The Jury Duty Department is responsible for the random selection of jurors used by the 21st Judicial District Court in Tangipahoa Parish. A jury pool is impaneled for all civil and/or criminal cases scheduled to be tried in a given week. All civil and criminal juries are pooled together.
For example, if two divisions require a jury in the same week, then one jury pool is impaneled for 300 people. The judges of the 21st Judicial District Court set the guidelines for the number of people impaneled for civil and criminal juries. The judge is the only person who can excuse someone from jury service.
Because of the limited space in the Amite Courthouse, we do not have a separate jury room for jurors. All jurors report to Courtroom No. 1 where a roll is taken. The judge comes into the courtroom to explain the qualifications of a juror and the exemptions that may be claimed. If any juror feels that he or she does not meet the qualifications or wishes to claim an exemption, the judge gives that person the opportunity to speak with him/her one-on-one to explain their situation.
In order to serve as a prospective juror, you must:
- Be a United States and a Louisiana citizen who has resided in Tangipahoa Parish for at least one year immediately preceding your jury service;
- Be at least eighteen years of age;
- Be able to read, write and speak the English language;
- Not be under interdiction or incapable of serving as a prospective juror because of a mental or physical infirmity;
- Not be under indictment for a felony nor have been convicted of a felony of which you have not been pardoned.
There are two exemptions which may be claimed
- You have performed jury service in the 21st Judicial District Court within the last two years of your reporting date;
- You are seventy years of age and older. ***If claiming an age exemption, you will need to provide a copy of your ID showing your date of birth.
No exemption is automatic. Your request for exemption should be in writing and state which of the exemptions you are claiming. You may claim your exemption by contacting the Clerk’s Office as follows:
By Mail: Jury Commission
P.O. Box 667
Amite, LA 70422
By Phone: 985-748-8015
or By Email
If the date of your jury service conflicts with school, vacations, work or any other matters, you can contact the Clerk of Court’s office (using methods above) to reschedule your jury service. This is a One-Time Deferment and can be re-scheduled up to 6 months out.
Proof of Jury Service
If you need an excuse for your employer or school, please request this at the Clerk’s office prior to leaving the courthouse.
Instructions for Prospective Tangipahoa Parish Jurors
Jury Duty Letter of Instructions
Note to prospective jurors:
Welcome to the 21st Judicial District Court. As a prospective juror, you are here to perform an important service in our judicial system. This page will provide you with some court information, so, please keep this with you during your term of service. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask one of the bailiffs or deputy clerks of court to help you.
Term of Service: You have been called for one week of jury service. The average stay for most jurors is three days. The Judge will make every effort to release you as early each day as possible and as early during the week as possible. During this time you may serve in more than one trial.
No Cell Phones: Cell phones are NOT allowed in the Courtrooms. Please do not bring them with you.
Jury Summons: Please correct any address changes or name changes on your subpoena. If you have misplaced your subpoena, the Clerk will issue you another one. When your jury service is completed the Judge will instruct you to turn your subpoena in to the Clerk of Court’s Office. Please fill in your mileage one way and the total number of days you appeared. Failure to turn in a subpoena may result in your not being paid. Please bring identification (which may be checked).
Hours of Service: Court hours are normally 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; however, depending on the court load and whether you are actually seated as a juror, the hours may vary. If you are seated as a juror, the Judge will instruct you when and where to report each day. On your jury subpoena there are two phone numbers that may be called after 4:30 p.m. (985) 748-8077. The Judge may instruct you to call and listen to the recorded message. The message will tell you if you need to appear to serve an additional day. If you do not have to appear, please mail your summons to the Clerk of Court, P.O. Box 667, Amite, LA 70422. In the space provided at the top right hand corner of you subpoena, please fill in your mileage, one way, and the number of days you appeared.
Proper Attire: The proper attire for Jury Duty is slacks, blouses, blazers, and dresses. The following clothing items are not acceptable: shorts, tank tops, sundresses, and miniskirts.
Payments: Payment of $25.00 a day for service and 16 cents a mile for mileage will be mailed to you for your service. Please allow one month for payment.
While waiting for court to start, please stay in the courtroom that you reported to or in the lobby. As a prospective juror, you are not allowed to enter any courtroom on your own. The only times you are allowed in a courtroom are: if you are escorted to that courtroom by a bailiff, or if you are on a panel for that courtroom. You are not allowed to discuss anything about the trial, or questions asked to you by the attorneys or the Judge with anyone, including the other prospective jurors.
Facilities: Vending machines are located on the first floor in the lobby of the Courthouse. A telephone for your use is located in the back of the Clerk of Court's Office. In order to get an outside line for Hammond, Amite, or Kentwood, please dial 9 -..., then the number.
Smoking is not permitted in the Courthouse. No food or drink is allowed on the second floor of the courthouse.
Restrooms are located in the lobby. It is not necessary for you to inform the bailiff if you are going to the restroom, unless you have been sequestered.
Again, on behalf of the Court and your fellow citizens, we thank you for your service and hope it will be a rewarding experience.