We welcome you to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. By serving jury duty, you are participating in the administration of justice, and fulfilling one of the most basic principles in a democratic society. The protection of rights and liberties in federal courts largely is achieved through the teamwork of judge and jury. You do not need any knowledge of the legal system to be a juror. We hope that you find your jury service a worthwhile and interesting experience.
Telephone Number: (800) 865-1775 or (305) 523-5190
Selection of Jurors
Potential jurors are chosen from a jury pool generated by random selection of citizens’ names from lists of registered voters, or combined lists of voters and people with drivers licenses, in the judicial district. The potential jurors complete questionnaires to help determine whether they are qualified to serve on a jury. After reviewing the questionnaires, the court randomly selects individuals to be summoned to appear for jury duty. These selection methods help ensure that jurors represent a cross section of the community, without regard to race, gender, national origin, age or political affiliation.
Being summoned for jury service does not guarantee that an individual actually will serve on a jury. When a jury is needed for a trial, the group of qualified jurors is taken to the courtroom where the trial will take place. The judge and the attorneys then ask the potential jurors questions to determine their suitability to serve on the jury, a process called voir dire. The purpose of voir dire is to exclude from the jury people who may not be able to decide the case fairly. Members of the panel who know any person involved in the case, who have information about the case, or who may have strong prejudices about the people or issues involved in the case, typically will be excused by the judge. The attorneys also may exclude a certain number of jurors without giving a reason.
There are two types of juries serving distinct functions in the federal trial courts: trial juries (also known as petit juries), and grand juries. Click on a link to learn more about the types of juries: Petit (Trial) Jury Grand Jury Special Panel.