Your service as a juror is an indispensable and integral part of ensuring each individual’s right to a fair and impartial trial. In fact, the right to a trial by jury is the cornerstone of our country’s justice system.


 Rock County Courthouse
2nd Floor   51 S Main Street    Janesville, WI 53545

Phone 608-743-2222
Fax 608-743-2223

Monday-Friday Hours
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM


Guide to Service

Listen carefully and observe: Weigh the credibility of the witnesses and evaluate exhibits. You must base your decision on all the evidence presented to you.

Keep an open mind: Do not form hasty opinions or conclusions. Wait until all the evidence is presented and closing arguments are made.

Control your emotions: You may be confronted with exhibits or testimony that makes you uncomfortable. Be prepared. You should not give any visual or audible indication of your emotional responses.

Do NOT discuss the case: During the trial, you should not talk about the case with anyone, including other jurors. Such discussions could cause you to form conclusions before all the evidence has been presented.

Do NOT read, view or listen to media accounts of the trial: Newspaper, radio or television reports might present a biased or unbalanced view of the case. You must make your decision based on the evidence presented in court.

Do NOT talk with anyone involved in the case: You should not talk to attorneys, parties, witnesses or anyone connected to the case. This might be perceived as an attempt to influence your verdict.

Do NOT investigate the case on your own: Since the only evidence you are allowed to consider is the evidence that is presented in court during the trial, you may not make an independent investigation or inspect the places involved in the case.

Report problems to the court: If you become aware of anything that causes you to become concerned, whether inside or outside the courtroom, you should notify the Bailiff or the court clerk outside of the presence and hearing of other jurors. Do not discuss the matter with other jurors.

Report emergencies to the court: If an emergency or illness affects your jury service during a trial, inform the Bailiff or court clerk.

Be on time for court: Since each juror must hear all the evidence, tardiness causes delay and wastes valuable time and court resources.

Finally: Remember that you are in a position of privilege and responsibility. You are expected to conduct yourself in such a way that no one can question your integrity as a juror. Following these guidelines maintains order, fairness and impartiality in court proceedings.

Juror Packet

Notice to Prospective Jurors who have received a summons:

The judges of Rock County have changed the length of service for jury duty and the process for jury selection. All this is in hopes of making jury duty easier for you, your family and your schedule. In a nutshell the change is from a one-month term of service to "one trial and you are done."

You will soon be coming in to be selected for a jury trial(s). If you get selected to serve on a trial, once that trial is done, you are done with jury duty. If you do not get selected to serve on a trial you will be coming in the second Monday of your jury term to go through this process again. If you are not selected on the second Monday you are done. You are then exempt from serving for four years.

For your convenience we have put a map of the courthouse area, in your summons packet. Also, a map of nearby eating-places is available in the Jury Assembly Room. There is ample parking at the Courthouse. It is suggested that you park in front (west side) of the building. Most of the courtrooms are located in the new part of the building and it will be easier to get there from the front parking area.

All in all jury duty is sometimes a hurry-up and wait process. You will need to report promptly as the message machine time indicates. But then, after orientation, we wait for the court(s) to be ready for jurors to be sent to them. It is suggested that you bring reading material with you. You may be excused for a few minutes to go to the vending machine area for snacks, soda or coffee; you can bring food/drinks back to the Jury Assembly Room, but not into the courtrooms.

At the end of your term of service as a juror, you will receive an "Exit Questionnaire" in the mail along with your check for jury duty. If you have any thoughts on how the process of jury duty can be improved, please include your suggestions on the questionnaire and return it to the Jury Clerk. The questionnaires are completely anonymous; you do not have to sign them or identify yourself. Your input is very important to us.

Thank you for your time and your service as a juror.

Postponements & Excusals

Postponements

Excusals

  • The court understands that during the time you are requested to appear you may have previous commitments, such as a preplanned vacation or doctor's appointments.
  • You may have valid reasons for an excuse.
  • You must request to be excused in advance by calling and talking to the Jury Clerk.
  • Please note: do not come to court and expect to be excused for any reason that you could have brought to our attention in writing or by calling prior to appearing.
  • The Jury Clerk's office phone number is 608-743-2222; the office is located in the Janesville Courthouse on the 2nd floor.
  • All letters requesting to be removed completely from this panel must be submitted in writing before the start of your term.
    These requests should be sent to:
    Rock County Clerk of Circuit Court Office
    ATTN: Jury Clerk
    51 S Main Street
    Janesville, WI 53545
    -- or --
    You may fax the request to the Jury Clerk at 608-743-2223.
  • Your letter will be given to one of the judges for review, and a response letter will be sent to you.

Reporting for Jury Duty

Your reporting dates are listed on your summons.

We believe one of the cases scheduled for trial during the term you have been selected for will go to trial. However, often disputed matters are settled a day or two before trial and we will not need as many jurors.

A telephone call-in system has been installed for jurors. ◦Phone numbers are 608-757-5550 and 608-757-5572.

