For Jurors

"Citizens of the United States have enjoyed for over 200 years the right to have their cases decided by a jury of their peers. Jury service is not merely your responsibility, it is also a cherished right."

– Honorable Timothy C. Evans, Chief Judge

Introduction to Jury Service

The Office of Jury Administration is responsible for providing a qualified pool of jurors to ensure the right of all citizens to a trial by an impartial jury. The United States is the only country in the world to guarantee its citizens the right to a jury trial in both civil and criminal cases. Citizens who fulfill their jury service obligation are continuing a tradition established under the U.S. Constitution over two hundred years ago. Indeed, the right to a trial by an impartial jury of one's peers is an integral part of the foundation of American democracy.

Jury service is a serious, meaningful, and important responsibility. The court's goal is to make jury service convenient and easy. To accomplish this, the Office of Jury Administration has implemented innovative and streamlined practices designed to put the comfort and convenience of jurors first and foremost. Jurors are summoned for either direct service or as standby jurors.  

  • If your summons is NOT a Standby Summons, you MUST appear on the date and location specified on your summons.   
  • If your summons states SUMMONS FOR STANDBY JURY SERVICE at the top of your summons, then you must check to see if you are required to serve after 4:30 p.m. on the business day before your service date. If your service date is a Monday, you can check anytime throughout the weekend or after 4:30 on the proceeding Friday. You may check your standby status by calling (312) 603-5950. 

Upon reporting for service jurors can expect to serve for the duration of one trial. If by the end of your first day of service, you have not been empaneled on a jury and are not in a courtroom for jury selection, you will be excused from further service. Our system is called one day/one trial.  

The Circuit Court of Cook County has also implemented a Senior Citizen Opt-Out Program which permits persons aged 70 or older to decline jury service. These programs and many others are all explained in greater detail below. 

Below is a list of common questions prospective jurors have. Additionally, if you have any additional questions or comments, feel free to contact the Office of Jury Administration at (312) 603-JURY.

Jury Service Video

The following informational video is for prospective jurors and the general public about Jury Service in the Circuit Court of Cook County:

Remote video URL

Jury Assembly Room Locations


    First Municipal District

    Daley Center

    The jury assembly room in the Daley Center is located on the 17th floor, in Room 1700.

    View more location details

    Second Municipal District

    Skokie Courthouse

    The jury assembly room in Skokie is located on the 1st floor, in Room 111.

    View more location details

    Third Municipal District

    Rolling Meadows Courthouse

    The jury assembly room in Rolling Meadows is located on the 2nd floor, in Room 220.

    View more location details

    Fourth Municipal District

    Maywood Courthouse

    The jury assembly room in Maywood is located on the Lower Level (LL), in Room 59A. 

    View more location details

    Fifth Municipal District

    Bridgeview Courthouse

    The jury assembly room in Bridgeview is located on the 2nd floor, in Room 220. 

    View more location details

    Sixth Municipal District

    Markham Courthouse

    The jury assembly room in Markham is located on the 2nd floor, in Room 219. 

    View more location details

    Criminal Courthouse in Chicago

    George N. Leighton Courthouse

    The jury assembly room in the Leighton Courthouse is located on the 3rd floor, in Room 3A00

    View more location details

    ADA Accessibility Accommodations for Jurors

    If you have received a summons for jury service and have a disability, you may request the Accessibility Services necessary for you to partake in court activities. Information about services available, contact information, and answers to frequently asked questions can be found on the Accommodation Requests page.

    NOTE: Requests must be made at least fourteen (14) days in advance of your court date. 

    Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Jury Duty


    For Prospective Jurors

      The Office of Jury Administration provides qualified jurors to the Circuit Court of Cook County. The office's duties include: mailing jury summonses; assessing requests to be excused, transferred to another courthouse or postponed to a later date; providing orientation and answering juror questions; and paying jurors for their service.

      You should arrive promptly at the time indicated on the top portion of the summons. The time will be either 8:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., or 9:30 a.m. depending on the location to which you have been summoned. If you are not sure what time to arrive, please call (312) 603-JURY.

      Jurors should dress comfortably, but properly for a courthouse. Shorts, mini-skirts, tank tops and halters are NOT permitted. If you report wearing any of these items, you will be asked to return home, at your own expense, to change into more suitable attire.

