Grand Jury Duty Information




Online registration is optional and not mandatory. You may register by opening the link below. You will need your summons number available for the registration process.

Register online (optional)

Requests to postpone should be submitted no later than 10 days prior to your scheduled date of service. You must choose a prescheduled term within the next twelve months (see calendar link below). Upon receipt of your request to postpone, a letter of confirmation will be mailed to you.


Postpone Jury Duty (Online Form)

Grand Jury Calendar (PDF)


Juror qualifications


Minimum eligibility

A person is only eligible for jury service if they meet the following criteria:

  1. Is a citizen of the United States
  2. Is 18 years of age or older
  3. Your primary residence has been in Hamilton County, TN for the past 12 months
  4. Is not a Convicted Felon
  5. Is not currently an active member of The United States Armed Forces
  6. Has not served on a Federal or State Jury in the past 24 months

If you do not meet the eligibility criteria, please confirm by circling YES or NO on the Juror Qualification Questionnaire (postcard), the Yellow Summons, and/or completing and submitting a Jury Service Affidavit.


Jury Service Affidavit (PDF)
Qualification Questionnaire Sample (PDF)

Criteria for Excuse

Prospective Jurors will only be excused if serving will cause an “UNDUE OR EXTREME PHYSICAL OR FINANCIAL HARDSHIP”. Such a hardship may be present if the juror has a mental or physical condition which causes the juror to be incapable of performing jury service, or if the juror would:

  • Be required to abandon a person under such juror’s personal care or supervision due to the impossibility of obtaining an appropriate substitute caregiver during the period of participation in the jury service.
  • Incur costs that would have a substantial adverse impact on the payment of the juror’s necessary daily living expenses or on those for whom such juror provides the principle means of support.
  • Suffer physical hardship that would result in illness or disease; or
  • Be deprived of compensation due to out-of-state employment and employer is not required to compensate jurors and declines to do so voluntarily.

How to be excused from Jury Duty

Submit your request no later than 10 days prior to your date of service. Fill out a jury service affidavit form (PDF) and send the proper documentation to the jury clerk. All documentation should include your summons number and phone number. Choose one of the delivery options below:

  • Email Address: juryclerk@hamiltontn.gov (this is most expedited form of communication)
  • Fax Number: (423) 209-6701
  • Mailing address: Jury Coordinator, 625 Georgia Ave. – 5th Floor, Chattanooga, TN 37402

Acceptable Forms of Documentation to be Excused in each Scenario

  • Physical disabilities: Doctors must fax excuses to (423) 209-6701
  • Full-time college students: submit a copy of your student I.D. or their class schedule issued by the school
  • Non-Residents: submit documentation that includes your name and new address (Example – Driver’s License, Power Bill or Lease Agreement)
  • Extreme Financial Hardship: Complete a "Jury Service Affidavit" (This does not apply solely based on a juror being required to be absent from their employment)
  • Dependency / Guardianship / Primary Caretaker: Complete a "Jury Service Affidavit"

Failure to provide satisfactory documentation in a timely manner may result in a denial of the request to be excused. Any information faxed must include your summons number for proper identification. For jurors, documentation must be provided no later than the day before a juror is scheduled. For grand jurors, documentation must be provided no later than 10 days before the juror is scheduled. You may fax such documentation and summons to 423-209-6701.


Jury Service Affidavit (PDF)

Compensation

Selected grand jurors are paid $13.00 for each day they are present for service, including orientation day. A check will be mailed to you weekly.


Please advise the Jury Coordinator if you would prefer to donate your jury compensation to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund (will open in a new tab).


Employment Policy

No employer shall discharge or in any manner discriminate against an employee for serving on jury duty.


If an employee is working a night shift or is working during hours preceding those in which court is normally held, such employee shall also be excused from employment for the shift immediately preceding the employee’s first day of service. After the first day of service, if the employee is serving more than three hours during a day, shall be excused from the employee’s next scheduled work period occurring within twenty-four hours of such day of jury service.


If an employer employs less than five people on a regular basis or if the juror has been employed by an employer on a temporary basis for less than six months, the employer is not required to compensate the juror during the period of jury service. All other Tennessee employers must provide a juror’s usual compensation for the time the juror actually spends serving and traveling to and from jury duty. An employer has the discretion to deduct the amount of compensation the juror receives from the court. You may request a certificate of attendance when you report for jury duty, if your employer requires such a certificate. If your employer would like specific times you must provide a time sheet to the Jury Coordinator.


You can read Tennessee Code Annotated 22-4-106 to learn more about your employment rights during jury duty.