  • Call one of these numbers after 5:00 PM the Friday before each Monday reporting date.
  • The recorded message is official at 5:00 PM the Friday before a scheduled selection date.
  • You must call the recording to verify that the matter has not been settled.
  • Because a lot of jurors will be calling this number after 5:00 PM on Friday, you may receive a busy signal. Please keep trying until you receive an open line.
  • Please listen to the entire message.
  • If there is a problem with the jury recording, please call the Clerk of Circuit Court at 608-743-2200.

You will NOT need to report if the trial is cancelled.

Parking

You can park in any available and unreserved stall in either of the two parking lots including the underground parking lots. It is easiest to park in the front (west side) of the building.

If you park in the east side lots, you will have to go down a flight of stairs and walk down the long east hallway before getting to the security station.

FAQs

Why Me? Why not? The right to a trial by jury is the cornerstone of our nation's justice system! Your service as a juror helps to ensure that justice is afforded equally to every citizen.

How do I qualify to serve as a juror? Every resident of an area served by a circuit court who is at least 18 years old, a citizen and able to understand English is potentially qualified to serve as a juror. No person who is qualified and able to serve may be excluded on the basis of sex, race, sexual orientation, disability, religion, national origin, marital status, family status, income, age, ancestry or physical condition. All qualified people must have an equal chance to be considered for jury duty...and the obligation to serve as jurors when summoned.

How are jurors selected? Potential jurors are randomly selected from a master listing at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Division of Motor Vehicles. The list includes all Rock County residents who have been issued a Wisconsin driver's license or identification card. For this reason, you need to keep your address current with the Division of Motor Vehicles. From the master list, the Rock County Jury Clerk sends out "Jury Qualification Questionnaires." The potential juror then sends the questionnaire back to the Jury Clerk, who examines the questionnaires to qualify or disqualify potential jurors.

Can I volunteer for jury duty? No. In order to maintain the "randomness" of jury selection, individuals cannot volunteer to be jurors. Instead, the list of potential jurors is randomly generated by the State of Wisconsin

Do I have to serve? Yes – in most instances. The law requires that all qualified state citizens be available to serve as jurors. Not all persons summoned actually serve as a juror. A person may not be selected as a result of a process known as "voir dire" whereby the parties in a case (and the judge, in some circumstances) ask questions to determine a potential juror's qualifications or degree of impartiality to serve on a particular trial.

Can I fill out my juror questionnaire online? Yes. If you received a questionnaire in the mail assigning you a juror ID number, you can fill out the online questionnaire.

Why would I be excused? The court may excuse you from jury service if the court determines that you cannot fulfill the responsibilities of a juror. If the court determines jury service would delay justice or cause undue hardship, extreme inconvenience, or serious obstruction, the court may defer jury service to a later date set by the court. The court may require you to document the basis for any excuse or deferral. You can be temporarily excused for an appointment with the doctor or dentist and a short vacation. Please contact the Rock County Jury Clerk for more information.

How long will I serve as a juror? In Rock County, a person is required to be available for jury service for a term of only two weeks within a four-year period. Your actual length of service depends on whether or not you are selected to serve on a trial. If you are selected to serve as a juror for a trial, your service ends when that trial is complete. Even if you're not immediately selected to serve on a trial, you must remain available for jury selection during the two-week term for which you were summoned.

Are jurors compensated? Yes, jurors are paid an amount determined by the Rock County Board. Each juror currently receives $16.00 for each half-day of attendance; and is compensated at a rate of 48 ½ cents per mile traveled from the juror's home-to the courthouse-and back, each day by the most usual route. The compensation amount is subject to change as determined by the Rock County Board.

What about my job and my employer? Jury service is a civic duty. State law protects your job. Your employer can't fire you, demote you, threaten or intimidate you because of jury service.

What should I wear? Dress comfortably, but avoid extremes in dress such as ragged/cut-off jeans or T-shirts; or clothing with offensive or inappropriate writing. There are generally no prescribed dress codes, but judges have been known to order people to reappear in appropriate attire.

Will I be waiting long? Resolving legal disputes can be complex and unpredictable work. Often, cases are settled at the very last minute. When the jury is actually ready to hear the case, the parties sometimes work out a last minute compromise rather than gamble on what the jury will decide. These settlements may seem inconvenient, but such settlements usually save time and money for the trial participants and for the taxpayers. It is recommended that you bring something to read to help pass the time while waiting.

What if I have a disability? If you have been summoned for jury duty and have a disability which requires an accommodation by the court, please contact the Clerk of Circuit Court at 608-743-2200 or the Jury Clerk at 608-743-2222, as soon as possible.

Can I go home at night? Most trials last only one day. When a trial does take longer, the judge usually adjourns so that you can return home at a reasonable hour. Rarely are you required to stay overnight.

Juror Questionnaire

      Wisconsin Court System's Juror Qualification Questionnaire

Wisconsin Juror Website

      Wisconsin Court System's Juror Website