      The jury process can require a juror to wait a considerable amount of time. For this reason, jurors are encouraged to bring a book or other form of reading material with them to the jury assembly room. Jurors may NOT bring cameras or radios. The jury assembly room staff will store any of these items that a juror brings until the juror leaves for the day.

      The courthouse ban on cell phones and electronic devices was enacted to protect the privacy and safety of persons attending court and to maintain court decorum. It does not apply to persons reporting for jury service. You may bring such devices with you when you report for jury service and use them while you are in the jury assembly room. However, they must be turned off when you are in a courtroom. The trial judge will inform you whether you may use such devices to take notes during the trial.

      Jurors are allowed to bring cell phones and electronic devices into any Circuit Court of Cook County court facility. Please have your summons available at the court facility’s security checkpoint to verify your jury service. If you have misplaced your summons, please call (773) 674-3129 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at least one business day prior to your service date to have a replacement summons faxed or e-mailed to you.  Cell phones and electronic devices may be used only in the jury assembly room and in areas away from the courtrooms.  

      Yes, free wireless internet connectivity is provided for your convenience in the jury assembly rooms at all courthouse locations.

      Yes, a private location will be provided for nursing mothers. Upon arrival in the jury assembly room, please let one of the jury room personnel know that you require use of the lactation space and they will accommodate you. If you are sent to a courtroom or empaneled on a jury, please make the courtroom personnel aware of your needs and they can make the necessary arrangements to accommodate you.  

      Additionally, Illinois law (705 ILCS 305/10.3) states: “...Any mother nursing her child shall, upon request, be excused from jury service.” If you would like to request to be excused for this reason, please contact our office at 312-603-JURY [5879] and one of our juror coordinators will gladly assist you.

      Yes, you are paid for jury service. You will receive $35.00 for each day that you serve.

      No. An employer is NOT required by law to pay employees who are on jury service but many employers do. You should check with your company's human resources department before serving to see if your company pays your salary for days you are a juror. If you DO receive your salary while on jury service, you should ask what your employer requires as proof that you served as a juror.

      No. According to Illinois law, "…An employer may not deny an employee time off for jury duty. No employer shall discharge, threaten to discharge, intimidate or coerce any employee by reason of the employee's jury service, or the attendance or scheduled attendance in connection with such service…" 705-ILCS 305/4.1(a).

      If you are fired or experience workplace problems based on your participation in jury service, write a letter detailing what occurred to:

      Cook County State’s Attorney
      50 W. Washington – Room 500
      Richard J. Daley Center
      Chicago, Illinois 60602

      If you are NOT selected to serve on a jury, you will be released at 4:30 p.m. If you are selected to serve on a jury, you will be released when the trial judge says you can leave (usually no later than 6:00 p.m.).

      After completing jury service, you should NOT be called to serve again for a period of 12 months from the date you last served. If you are summoned again within this time period, simply call the Office of Jury Administration at (312) 603-JURY to be excused. You may be asked to show proof of jury service, so please retain your check receipts for your records.

      Failure to appear for jury service when summoned is a serious matter. You may be held in contempt of court which could result in a fine or other court-imposed penalty. It is in your best interest to appear if you are summoned to avoid any further action.

      Yes. Pay phones and vending machines are located in the jury assembly room. If you plan to make calls or purchase vending items, please bring enough change. Jury assembly room staff will not be able to provide change.

      Jury Duties & Selection Process

        Every year the Office of Jury Administration receives a list of Cook County residents from the Illinois Secretary of State, the Cook County Board of Elections, and the Chicago Board of Elections. These lists are then combined into one master list and names are randomly selected to receive jury summonses.

        To be qualified as a juror you must be:

        • at least 18 years of age or older
        • a U.S. citizen
        • a resident of Cook County

        If you do not meet ALL of these qualifications, please contact the Office of Jury Administration before the date you are supposed to serve. Please be prepared to support your belief that you are not qualified to serve.

        Your service date can be extended either 11 or 22 weeks depending on the circumstances. Some valid reasons include:

        • You have scheduled vacation.
        • You are a student/teacher (during school period).
        • You are a seasonal worker.

        If you have any other reason for an extension other than those listed above, please call (312) 603-JURY and we will try to accommodate you.

        You can be transferred to another court location depending on the circumstances. Some valid reasons include:

        • You are medically unable to travel to a location.
        • You must provide childcare and need to be located closer to home.
        • You do not drive and there is no public transportation available in your area.

