Jury Service

Gavel in hand

Your participation is important to Texas!  

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.

Each court randomly selects citizens' names from a list of voter registrations and a list of driver registrations from the county in which they live. Those qualified are randomly chosen to be summoned to appear for jury duty. This selection process helps ensure jurors represent a cross-section of the community, without regard to race, gender, national origin, age, or political affiliation.

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.

You do not need any special skills or legal knowledge to be a juror!

Jurors Must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States and a resident of the City of Mansfield in order to serve as a juror for Municipal Court;
  • Be at least 18 years of age;
  • Reside in the county of jury service;
  • Be able to read and write; and
  • Be of sound mind and good moral character.

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; or
  • 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 younger than 12 years of age and service on the jury would require leaving the child or children without adequate supervision
  • Are a student at a public or private high school
  • Are enrolled and attend college
  • 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 of state government
  • Are the caretaker of a person who is unable to care for themselves (an invalid); or
  • Can show a physical or mental impairment or an inability to comprehend or to communicate in English

Types of Cases Heard by Juries

There are two basic types of cases, criminal and civil (including family cases).

  1. Criminal 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."
  2. Civil Cases: 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.

Cases heard by the Mansfield Municipal Court are Class C misdemeanor violations that have penalties of a fine only. Jury trials are held in Mansfield Municipal Court, 1305 E Broad Street Mansfield, Texas 76140.

Note: Municipal Court does not hear civil cases.

Jury Selection

Being summoned for jury service does not guarantee that a person will actually serve on a jury. Cases in municipal court will be heard by a panel of six jurors. A larger group called the panel, will be sent to a courtroom where the jurors will be questioned under the supervision of the Judge. A juror may be excused from the panel if it is shown that the juror cannot act impartially concerning the case to be heard. In addition, each side, Defense and Prosecution, is allowed to remove three jurors from the panel without having to show any reason. The trial jury will be the first six of the remaining jurors on the panel.

Voir Dire or Questioning of the Jury Panel

It is a way for the parties to select a fair and impartial jury. Under the justice system, you may be questioned by each of the parties before they decide to remove a certain number of jurors from the jury panel. The state is represented by the city attorney, and the defendant is represented by an attorney or represents him or herself. For example, a party may ask you questions to see if you are connected to the trial or if you have any prejudice or bias toward anyone in the trial. These questions are not intended to embarrass you, but rather to help the parties in the jury selection process. You may ask the Judge to allow you to answer some questions away from the other jurors.

Working Together: Judge and Jury

The judge determines the appropriate law that should be applied to the case and the jury finds the facts in the case based on what is presented to them during the proceedings.

At the close of all the evidence, the Judge may submit to the jury the Charge of the Court. This will include legal instructions on this particular case and the questions that the jury is to answer from the evidence admitted.

Courthouse Security

To ensure the safety of everyone at the courthouse, expect to be screened through a metal detector. Firearms (even if you have a permit), pocket knives, "leatherman" type multi-use tools, scissors, knitting needles, and other pointed or sharp items are not allowed in the courthouse. Anything considered to be a weapon or that is deemed unacceptable by the security staff will be confiscated.

Jury Service Contact

Email:  court@mansfieldtexas.gov   
Phone: (817) 276-4716
Fax:  (817) 276-4715

Frequently Asked Questions:

How long does jury duty last? Jury service is normally for one (1) day.

How much are jurors paid? