or excusal, please complete the appropriate portion of the Affidavit included with your Juror Questionnaire form, sign it and return it to the court for consideration. You can expect to be notified in writing whether your request is granted or denied.

What if I have vacation scheduled? When submitting your Questionnaire, you can request your vacation time off by supplying the dates, signing and dating the form and then attaching supporting documentation such as a receipt for flight booking, hotel booking, or other accompanying documentation of the travel. You can call the Clerk of District Court's Office at (307) 367-4376 for further information.

How do I get excused for a medical condition? If you have a medical condition that precludes you from serving as a juror, please ask your doctor to provide a statement indicating your inability to serve and submit it with your Questionnaire and Affidavit for Excusal.

What if my job takes me out of town or I work out of town? You are notified nearly two weeks in advance in order to notify your employer and adjust your schedule.

Who do I notify if I change my address or phone number? Call the Clerk of District Court Office at (307) 367-4376.

Can I be excused for being a full-time student? No.

What if I attend college out of town or state? You are excused until the time you return for summer or Christmas break. Please notify the Clerk of District Court's office or include those dates of return on page 1 of the Juror Summons and return it to the office.

How do I get excused for school finals? Call the Clerk of District Court Office at (307) 367-4376 and explain your schedule.

You received a call from the Clerk of District Court's Office. What now? The Clerk with whom you spoke asked you to write down the date and times. PLEASE CALL THE CLERK OF DISTRICT COURT OFFICE AT (307) 367-4376 IF YOU NEED THIS INFORMATION AGAIN.

  1. You will be going thru court security, so be sure not to bring anything that could be considered a weapon such as a pocket knife, Leatherman tool, or etc …
  2. Cell phones are not allowed in the courtroom. Please leave it home or in your vehicle.
  3. Parking directly in front of the courthouse is limited to one hour. You will need to park either by the library or in the skateboard parking lot.
  4. If by chance the case settles, we will try to contact everyone as soon as we can, but also ask you to call 367-2891 the Friday afternoon before the date of trial to check the case status.
  5. Once you have received this call and spoken with a Clerk, you are now required to appear in the courtroom on date and time specified. Failure to appear could result in a Sheriff's Deputy retrieving you to appear in person before the Judge.
  6. Please do not contact anyone regarding the case who could possibly be involved, such as an attorney or a witness or party or even court personnel, as none are allowed to speak with members of the panel or jury regarding the case.
  7. You CAN call the Clerk of District Court office if you have questions concerning the jury panel or pool.