Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to Jury Service
United States District Court
District of Maine
 
Juror Information Web Site

Thank you for serving as a juror in the United States District Court for the District of Maine.  We are aware of the burden that jury service places on you, your family, and your business or employer and are grateful for your service. Jurors are an essential component of our judicial system.  Because the United States Constitution requires that we use grand juries to decide whether someone should be charged with a federal crime, and because the Constitution also requires that we empanel juries to decide most civil and criminal trials, we simply could not do our work without you.  

We want your experience as a juror to be a positive and rewarding one.  Be assured that you will be treated with dignity and respect while you are with us, and that we will make every effort to respect your valuable time.  When you have questions or concerns, we will answer them as completely and quickly as we can.  Below are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions, which we hope will answer most of yours.  However, if you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us at the Clerk’s Office. We are here to help you. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Social Media
How are jurors selected?
What is eJuror?
What is the difference between a petit jury and a grand jury?
What if jury duty is an undue hardship or extreme inconvenience?
Will I be compensated for jury service?
Will jury service affect my employment?
Is there a dress code?
How do I get to the Courthouse?
Will I have to pay for parking?
Courthouse Security Guidelines

Social Media
If you are selected for jury service, you must follow the Court’s instructions and abide by certain rules of conduct intended to ensure that you understand and consider the evidence in this case fairly and impartially.  These rules require that until the case is over, you must not conduct your own research by using the Internet or discussing the case with others.  You must not access news about this case in any way, and you must not use social media including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Twitter or blogs to discuss or research the case or your work as a juror.  Until the case is over, you must not mention or discuss the case with others in person, by phone, or by posting, tweeting, or blogging on social media or the Internet.

 

How are jurors selected?
Potential jurors are selected from Maine voter registration lists by a purely randomized process through a properly programmed electronic data processing system.

 

What is eJuror?
You have the option to submit your Juror Qualification Questionnaire or Summons for Jury Service answers on-line.

Click this link to access the eJuror webpage: https://ecf.med.uscourts.gov/ejuror/TransportRoom?servlet=login

eJuror allows you to:

  • Complete your Juror Qualification Questionnaire
  • Check your status
  • Complete your Jury Information Form
  • Request excuse/exemption (only if summoned)
  • Request a postponement (only if summoned)
  • Update your contact information
  • Check your reporting instructions (only if summoned)

To log on to eJuror, you will need your nine-digit participant number. This number is located on the Juror Qualification Questionnaire or Jury Summons to the right of your name and address (e.g. 100085595).

***Please Note: If you submit your jury forms online there is no need to mail them back.

 

What is the difference between a petit jury and a grand jury?

  • Petit Jury: A petit jury is a trial jury for both civil and criminal cases.  The petit jury listens to evidence offered during a trial and returns a verdict.  A verdict in a civil case may be a finding for the plaintiff or for the defendant.  A verdict in a criminal case finds the defendant guilty or not guilty.
  • Grand Jury: A grand jury hears only criminal matters.  The grand jury does not determine guilt or innocence, but whether probable cause exists that a crime was committed.  Generally, the evidence is presented by an attorney for the government.  The grand jury determines from this evidence whether the government files formal charges against one or more individuals.  If probable cause exists, the grand jury will return a written statement of the charges called an "indictment."

 

What if jury duty is an undue hardship or extreme inconvenience?

Occasionally, jurors may need to request a temporary absence from jury service due to scheduled vacations, business obligations, or other important and/or unavoidable events. The Court will make every effort to accommodate temporary absences. However, these absences will not permanently excuse you from jury duty.

 

If serving as a juror would be an extreme inconvenience or undue hardship for you, you must mail a physical letter, send an email to the address given below or submit a request through eJuror after completing your questionnaire, explaining the circumstances of the hardship or inconvenience. All requests to be excused must be in writing and sent to the Clerk of Court with your completed questionnaires well before your scheduled appearance date.

  • Do not attempt to obtain an excuse for hardship or inconvenience using any other method than that described above. 
  • Do not call the Clerk’s Office to request an excuse – all requests to be excused must be in writing and sent with your completed questionnaires and received well before your scheduled appearance date,
  • Do not have your employer or anyone else call or write on your behalf – all requests to be excused must be from the juror.

 

Will I be compensated for jury service?
While serving as a juror, you will be compensated as follows:

Attendance Fee:  A $40.00 attendance fee is paid for each day you are required to report for jury duty.  Federal employees will not receive any attendance fee since they will continue to receive their regular pay while they are performing jury service. 

Mileage:  Mileage is paid at a rate of $0.535 cents per mile round trip from your residence to the court, or the cost of public transportation.  Please check your odometer readings on your first trip so that you can furnish the court with the number of miles traveled upon your arrival.  You will also be compensated for any tolls that you incur round trip between your residence and the courthouse.

Overnight:  If you travel more than one hundred miles from your residence to the courthouse, you may stay overnight on the evening prior to your report date, and while you are serving.  You are responsible for payment of any bills you receive for lodging and meals, and you must submit your hotel receipt to the jury clerk in order to be reimbursed at the current per diem rate.

