Questionable: Can a person volunteer to be a juror?
I read in the Hodag Buyers’ Guide last week that a questionnaire will be going out to create a juror pool for 2014. Is there any way people can volunteer to be jurors? While I know many people don’t like this duty, I would love to be a juror. Roberta-Rhinelander
We asked Brenda Behrle, Oneida County clerk of courts, this question. She responded:
“Although I would love to have people volunteer for jury duty, the answer is no. Wisconsin Statute, s. 756.001 (4) specifically states, “All persons selected for jury service shall be selected at random from the population of the area served by the circuit court…”
“In summary, each year the office of the director of state courts compiles a master list of potential jurors for use by the circuit courts of each county. The Department of Transportation compiles that list from persons residing in the state who are licensed as a motor vehicle operator or who have received an identification card and social security number, as permitted by law. The Department of Transportation shall transmit the list to the office of the director of state courts. The list of prospective jurors provided to the clerks of circuit court shall contain only the name, address, gender, date of birth, race and county of residence of each prospective juror. Using this list, the clerk of circuit court shall mail to every juror to be summoned a juror qualification form.
“In order to comply with Wisconsin statutes, jurors must be chosen randomly using the above process. Therefore, this does not allow persons to volunteer to be a juror.
“I would like to remind all potential jurors that trial by jury is a cherished constitutional right and jury service is a civic duty. When you find the questionnaire or summons for jury service in your mail, I hope you consider the importance of jury duty and your experience as a juror will be as rewarding to you as it was for those who served before you.”
For specific information regarding juries, see Wisconsin Statutes, Chapter 756. Or, if you have any questions, feel free to contact Brenda Behrle, Oneida County Clerk of Circuit Court at [email protected] or 715-369-6120.