What types of cases will I hear?

Jury cases are either criminal or civil. Civil Cases are disputes between private citizens, corporations, governments, government agencies, or other organizations. Usually, the party that brings the suit is asking for money damages for some alleged wrong that has been done. For example, a person may sue for medical malpractice, a car accident, or contract work. The party that brings the suit is called the plaintiff; the one being sued is called the defendant. There may be a number of plaintiffs or defendants in the same case. In criminal cases a criminal case is brought by the state, or a city or county, against one or more persons accused of committing a crime. In these cases, the state, city, or county is the plaintiff; the accused is the defendant.


How does jury selection work?

You will arrive on the date and time printed on your summons. A clerk will be posted in the Jury Assembly Room to greet you and process your information. Mr. Larry L. Henry, your Circuit Court Clerk, will administer the orientation to provide all the information you need to sucessfully complete Grand Jury Service. The Grand Jury Foreperson will give a presentation. The Presiding Judge will be present to oversee the selection process. The Jury Clerk will randomly call 30 names to be the official jurors during the 4 month term. Those not selected will be placed on a back up call list to fill in if needed. The 30 jurors selected will be placed in two groups of 15 each and alternate coming in every other Monday and Tuesday for 4 months.


Going to Court


Parking

Free parking is only provided to those selected to serve as a Grand Juror. Free parking is only available in the Republic Parking Garage, which can be accessed from the Walnut Street and Cherry Street entrances. You will be responsible for parking fees in all other locations other than the Republic Parking Garage described. The Republic Parking Garage generally becomes full around 8:30 A.M. each day. Please bring your parking ticket with you each day for validation. We will validate one time per day.

If you are NOT selected to serve as a grand juror you will be responsible for your own parking fees. The Republic Parking Garage exit fee is $8.00


Map (PDF Format)

Courthouse Security

You will go through a metal detector in the Courthouse where you will be asked to remove all items from your pockets, and your waist belt. To expedite the screening process we ask that you limit the items you bring with you.
The following items are not allowed:

  • Sharp metal objects (e.g. pocket knives, nail clippers, tools, etc.)
  • Outside food or beverages

What can I bring with me?

You are welcome to bring a book, magazine, notebook, cellphone, and a laptop with you


Attire

What should I wear?

You may dress comfortably as long as it's appropriate in the courthouse.The judge will determine whether juror's attire is appropriate, but here are some guidelines: jurors should not wear shorts, short skirts, sagging pants, see-through or suggestive clothing, visible undergarments (including undershirts and tank tops), flip flops, house shoes, bandanas, headbands, hats, caps, or clothing with inappropriate or offensive advertisements or slogans. We recommend you bring a sweater or jacket because of the fluctuating temperatures in the courtroom.


Family

What if my family needs to contact me while I'm in jury duty?

They can call our office at 423-209-6711 and we will contact you.


Are my children allowed to come?

Children are not allowed to come to jury duty with you since there is no child care available at the courthouse. If there is an emergency or if your family needs to reach you, they may call 423-209-6711.


Can I go home after court each day if I'm assigned to a case?

In most cases you will be able to go home the week of a case. In extremely rare cases, however, you may be “sequestered” during the trial or during jury deliberations. This is done to assure that the jurors don’t hear or see something about the case that wasn’t mentioned in court.


Other Policies

What if the weather is bad?

In the event of inclement weather, please call 423-209-6737 for a recording of court status. If you are unable to call, the radio or television will list Hamilton County Courts as “Closed” or “Delayed”. Follow these instructions.


What happens if I’m late?

As the trial cannot proceed until all jurors are present, it is important that you are on time. If you are unavoidably delayed, please call the Grand Jury Foreman immediately.


What if I don't come to jury duty?

If a person who has been summoned but not excused or discharged fails to appear for service or otherwise respond as directed, a show cause order will be issued and the Sheriff will serve you in person.


Contact Information

Do you need assistance or have questions for the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), please call (423) 209-6120


Otherwise email is the most expedited method of communication!


Jury Clerk: Margo McConnell

Email juryclerk@hamiltontn.gov

Phone number: (423) 209-6726
Fax number: (423) 209-6701


Circuit Court Clerk: Larry L. Henry

Email Circuit Court Clerk

Circuit Court (Hours: 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Except for these holidays)

Address: Jury Assembly Room 305, Third Floor Hamilton County - City Courts Building 600 Market Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402 .

Phone Number: 423-209-6700 and FAX Number: 423-209-6701

Note: The following links will open to another government website or government-affiliated page in a new tab.