The Twenty Fourth Judicial District Court - 200 Derbigny Street, Gretna, Louisiana

Jury Assembly

Introduction

The 24th Judicial District Court welcomes you as a major player in the administration of justice.

The right to a trial by a jury of one's peers is the cornerstone of American justice.

The Court knows that your time is valuable and that you are setting aside many important tasks in order to do your civic duty. We hope that your jury service nonetheless will be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Before you arrive for jury service, we take every possible step to ensure that the cases set for trial during your service are ready to proceed. However, today's crowded dockets sometimes cause unavoidable delay. You may be called upon to wait, sometimes for considerable periods, before being escorted to a courtroom from the jury assembly room. Rest assured that the Court will do everything possible to minimize this problem. We appreciate your patience.

In the jury lounge there are various facilities: television, tables, reading materials, etc. Vending machines contain snacks and soft drinks. Water and coffee are available as well. If you must leave the lounge, please inform the jury clerk of your destination.

Parking

The multi-level parking garage at the corner of Derbigny and 3rd Streets is intended to serve those arriving at the courthouse complex for jury duty as well as the genera] public.

Present the ticket you obtained at the entrance to the parking garage to the jury pool personnel. They will validate the ticket so that you may exit the garage at no charge. Present the validated ticket to the garage personnel at the time you leave for lunch or at the end of the day. If you leave for lunch, you will receive a new ticket upon your return. You may present that ticket, as well, for validation by jury pool personnel.

The City of Gretna no longer allows jurors to park at parking meters for free, and on-street parking around the courthouse is restricted.

Be Our Guest

The Clerk of Court has provided for you ...

Free coffee and spring water; vending machines from which you may purchase snacks and soft drinks; television; magazines and newspapers; Internet access and laptop computer workspace.

You are allowed brief smoking breaks. You must sign out (and in again upon your return) at the front desk. Smoking is not allowed in the building. However, you need not leave the security of this facility to smoke. A small courtyard accessible from the snack area of the General Government Building is available to smokers. You will not need to pass through security to return. If you need directions to the area, please consult one of our deputy clerks.

You will be given a one-hour lunch break at a time designated by the judges. There are a number of restaurants within walking distance from the building.

Proof of Jury Service

The front desk can provide you with written proof of your jury service. You may need to present it to your employer.

The One-Day/One-Trial

Jury Service System

Since January of 1990, the clerk of court, with the cooperation of the district judges, has employed a one-day or one-trial jury service system for Jefferson Parish. A potential juror is summoned for a particular day to serve in the jury pool. If that person reports to the jury pool and is not selected to serve on a jury on that day, or if he/she is not selected for a panel of potential jurors, jury service is satisfied. Anyone selected for service on a jury will serve for the duration of the trial (generally one to three days).

Your service in the jury pool or as an actual juror, even if you serve for only one day, entitles you to a two-year exemption from jury duty, if you choose to claim it.

Most Jurors Lose No Pay

Most people who report for jury service serve for only one day. The law requires your employer to pay your full salary and benefits for up to one day, depending on the duration of your jury service. Accordingly (unless you are self-employed), you are entitled to full compensation from your employer for one full work-day. This benefit applies to part-time as well as full-time employment.

How Jurors are Selected

The names of all licensed drivers and registered voters in Jefferson Parish are placed into the computer system operated by the clerk of court. These listings are updated once a year for address changes, name additions, and name deletions. The computer runs a comparison to eliminate duplicate names and then selects names at random of those who will be summoned for jury duty.

Exemptions

One may choose to claim an exemption from jury duty only if:
1. He/she served as a grand or petit juror or in a central jury pool less than two years before the service date on the summons.
2. He/she is at least 70 years old as of the service date on the summons.

No exemption is automatic. One must assert it by contacting the jury commission by mail, fax, phone, or e-mail. The address and numbers are as follows:
Jury Commission
P.O. Box 10
Gretna LA 70054-0010
Phone: 364-3987 FAX: 364-2623
e-mail: jurycomm@jpclerkofcourt.us
If a person has failed to claim an exemption before reporting for jury service, he/she may do so in the jury assembly room on the service date, unless he has already been assigned to a jury panel.

Excusals

One may, upon timely written request accompanied by verification of a physician, employer, etc. apply for excusal from jury duty for illness, work situation, etc. Requests based on other hardships must also be made timely and in writing.

Excusal requests must be directed to the jury commission by mail, fax, or e-mail, at the previously mentioned addresses and numbers. Excusal requests may not be made by phone.

The jury commission, if it grants an excusal request, may reschedule service to a later date.

Are You Qualified?

Louisiana law provides that a person must satisfy certain qualifications to be eligible to serve on a jury. A juror:
1. Must be a citizen of the United States and Louisiana and must have resided in Jefferson Parish for at least one year immediately preceding jury service;
2. Must be at least eighteen years old;
3. Must be sufficiently able to read, write and speak the English language;
4. Must not be under interdiction or incapable of serving as a juror because of a mental or physical infirmity, provided that no person shall be deemed incompetent solely because of the loss of hearing in any degree;
5. Must not be under indictment for a felony, nor convicted of a felony for which a pardon has not been granted.

If you do not meet all of these requirements, you should notify the jury commission immediately in writing directed to the aforesaid mailing address, fax number or e-mail address. If yous become aware of your disqualification after you arrive at the courthouse, notify the jury-room personnel at the front desk of your disqualification.

Jefferson Parish Clerk of Court (external link)