If you have been instructed to report to the Opelika, AL courthouse (ALMD Eastern Division) for jury service, this information is intended to assist you with any questions you may have. Please read this information carefully; it mirrors the juror information letter you received from our Court. Please feel free to refer back to this site or the letter as often as you need; we recommend keeping this information handy until the end of your jury service.
Term of Jury Service
You have been summoned for a two-week trial term; however, that does not mean you will serve for two weeks. All jurors will report on the first day of the term. If NOT selected to serve as a juror, your jury service is complete and you will not have to report back to court. If selected to serve, your trial may begin the day of selection or you may be instructed to return on a future date during the two-week term. An average trial lasts one to three days, but some may be longer.
District Court jurors for the Eastern Division are selected from Chambers, Lee, Macon, Randolph, Russell, and Tallapoosa counties.
Complete Your Questionnaire
If you have received your letter, and are here for more information, then you should already have completed the questionnaire enclosed with your letter, along with the jury information card found at the bottom of the summons.
Detach the jury information card and place it with your completed questionnaire in the enclosed self-addressed return envelope within five (5) days. Keep the top portion of the summons and bring it with on your reporting date.
Requesting an Excuse From Jury Service
If for some reason you feel that you should be temporarily excused from jury service, you must submit your request in writing separately from the questionnaire. Our court does not grant any verbal excusals from jury service. Our judges review and sign off on all requests.
Your request should include the following:
- your name and participant number,
- the reason you are unable to serve, and
- the date you will be available for service, if at all
Requests can be submitted in the return self-addressed envelope, by e-mail or fax. Please include your completed bottom portion of the summons and the juror questionnaire when returning in the mail. Judges may also request this information before granting a request if submitted via fax or e-mail. Last minute requests, except for illnesses or emergencies, are difficult to accommodate. You will be notified by an automated phone call if your request was granted/denied. You may also verify your request status by calling the code-a-phone number and entering your 9-digit participant number (located to the right of your name and address on the summons). You will not be paid an attendance fee nor mileage if you report to court requesting an excuse that could have been previously approved.
To help ensure that you are not overly inconvenienced by changes to your jury service, our court provides a Code-a-Phone messaging system. Code-a-phone messages are updated daily as changes occur.
You must verify your reporting status after 5:00 p.m. the evening before you are scheduled to report. You are directed to call the Code-A-Phone at (888) 299-4959 to verify your reporting status.
You must enter your 9-digit participant number (located to the right of your name and address on the summons) and listen for your reporting instructions.
Your reporting status MUST be confirmed. If you fail to call the Code-a-Phone and report for jury service unnecessarily, you will not be compensated for that appearance. It is your responsibility to check your reporting status the evening before your reporting day.
Requests to be excused or deferred are not automatically granted.
Failure to report to court as instructed may result in contempt of court, and you may be fined $1000, imprisoned not more than three days, or ordered to perform community service, or any combination thereof.
You will be paid $40/day for each day of jury attendance or travel, and mileage for your round-trip travel. If you reside over eighty (80) miles from the courthouse, you may stay in a hotel the night prior to jury selection. You will be paid the current subsistence rate for expenses and a lodging receipt must be produced. Please visit our website or call the jury office for the current rate. Juror payment checks are mailed to you within two (2) weeks of the completion of your jury service.
If the distance to the courthouse is 80 miles or more one way and you wish to stay overnight during your term of jury service, you may do so. Please advise the jury administrator in advance when possible. Please check out of your hotel the morning you are scheduled to report and provide your hotel receipt to the Court in order to be compensated for overnight stay.
When booking your room,please remember to request a government rate; you will be reimbursed the current subsistence rate for expenses. Please call the jury office for the current rate. Payment for your service will be mailed to you within two weeks of the completion of your jury service.
The G.W. Andrews Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse is located at 701 Avenue A, Opelika, Alabama, 36801.
The courthouse is located at the corner of Avenue A and Seventh Street, right across from City Hall. Upon your arrival, you should report to the Clerk's Office, Room 231 (located on the 2nd floor to the right of the elevator). The courthouse opens at 8:00am.
BE PREPARED TO SHOW PICTURE ID.
There is no parking available for jurors in the courthouse parking lot; however, there are parking facilities located near the courthouse.
If you have any questions regarding parking or how to enter the courthouse, please do not hesitate to contact the Jury Administrator.
Please be sure to arrive with your photo ID.
Cellular telephones, cameras, pagers, lap top computers, weapons, pocket knives, scissors, sharp objects, mace, etc. are not allowed in the courthouse.
If you bring one of the above listed items into the courthouse, they will be collected and held at security until your departure. Due to security at all federal courthouses and buildings, it will be necessary for you to pass through a metal detector as you enter the court facility and show a Picture ID. Your purses, bags, etc. will be x-rayed at the same time. Cameras and any type of recording devices may not be used in the courtroom.
Under Federal Law, no employer may discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate, or coerce any permanent employee because of the employee's jury service. An employer who violates this law is subject to a penalty of $1,000, and payment of damages and attorney fees. If you are selected for jury duty, give a copy of this letter to your employer.
Please recognize that while every effort will be made to utilize all prospective jurors, it is possible that you will report to the courthouse and be dismissed because the case settles before trial. The presence of a jury can be a persuasive factor in whether a case will be resolved before going to trial, and therefore your appearance is very important whether or not you sit on a jury. Serving as a juror is a fundamental obligation we all share as citizens of the United States. Only by having persons like yourself participate in the process can we ensure that all persons in the federal court will be afforded the constitutional right to have their case heard by a jury of their peers.
We appreciate your willingness to accept this responsibility.