Payment:  Typically your check for jury service will be mailed to you within one week from the completion of your service.

Will jury service affect my employment?
Under federal statute, Title 28 USC § 1875, your permanent employer is prohibited from discharging, threatening to discharge, intimidating or coercing you because of your jury service.

 

 

Is there a dress code?
While no formal dress code exists, jurors are expected to dress in a manner that is respectful to the litigants and to the Court.  The temperature in the courtrooms is generally cool; you may want to bring a sweater or jacket to wear so that you are comfortable.

 

How do I get to the Courthouse?

In Portland, the courthouse is located at 156 Federal Street, Portland, Maine.
 From Interstate 295: Exit on Franklin Street Arterial.
At the fourth traffic light turn right onto Congress Street.
At the first light take a left onto Pearl Street.
Take the first right onto Federal Street.
The courthouse will be on your left.

In Bangor, the courthouse is located at 202 Harlow Street, Bangor.
From the North:  Take I-95 South to Union Street Exit #184.
Turn right onto Union Street.
Turn right onto 16th Street.
Turn right onto Ohio Street.
At the first traffic light turn left onto 14th Street Extension.
14th Street becomes Harlow Street.
Continue on Harlow Street, the courthouse is on your right at the first traffic light.
From the South:  Take I-95 north to the Ohio/Union Street Exit #184.
Turn right onto Union Street.
At the first traffic light turn left onto 14th Street Extension.
14th Street becomes Harlow Street.
Continue on Harlow Street, the courthouse is on your right at the first traffic light.
From Route 1: Take either 395 to I-95 North, following the above directions, or:
Route 1 to Chamberlain Bridge into Bangor:
Turn right onto Main Street.
Turn right at the third traffic light.
Turn left at the next light.
Continue through the next light (Harlow Street).

 

Will I have to pay for parking?

No, the Court validates parking for jurors at several convenient garages.

Please Bring the parking ticket issued at the garage with you when you report for jury duty so that it can be validated when you check in.  You should not park on the street or at a parking meter.  There will not be enough time to leave the courthouse during your jury service to pay meter charges, and the court will not reimburse you for any parking violations you incur.

While serving as a juror in either Portland or Bangor, free parking is available to you at the following garages:

In Portland
Please click here for a map of parking locations in Portland

  • Cumberland County Parking Garage – Entrance on Newbury Street

Traveling on Interstate 295:

Exit onto Franklin Street, exit #7. At the fourth traffic light, turn right onto Congress Street. At the first traffic light, turn left onto Pearl Street. Turn left onto Federal Street and follow this for one block to the parking garage, use the second entrance.

  • Temple Street Parking Garage – Entrances at Exchange Street and Temple Street

Traveling on Interstate 295:
Exit onto Franklin Street, exit #7. At the fourth traffic light, turn right onto Congress Street. At the second traffic light, turn left onto Temple Street. Halfway down the block, just before the Nickelodeon Movie Theater, turn left into parking garage.

 

Note: Please do not park in the Top of the Old Port parking lot on Pearl Street. Parking cannot be validated for that parking lot.

In Bangor
Please click here for a map of parking locations in Bangor

  • Abbott Square parking lot

The Abbott Square Parking lot is 100 yards beyond the Federal Building across from the Bangor Library. You should bring the parking slip issued at the parking lot with you to the courthouse for validation.

You should not park on the street or at a parking meter.  There will not be enough time to leave the courthouse during your jury service to pay meter charges and the court will not reimburse you for any parking violations you incur.

 

Courthouse Security Guidelines

To enter the federal courthouse, everyone must go through a security checkpoint.  Your bags and overcoats will be x-rayed, and you will be asked to walk through a metal detector.  To speed this process, please note the following restrictions and leave these items at home:

 

·   Cell phones- it is STRONGLY suggested that cell phones not be brought into the courthouse. Cell phones will be held by Court Security at the security checkpoint and returned to you at the end of each day of your jury service. In the event of an emergency, the Clerk’s Office may be contacted at (207) 780-3356 or 1-800-578-5708 and a message will be delivered to you.

·   Cameras

·   Laptops, iPads (or other electronic tablets), mp3 players, radios and other electronic devices

·   Weapons, or anything that may be construed as a weapon (e.g. knives, scissors, mace or pepper spray, lighters)

·   No food or drink will be allowed through security on jury selection days.

If you are selected to serve on a trial you will be able to bring lunch and sealed (unopened) beverage containers with you through security. Open beverages (including coffee) will not be permitted. 

Supporting Documents

Grand Juror Information Handbook-Portland
Grand Juror Information Handbook-Bangor
Petit Juror Information Handbook-Portland
Petit Juror Information Handbook-Bangor
 

 

 

Questions? If you have comments or questions, please contact one of the individuals listed below:

Devon Richards
U.S. District Court
156 Federal Street
Portland, Maine 04101
(207) 780-3356 x5147

ptljury@med.uscourts.gov