Where do I submit a juror qualification questionnaire electronically?

If you received a juror qualification questionnaire in the mail, you can complete the form online.

Who do I call?

Please call the juror hotline after 6:00 PM the evening before the trial AND the morning of the trial (you will need to know your juror number). The juror hotline will advise you whether or not to appear. If the trial is going as scheduled, you will be advised of when and where to report. The telephone numbers are:

  • Local Call: 261-1331
  • Long Distance: 800/232-1375

If you have any questions regarding jury duty, you can reach our jury clerk during the workday at 261-1314.

Where do I park?

You are to park in the Wausau Center Mall parking ramp adjacent to the Sears store. Prior to leaving, the bailiff will provide you with a pass you present along with your parking ticket to the parking attendant when exiting the parking ramp.

Do I get paid?

The rate of pay for jury duty is $11.00 for a half day (if you are excused before noon ), and $22.00 for a full day (if you stay past noon ). You will receive payment approximately two weeks after your term of jury service is complete. Mileage is paid at the rate of $.485 per mile. Make certain that the Clerk of Courts Office has your correct name, address and round-trip mileage to the courthouse. Verification of your jury service for your employer will be provided upon request.

How long do I have to serve?

Your length of service for jury duty will be five (5) days of service.  In the rare circumstance that a trial is not complete in five (5) days, you will be required to continue your service till the end of the trial.  If you come to the courthouse for a trial and the trial is either canceled or you are not selected as a juror, your trip to the courthouse will count as one day of jury service.

What about my job?

Jury service is a civic duty. State law protects your job. Your employer cannot fire you, demote you, threaten or intimidate you because of jury service. Upon request, the bailiff or jury clerk can complete a statement of your jury attendance for your employer.

Why me?

Why not? Trial by jury is a cherished constitutional right. Every resident of an area served by a circuit court who is at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen and able to understand English is qualified to serve as a juror.

No person who is qualified and able to serve may be excluded on the basis of sex, race, color, sexual orientation, disability, religion, national origin, marital status, family status, income, age, ancestry or physical condition.

A person selected for jury service must be selected at random from a master listing using the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's list of people with motor vehicle licenses or identification cards who live in the area served by that circuit court.

All qualified people must have an equal chance to be considered for jury duty...and the obligation to serve as jurors when summoned.

Do I have to serve?

Yes - in most instances. The law requires all qualified state citizens be available to serve as jurors. Not all persons summoned actually serve as a juror. A person may not be selected as a result of a process known as "voir dire" (vwa deer) whereby the parties in the case (and the judge in some circumstances) ask questions to determine a potential juror's qualifications or degree of impartiality to serve on a particular trial.

The court may excuse a person from jury service if the court determines the person cannot fulfill the responsibilities of a juror. If the court determines jury service would entail undue hardship, extreme inconvenience, serious obstruction or delay of justice, the court may defer service to a later date set by the court. The court may require a person to document the basis for any excuse or deferral.

What is the smoking policy?

This is a non-smoking facility. Smoking will only be permitted if jurors are excused from the building during the lunch hour.

What about lunch?

Jurors are usually excused for lunch. You may leave the Courthouse or bring a lunch to have in the juryroom. A refrigerator and microwave are available for your use.  Lunch will be provided during multiple day trials.

Can I bring my cell phone?

Electronic equipment including, but not limited to, cellular telephones, pagers, laptop computers and recording devices may not be used in the courtroom or juryroom without the specific permission of the Judge. Unless specific permission is given by the Judge, all electronic equipment in the possession of a juror shall be turned off.

What should I wear?

Dress comfortably, but avoid extremes in dress. There are usually no prescribed dress codes.

Will I be waiting long?

Resolving legal disputes can be complex and unpredictable work. Often, cases are settled at the very last minute. When the jury is actually ready to hear the case, the parties often work out a last-minute compromise rather than gamble on what the jury will decide. These settlements may seem very inconvenient to you, but such settlements usually save time for all trial participants - and saves the taxpayers' money. And yes -- you may want to bring something to read - it will help make the time pass.

What if I have a disability?

If you have a disability which will require an accommodation by the court to allow you to serve as a juror, please contact our office as soon as possible.

Can I go home at night?

Most trials last only one day. When a trial does last longer, the judge usually adjourns so that you can return home each day at a reasonable hour. Rarely are you required to stay overnight.

Want to learn more about jury service and court trials?

Managing the jury service system is a delicate balancing act for a court. A successful system is attentive to both the efficiency of the process and the satisfaction with the experience felt by those called to serve. Those who manage the system must supply sufficient numbers of jurors to try all matters before the court, without wasting court resources or the time and good will of the jurors. In January 1997, the Supreme Court amended the statutes dealing with jury service with this goal in mind. The new provisions went into effect July 1, 1997.

Background:
The 1997 changes in Wisconsin's juror management system were the result of three years' work beginning on June 3, 1994, when the Judicial Conference petitioned the Supreme Court to consider adopting the American Bar Association (ABA) Standards Relating to Juror Use and Management. The Standards are a set of ambitious goals intended to:

  • provide the fairest possible forum for handling criminal matters and resolving civil disputes;
  • increase the overall efficiency of jury operations;
  • reduce the costs of jury operations; and
  • improve the public image of jury duty.

potential jurors

Potential jurors in Dane County watch a videotape as part of their orientation. Dane County has reduced the number of weeks that a juror may be on-call from four to two, and has made a variety of other changes to make its system more user-friendly for the jurors.
Photo credit: Greg Anderson

The ABAStandards state that "efficient court administration and management will best guarantee preservation of the jury system and enhance the quality of the decision-making process." They incorporate a number of concepts, some of which benefit the court system and some of which benefit prospective jurors.

For the courts, the Standards recommend:

  • random selection procedures to ensure equal probability of selection;
  • effective notice and summoning, including follow-up with people who do not respond, to protect the integrity of the system;
  • elimination of automatic exemptions to increase the number of available jurors;
  • development of representative source lists and monitoring system efficiency.

For jurors, the Standards recommend:

  • shorter terms of service;
  • efficient use of jurors' time after they have been summoned.

The Supreme Court asked the Judicial Council to study the ABAStandards and to prepare the legislation and administrative rules necessary for their implementation. Judicial Council proposals were reviewed in depth by the Wisconsin clerks of circuit court, the chief judges and the district court administrators. Retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Roland B. Day and the ad hoc committee of the Judicial Council, chaired by Eau Claire County Circuit Judge Thomas H. Barland, which drafted the petitions, received a national award from the ABA for the resulting new jury code.

The New System:
Jury management software designed by the Circuit Court Automation Program (CCAP) helps Wisconsin clerks of circuit court to efficiently select and notify jurors, process payments and monitor the entire jury process. The software was upgraded to incorporate the new provisions of law. Other notable changes in the system are as follows:

  • shorter terms of jury service (maximum of one month);
  • longer term of ineligibility between terms of jury service (four years)
  • elimination of the position of jury commissioner;
  • appointment of a supervising judge to be responsible for managing each county's jury system;
  • annual evaluation of each county's system.

To meet the requirements of the new rules and statutes, courts have instituted changes to policy, procedure and forms. The circuit courts are adjusting to the changes. The Supreme Court will monitor annual evaluations by the circuit courts to determine whether the courts' jury systems are meeting the goals of improved efficiency and increased satisfaction among those summoned for jury service and whether additional improvements are needed.

Visit the Wisconsin Court System website at to view The Wisconsin Jury Handbook.

Questions about jury duty:  (website)