Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding jury duty in Seabrook.
Why is jury service important?
The United States Constitution and the Texas Constitution guarantee all people, regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin or economic status, the right to trial by an impartial jury.
What is my duty as a juror?
As a juror, you must be fair and impartial. Your actions and decisions must be free of any bias or prejudice. Your actions and decisions are the foundation of our judicial system.
How was I selected?
You were selected at random from a list of voter registrations and a list of driver registrations from the county in which you live.
Am I eligible?
- Be a citizen of the United States and a resident of the City of Seabrook in order to serve as a juror for the Municipal Court
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Reside in the county of jury service
- Be able to read and write
- Be of sound mind
Who is not eligible to serve on a jury?
You cannot serve on a jury if:
- You have been convicted of a felony or of any type of theft (unless rights have been restored)
- You are now on probation or deferred adjudication for a felony or for any type of theft
- You are now under indictment for a felony or are now under criminal charges for any type of theft
If you are in doubt or think you may not be qualified to serve on a jury for one of the above or any other reasons, please notify the judge.
Who can be excused from jury service?
You are entitled to be excused as a juror if you:
- Are over 70 years of age
- Have legal custody of a child under 10 years of age and jury service would leave the child unsupervised
- Are a student in class
- Are the caretaker of a person who is unable to care for themselves
- Can show a physical or mental impairment or an inability to comprehend or to communicate in English
What are the different types of cases?
There are two basic types of cases, criminal and civil (including family cases).
A criminal case results when a person is accused of committing a crime. You, as a juror, must decide whether the person charged is guilty or not guilty. The accused person is presumed innocent and the state, represented by the district or county attorney, must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
A civil case results from a disagreement or dispute between two or more parties. In a civil case, you, as a juror, must answer questions of disputed facts based upon the testimony and evidence admitted by the judge. The answers to these questions are called the verdict. Note: Municipal Court does not hear civil cases. Will I be paid for being a juror? No. The Municipal Court is not required to compensate for jury duty.
Must my employer pay me while I am on jury duty?
Your employer is not required to pay you while on jury duty; however, employers are prohibited by law from firing an employee for serving as a juror.
Who can have a jury trial?
Any person charged with a criminal offense or any party to a civil case has a right to a jury trial. All parties are equal before the law and each is entitled to the same fair treatment.
Are there rules about jury conduct?
Yes. The Texas Supreme Court has rules to assist you in your conduct as a juror which will be given to you by the judge.