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Frequently Asked Questions about the Grand Jury
The Grand Jury determines that a person should be charged or prosecuted for a criminal act when it finds there is probable cause to believe the person has committed an offense. Also, it protects the innocent from unfounded accusation of crime and from the trouble, expense and anxiety of a trial when there is insufficient evidence to believe the accused is guilty of any criminal offense.
It is up to the State’s Attorney’s Office how many are selected. There are usually 14 Grand Jurors and 12 Alternates for Grand Jury.
Grand Jurors are empanelled for a period of six months. You are given a schedule of when to attend, which is generally one to two half days per month.
What if I have a vacation planned or an important event coming up during the six months that I serve?
One of the Alternate Grand Jurors will fill in for the time you are on vacation or special event planned. You would notify the State’s Attorney’s office right away so they can make arrangements ahead of time.
Work is not a valid reason to miss your jury service. Once you are selected as a juror, you are expected to come in as scheduled unless you have notified the State’s Attorney’s Office of an emergency, illness or planned vacation.
Yes. Jurors are paid $10.00 for their 1st day of service and $15.50 thereafter, and mileage at the current IRS business rate from the post office in your town to the post office in Ottawa, roundtrip.
No. All Grand Jurors report for their 1st day of service. There are no call-in instructions for Grand Jury.
Yes, please bring your summons and if you didn’t mail back your questionnaire bring it with you.
Jurors will be dismissed after the court proceedings have been satisfied.
Returning forms by mail is not the only option for many courts. Some courts allow you to drop-off or email completed forms. Please contact the jury office for more information on returning your questionnaire. The judicial branch spends thousands of dollars annually on printing and mailing summons, forms, juror checks and other communications for jurors. Prepaid envelopes that are not used become a wasted expense.
Note: Any further information please contact the Jury Commission Office at (815) 434-8262 or (815) 434-8293, Monday thru Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.