If you want to request a temporary or permanent exemption due to medical reasons, please contact the Jury Administrator's office at (956) 544-0842 to request an affidavit for medical exemption. This form will need to be completed, signed & notarized before submitting your request.
Click on the Link below to download a permanent exemption form for medical or age.
Juror Selection Process:
The process for selecting prospective jurors is mandated by state law. If you are a registered voter, have a Texas driver's license or Texas personal identification card and you live in Cameron County, your name is entered in a computer system designed to randomly select prospective jurors.
When directed by the State District, County or Justice Courts of Cameron County, the District Clerk makes a random selection of names, which are retrieved as needed each month. Those selected for that month receive a summons which is mailed by the Jury Administrator of Cameron County.
Because this is a random selection system, and there is not an endless supply of potential jurors, it is quite possible that you will receive more than one jury summons while you live in Cameron County. Once you have served on a jury, your name will not be re-entered into the pool for three (3) years.
You can be exempted from jury duty in certain circumstances. These reasons for exemption do not disqualify you from serving -- even though you may qualify for an exemption you can still serve on a jury.
But certain circumstances can impose considerable hardship for some people. If any of the following exemptions apply to you, the form on the back of the jury summons can be completed and mailed back to the Cameron County Jury Administrator's Office.
You are over 70 years of age.
You have legal custody of a child or children younger than 12 years of age and your service on the jury requires leaving the child or children without adequate supervision.
You are a student of a public or private high school.
You are a person enrolled and in actual attendance at an institution of higher education.
You are an officer or an employee of the senate, the house of representatives or any department, commission, board, office or other agency in the legislative branch or state government.
You are the primary caretaker of a person who is an invalid unable to care for himself. (THIS EXEMPTION DOES NOT APPLY TO HEALTHCARE WORKERS)
Member of the United States Military serving on active duty and deployed out of county.
If you want to request a permanent exemption for being over the age of 70, please contact the Jury Administrator's office at (956) 544-0842 to request an age exemption form.
There are several common reasons given for exemption requests which are not allowable:
being the sole owner of a business
have an employer who will not pay you for your jury service (although financial hardship caused by jury service may be considered).
Jury Duty and Your Job:
The law protects your job while you are fulfilling your jury duty and you cannot be fired for serving. Your employer is not, however, required to pay you for the time missed from work while on jury duty.
If you do not have a vehicle or do not drive, or you are unable to drive because of a physical disability, you can contact the Brownsville Urban District (BUS) at (956) 548-6050.
Tips to Make Your Jury Service More Enjoyable:
Knowing where you are going and what to expect when you get there can make any experience more enjoyable, and jury service is no exception. Getting to your assigned location, and arriving prepared are not nearly as tough as you might think.
You must bring your jury summons with you when you report for jury duty. Please fill out and sign your summons prior to reporting.
In addition, you may want to bring something to do while you wait. Jury duty does involve some waiting, so a good book or handwork will help pass the time.
You may also want to bring money for snacks, drinks, and lunch. There is a break room handy for snacks during breaks.
Dress the Part:
You may be selected for and actually serve on a jury the day you are summoned, so it's important that you dress appropriately. Jury service is serious business, and you should dress accordingly. Business attire is recommended.
Shorts, hats, tank tops and flip-flop sandals are not allowed. T-shirts with derogatory images or messages are also not considered appropriate. When in doubt, dress seriously but with comfort in mind. Jury service can involve a good deal of sitting.
What Your Jury Service Involves:
Once you have arrived at your assigned location, your jury service is underway. You'll find that the system is set up to guide you along with clear instructions throughout the process. Whether you are selected for a jury or not, you will still be providing an essential part of the trial by jury system.
Where To Go Once You've Arrived at Your Assigned Location:
If you are reporting to the Cameron County Courthouse, your service starts in the Central Jury Room, located on the first floor.
Before you are allowed to enter, you will pass through a metal detector. Please remember that absolutely no weapons of any kind are allowed in the building.
If you are reporting to one of the Justice of the Peace Courts, your service starts in your assigned courtroom.
What To Expect:
About 20% of prospective jurors are selected for trials. If you are not selected for a jury, you can expect to be finished in about half a day. If you are selected, you will serve for one trial. Surprisingly, the average trial lasts only three (3) days.
If you are assigned to serve at the Cameron County Courthouse, please report to the Central Jury Room on the first floor, to the Juror Check-In-Desk.
If you are assigned to serve at one of our Justice of the Peace Courts, please report directly to the Justice Court, to check in with the clerk.
After checking in, prospective jurors will be given a brief orientation by the impaneling Judge. The impaneling Judge will give further instructions and hear possible exemptions and qualifications.
Prospective jurors are assigned to panels, smaller groups from which jurors are selected. The jurors are briefed by the judge and questioned by attorneys for both sides until the jurors who will hear the case are chosen. Once the jury has been selected, those on the panel who are not chosen are sent home.
Getting Paid for Jury Service:
Jurors are paid for their service. Each prospective juror sent to a court receives six dollars ($6) for the first day. If you are selected and serve on the actual jury panel, you will receive forty dollars ($40) per day beginning the second day of service and thereafter until the trial has concluded.
Payment is processed at the end of the jury service, and a check is mailed to each juror within two to three weeks upon termination of your jury service.
You've Been Selected for a Jury -- What Now?
Only 20% of those summoned to jury duty are ever chosen to serve on a jury, so there's a good chance you'll be released from your jury duty after just half a day.
If you are selected to serve, this will be an opportunity to see our justice system in action firsthand.
A Day in the Life of a Juror:
Each trial is as unique as the people involved, and there's no way to predict how long the trial you are chosen for will last. A trial can last a day or take up to a week or more. They are seldom much longer.
During the trial, the judge will tell you what time you need to be in court each day and what time to expect each day to end. You will also be given a break for lunch.
Trials follow a set procedure which you may find familiar.
Opening Statement: Attorneys for each side may explain the case, outline any evidence they will present, and discuss the issues you will decide. This is usually a broad statement which sets the stage for witnesses and the details to follow.
Presentation of Evidence: Testimony of witnesses and exhibits are all evidence. Any exhibits will be available to the jury during their deliberations. Because you will be deciding the case based on the facts presented, it is very important to pay close attention to all evidence.
Rulings by the Judge: The judge may be asked to decide questions of law during the trial. He may ask jurors to leave the courtroom while lawyers make legal arguments. If this happens, understand that these issues must be decided so that proper evidence can be considered by the jury.
Instruction to the Jury: After all evidence has been presented, the judge may give the jury the Charge of the Court. This includes legal instructions about the case and the question the jury must answer.
Closing Arguments: This gives the lawyers an opportunity to summarize the evidence and to try to persuade the jury to accept their client's view of the case.
Jury Deliberations and Decision: After hearing the closing arguments, the jury is sent to deliberate. During deliberations, members of the jury will decide how they will answer the questions presented in the Charge of Court and then return a final verdict.
Sequestered juries are very rare. Before you are assigned to such a jury, you will have an opportunity to discuss with the judge any problems this might create.
Still Have Questions?
If you still have questions about your summons or jury duty, please call the Cameron County Jury Administrator's Office at (956) 544-0842. Or if you want to e-mail the Cameron County Jury Administrator's Office you can e-mail any questions to email@example.com).
We understand you have questions, and we'll do everything we can to make your jury service easy and as interesting as possible. We rely on our citizens to keep our justice system running, and we thank you in advance for the very important part you play.