Jurors perform a vital role in sustaining the American system of justice. As intended by the United States Constitution, the impartial and random selection of jurors is performed without regard to race, sex, occupation, education, or economic level, and is done so as to assemble a representative cross-section of the county’s population. The conclusions made by a juror are critically important. The case being heard may be as complex as a contract suit involving millions of dollars, or as simple as one involving a traffic violation. To insure that the decision of the court is a fair and just one, each juror must take their duty seriously.
Your time and service are greatly appreciated!
Jurors are chosen at random from current lists of persons age 18 and older, living in Hill County , Texas who are either registered voters or who have driver’s licenses. Some people are chosen several times during their lifetime; others are never chosen. So long as you are either a registered voter or have a driver’s license, you have the same chance of being chosen as anyone else who meets those criteria.
A qualified juror:
- is at least 18 years of age;
- is a citizen of Texas and a resident of Hill County;
- is qualified under the constitution and laws to vote in Hill County (note: you do not have to be registered to vote);
- is of sound mind and good moral character;
- is able to read and write English;
- has not served as a juror for six days during the preceding three months in the county court or during the preceding six months in the district court;
- has not been convicted of misdemeanor theft or a felony; and
- is not under indictment or other legal accusation for misdemeanor theft or a felony.
An exemption may be requested if the juror:
- is over 70 years of age;
- has legal custody of a child or children younger than 12 years of age and serving on the jury requires leaving the child or children without adequate supervision;
- is a student of a public or private high school (must provide proof);
- is a person enrolled and in actual attendance at an institution of higher education (must provide proof);
- is an officer or an employee of the Senate, the House of Representatives, or any department in the legislative branch of the state government (statement must be notarized);
- is the primary caretaker of a person who is an invalid, unable to care for himself (This exemption does not apply to health care workers.);
- has served as a juror in the district courts or county courts of Hill County within the last 36 months; or
- is a member of the United States military forces serving on active duty and deployed to a location away from the person’s home station and out of the person’s county of residence.
Generally, to be excused from jury service for other than health reasons, you must appear in person and speak to the judge on the date you are summoned. Failure to honor the jury summons may subject you to a fine for contempt of court. If the scheduling of your jury service is the problem, you may reschedule your jury service one time only by contacting the District Clerk’s office at 254-582-4042.
If the scheduling of your jury service is the problem, you may reschedule your jury service one time only by contacting the District Clerk’s office at 254-582-4042.
Jurors are paid $6 the first day and $40 each day after. These rates are set the Texas Legislature. As a juror, you may voluntarily donate your jury reimbursement to the Hill County Child Welfare Board or Crime Victims Compensation Fund of the State. You will be required to fill out a form the first day you serve indicating to us whether you would like to be paid or would like to donate your jury pay.
You may be held in contempt of court and you can be fined for failing to respond to a jury service summons. We hope that you will reconsider. The jury system is an important part of democracy in America. The jury system can only work well if jurors are chosen from a full cross-section of the people. Because of this, we work hard to make sure that segments of our community are not excluded from jury duty, whether through self-selection (i.e., failing to show up) or otherwise.
Even though I have received a summons, is it possible that I will not be required to come to court on the date shown?
Yes. Each week, some of the jury trials that are scheduled do not take place because the cases have been settled, dismissed or otherwise resolved without the need for a jury trial. Often, this occurs at the last minute. For this reason, you must follow the instructions on your jury summons and call on Friday evening or during the weekend to see whether you need to appear. You may also check the county website co.hill.tx.us
No, there is no Texas law requiring employers to pay their employees while they are serving on a jury. However, you cannot be fired from any permanent job on account of your responding to a jury summons under Texas law. Some employers do have policies under which employees are paid their normal salary even while serving on a jury. You’ll need to check with your employer about that.
Texas law provides that no employer may fire or threaten to fire any permanent employee on account of the employee’s jury service or scheduled attendance in connection with jury service.