As a juror, what kind of cases will I hear? The Municipal Court jurisdiction applies to cases that can only be punished by a “fine only”. This means that punishment through jail time is not an option. Consequently, this applies to Class “C” Misdemeanor Offenses such as public intoxication and shoplifting. It also applies to traffic offenses (such as speeding, seatbelt and no insurance tickets) and enforcement of city ordinances such as noise violations and enforcement violations. All offenses must have occurred within the city limits of the City of Commerce.
How did I get picked for jury duty? Potential jurors are selected from a random list of those who hold a valid Texas Drivers License and/or have utility service in the City of Commerce.
I have been summoned, will I definitely serve on a jury? No. The process of jury selection involves both the state and the defendant asking you questions concerning your qualifications, background and experience. Each side then gets to strike up to three (3) potential jurors for any reason other than race or gender. Next, the strike lists from each side are placed side by side and the first six (6) potential jurors that neither side has struck make up the jury panel.
How long will my service on the jury last? Jury service typically lasts only one (1) day.
Where should I appear? Check your jury summons. You should appear at the Commerce Municipal Court at 1119 Alamo Street, Commerce, Texas. If you cannot determine where you should appear, contact the court at (903) 886 -1132.
I just completed jury service (within the past six (6) months). Can I be excused? Submission of proof of actual service on a jury (not just being called on a panel) will excuse you from jury service if you have completed that service within the last six (6) months.
Do I get paid for my jury service? Yes. The Commerce Municipal Court pays $6.00 per day for jury service. If you claim an exemption or are disqualified, you are not paid.
How do I know if I’m qualified to serve on a jury? The qualifications for jury service are that you:
- Must be of sound mind and good moral character;
- Must be able to read and write the English language;
- Must have not served as a juror for six consecutive days during the preceding six months;
- Must not have any felony convictions or a conviction for any type of theft;
- Must not be under indictment, legal accusation, probation or deferred adjudication for any theft or felony charges;
- Must be a resident of the City of Commerce and reside within the Commerce City Limits.
What if I would like to be excused from my jury service? You are exempted from jury service if you:
- Are 70 years of age or older;
- Have legal custody of a child/children younger than 10 years of age and serving on the jury required leaving the child/children without adequate supervision;
- Are the primary caretaker of a person who is an invalid, unable to care for him/herself;
- Are a student of a public or private secondary school;
- Are a person who is enrolled and in actual attendance at an institution of higher education;
- Are an officer and employee of the Texas Senate, House of Representatives, or any department, commission, board, office or other agency in the legislative branch of state government.
What about business excuses? Missing jury service for a business reason is not a lawful excuse from jury service.
Can I prove my “disqualification”, “exemption” or offer any other excuse to the court prior to my jury service date? To make a request to be excused from jury service, please complete the back page of your jury summons. You should then mail it back to the court, drop it by the court in person or fax it to the court at (903) 886-1136.
What if I decide to ignore a jury summons? You may have to appear in court to answer to a contempt of court charge which carries a fine of up to $100.00.