Jury DutyEvery defendant in a criminal case has the right to request a trial by jury. When a jury trial is requested, a jury panel is selected at random from the jury pool and a jury summons is sent to each member selected. Jury service is an obligation of citizenship essential to the judicial process. It is an opportunity for you to make a meaningful contribution to ensure that justice is provided in our community.
NOTICE: FAILURE TO APPEAR FOR JURY SERVICE MAY RESULT IN A $100 FINE FOR CONTEMPT OF COURT.
Qualifications for Jury Service
To serve as a juror you must meet the following qualifications:
- be at least 18 years of age;
- be a citizen of this state and a resident of the county in which you are to serve as a juror;
- be qualified under the Constitution and laws to vote in the county in which you are to serve as a juror (Note: you DO NOT have to be registered to vote to be qualified to vote);
- be of sound mind and good moral character;
- be able to read and write;
- not have 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;
- not have been convicted of theft or any felony;
- not be under indictment or other legal accusation of a misdemeanor theft, felony theft or any other felony charge; and
- be a resident of the municipality for which the court is established. (Government Code, Section 62.501; specific to municipal courts)
Exemptions from Jury Service*
The following persons, by statue, AND NO OTHERS, may claim an exemption from jury service if the person wishes to do so:
- Persons over (70) year of age;
- Persons who have legal custody of a child or children under the age of 10 years if jury service by that person would necessitate leaving the child or children without adequate supervision;
- All students of public or private secondary school;
- Every person who is enrolled and in actual attendance at an institution of higher education;
- Persons who are the primary caretaker of a person who is an invalid unable to care for himself or herself;
- An officer or an employee of the Senate, House of Representatives or any department, commission, board, office, or other agency in the legislative branch of state government; or
- He or she has served as a petit juror in the county during the 24-month period preceding the date he/she is to appear for jury service. (Only applies to counties with population at least 200,000 unless the county uses a jury plan under 62.011, Government Code, and the period authorized under Section 62.022(b)(6) exceeds two years.)
- *You are not required to claim an exemption. It is your choice.
If you qualify for an exemption based on the above criteria, and wish to claim the exemption, complete the Affidavit for Disqualification/Exemption, and return the completed affidavit to the Harker Heights Municipal Court, 305 Miller's Crossing, Harker Heights, Texas 76548.
Excuses for other reasons should be proposed to the court at the call of the jury roll on the day of trial.
NOTICE: PROSPECTIVE JURORS SHOULD CALL THE COURT NOT LATER THAN 12:00 P.M. ON THE DAY PRIOR TO THE TRIAL TO VERIFY THAT THEIR SERVICE IS REQUIRED.
Jurors are to report to the court at 305 Miller's Crossing, Harker Heights, Texas, not later than 8:00 a.m. on the day of the trial.