It has come to the Circuit Court Clerk's attention that there is a possible jury duty scam targeting the residents of DeSoto County, Mississippi. If you are called to serve on a jury for the DeSoto County Circuit Court, you will receive a summons from this office in the mail. If you receive a phone call stating that you have missed your jury duty service and you are in contempt of court, please immediately contact the DeSoto County Sheriff. No one from this office will ever direct you to pay a contempt of court fine over the phone.
Information Regarding Jury Duty
If you have received a juror summons from the DeSoto County Circuit Court Clerk, Ms. Dale K. Thompson, you have been summoned to render an important service. While you may be inconvenienced by this service, you are taking part in seeing that justice is done and that our form of government “by the people” will endure. Below, you will find some basic information regarding your juror service.
Selection of Prospective Jurors
The names of potential jurors are drawn at random by lot or chance from a roster of registered voters in this county. This means that while every voter is equally liable to be called to serve, one person may never be called to serve, and others may be called several times.
Reporting for Service
Your juror summons instructs you to either call the juror line information number, 662-469-8369, or check our website at www.desotoms.info/jury the evening before your court appearance date. This is very important! There will be a recorded message, if you call the juror line, or a posted message, if you check our website, which will inform you whether or not you need to report the following morning. Again, please be sure to call or check our website before you report!! Please be prepared to begin your service on the first day that you report and also please make any necessary arrangements to serve for the entire week of your service, or until you are released by the Court.
Jurors must be qualified voters or resident owners of real property of the county in which the trial is held. Jurors must be 21 years of age and able to read and write. A juror cannot be a convicted felon, habitual drunkard or common gambler. Additionally, no one who has been convicted of the illegal sale of alcoholic beverages in the previous five years can be a juror.
Accepted Excuses for Jury Duty
It may be inconvenient for you to serve on the jury. This Court is reasonable, but the serious business of justice must be constantly guarded. Accordingly, only those excuses from jury duty which are provided by law should be presented. Generally one is entitled to be excused from jury duty if he or she faces a personal hardship, business hardship, or has served on a jury in this court in the last two years. Further, a potential juror who is 65 years of age or older, may choose to be exempt from jury service. One may be excused from jury duty if their presence is required at home or if there is an emergency or personal illness. If you are 65 years of age or older and wish to be exempt from service, a juror's affidavit of excuse should be signed and mailed to the Circuit Clerk's office.
Jurors are paid a nominal fee for each day their service is required by the Court. The Clerk keeps a record of each day you serve as a juror, and issues you a check upon that record when you have been finally discharged by the Court. You will also be compensated for your mileage traveled to and from the DeSoto County Courthouse.
How Jurors Should Act
Jurors must not talk to parties, witnesses or lawyers involved in the courtroom proceedings. Lawyers know the impropriety of talking to the jurors, and do not desire to jeopardize their case by talking with jurors. Accordingly, if a lawyer or judge seems to ignore you, you should not consider this to be snobbishness, but merely a desire to observe proper rules of conduct. Please dress appropriately and always arrive on time. Your tardiness delays the entire proceeding. Never read a newspaper or other material in the courtroom; pay attention to every question and answer. If an emergency arises, notify the Clerk, bailiff or any other court officer.
In advance, Ms. Dale K. Thompson, thanks you for your service. We hope your experience serving as a juror will be a pleasant, rewarding, interesting and educational one.