Jury Service

How was I selected?

Juror names are selected at random from the listing provided by the Department of Motor Vehicles in accordance with your driver's license, and/or identification card. Before potential jurors are summoned for service, their names are randomly drawn from the motor vehicle listing, to receive a qualification questionnaire to determine whether they meet the legal qualifications for jury service. Individuals who receive qualification questionnaires are required to complete and return them to the clerk's office, which then screens the completed questionnaires to determine eligibility for jury service.

The five qualification requirements are:

  • Must be 18 years of age.
  • Must be a resident of Portage County.
  • Must be a United States citizen.
  • Must be able to read and understand the English language.
  • Must not be a convicted felon. If a convicted felon, you must have completed all conditions of your sentence to be eligible to serve on jury duty.

When jurors are selected for a particular month, they shall receive jury trial notices by mail, 8-10 days prior to a jury trial that they have been chosen to serve for. The notice will list a recorded telephone number to call the night before the trial to advise you whether the jury trial is on or off. If the recorded message states the trial is on, your appearance is required on that date and specific time.

WHEN TO APPEAR FOR JURY SERVICE: If you have received a Summons to appear for a particular jury trial (typically it will have a specific trial number associated with it e.g. 2015TN9990) you will need to call our jury hot line the evening prior to the trial. The Jury telephone number is 715-346-1455. This number will have recorded information about each jury trial that is scheduled for the next business day.

Fees: Jurors are paid $17.50 per half-day, and $35.00 per full day, for jury service attendance. Mileage from your home to the courthouse is reimbursed at the federal set rate, currently .405 cents per mile (round trip). Jurors serving a full-day of jury service may receive a $4.00 meal allowance stipend. Jury duty payment will be received approximately the second week, after the month of service. (Example, a juror serves in the month of January, payment is received approximately February 15th.).

Wisconsin State Statutes 756.28 states a juror may serve for a period of no more than five (5) days or the length of a trial.

Length of Service: Jurors are randomly selected from the jury pool of approximately 1500 individuals. Each month approximately 150 jurors are randomly selected to serve on a jury panel for that particular month. Jurors are summoned for jury service for a period of one month out of every four years.

Wisconsin State Statutes 756.28 states a juror may serve for a period of no more than five (5) days or the length of a trial.

Excuses: The law allowing the granting of excuses is very strict. All requests for excuses and deferrals must be addressed with the Clerk of Courts Office. All excuses based on medical conditions must be accompanied by a letter from your physician stating why you are unable to serve. It is important to submit these requests as early as possible. A juror should not assume the request will be granted. An unexcused absence may result in a charge of contempt of Court and a subsequent fine and/or imprisonment. A one-time deferral of up to a six month period may also be requested with the Clerk of Courts, postponing your service within that set period.

Dress and Appearance: Casual attire (shorts, cutoffs, tube tops) are not considered appropriate attire for jury service. Dress comfortable. The Courtrooms have a tendency to be rather cool. You may wish to bring a sweater or light jacket for the purpose.

Parking: Parking is permitted with a valid parking permit in the county's three parking lots. (a) Across from the Courthouse on Church Street; (b) On Strong Avenue next to the Courthouse Annex; (c) The Northeast corner of Water and Arlington Streets. It is NOT valid for parking on the streets or the Sentry Parking Lot.

Failue to Appear: Jurors who fail to report for jury duty and who have not been excused by the Court, may result in a charge of contempt of Court and a subsequent fine and/or imprisonment.

If you have additional questions about your jury service or would like to make a comment about your jury service please email us at: jurorcomments@co.portage.wi.us