        If you have any other reason to be transferred to another court location other than those listed above, please call (312) 603-JURY and we will try to accommodate you.

        You can be excused from jury service depending on the circumstances. Some valid reasons include:

        • You have a medical condition and jury service presents a hazard to your health.
        • You are an active member of the military. (National Reserve members are NOT exempt.)
        • You currently have a lawsuit filed in Cook County.
        • You currently reside in a nursing home or institution.
        • You will suffer extreme financial hardship.
        • You cannot obtain childcare.
        • You are the primary caretaker of another person.


        If you have any other reason to be excused other than those listed above, please call (312) 603-JURY and talk to a jury coordinator.

        The Opt-Out Program allows potential jurors 70 years of age or older to either transfer to another court location or choose not to participate in jury service. In order to opt-out, you must call (312) 603-JURY before your service date. Opting-out does NOT remove your name from the juror list indefinitely. You may be summoned again at a later date, at which time you may either choose to serve or call to opt-out again.

        The United States Constitution and the Illinois Constitution guarantee all people, regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin or economic status the right to trial by an impartial jury of one's peers. In order to uphold this guarantee, we need those summoned to participate in the jury process to ensure every citizen's right to have their case decided by an impartial jury selected from a representative pool of prospective jurors.

        Any person charged with a criminal offense or any party in a civil case has the right to a trial by jury. All parties are equal before the law and each is given the same fair and impartial treatment.

        Your duty as a juror is to weigh all of the evidence and testimony presented to you and to decide the outcome of the case based upon the law and the evidence. Your decision must be fair, impartial and free of any bias or prejudice. Jury service is the basis of our judicial system and is essential to the administration of justice.

        After your panel is selected and reports to a courtroom, a process known as voir dire begins. During voir dire, the judge and possibly the attorneys will ask you questions to see if you can keep an open mind and be fair. After you have been questioned, you will either be selected or excused for that particular case. If you are selected, you and the other selected jurors will receive instructions from the judge as to what is expected of you. If you are not selected, you will return to the jury room and may be sent to another courtroom with another panel. If you are not selected by the end of the day, you will be released from the jury room and your service will be completed for at least one year.

        If you are selected to sit on a jury, the average trial length is two to three days, although trials may be longer or shorter depending upon the facts of the case.

        There are two basic types of cases; criminal and civil. The difference between the two is as follows: 

        • In a CRIMINAL case, the jury decides the guilt or innocence of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt.
        • In a CIVIL case, the jury decides whether or not monetary damages should be awarded, and if given, how much those damages will be.

        Beware of Jury Duty Scams

          There have been reports of unscrupulous individuals posing as representatives of the Office of Jury Administration, or other court officials, in an attempt to obtain confidential personal information to be used for identity theft.

          In this scam, an individual pretending to be a jury coordinator calls you and claims that you have failed to respond to a jury summons and that a warrant has been issued for your arrest. When you state that you have never received a summons, the caller will say that he or she will require information for “verification purposes” in order to “cancel the arrest warrant.” At this point, the caller will ask for sensitive information such as social security number, date of birth, and even bank or credit card information.

          If you receive such a call, do not give out any sensitive personal information. Hang up immediately and call your local police to report the incident.

          If you are concerned that you may have fallen victim to this or any other identity theft scam, please report the incident to the Illinois Attorney General’s Identity Theft Hotline at 1 (866) 999-5630 (or call 711 for hearing / speech relay service). This hotline is staffed by advocates specially trained to help victims repair their credit, dispute fraudulent debts, and prevent future victimization. You should also contact the Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft Hotline at 1 (877) 438-4338.

          Additional information regarding these scams can be found at the following websites:

          The Office of Jury Administration will never phone, text, or email you asking for social security numbers or any other private and confidential information. The Office of Jury Administration contacts the public concerning all jury-related matters only by First-Class or Certified U.S. Mail.

            In this hoax, you are contacted via text and/or email which says that you are on a jury duty failure to appear list, and that you face a $500 fine and a 30-day prison sentence for failing to appear for jury duty. You are instructed to call a number to receive a message. The phone numbers to call are (704) 319-7259, (704) 319-7254, or (704) 319-7242. 

            These texts and/or emails are a hoax and should be ignored. The Office of Jury Administration will never phone, text, or email you asking for social security numbers or any other private and confidential information. The Office of Jury Administration contacts the public concerning all jury-related matters only by First-Class or Certified U.S. Mail.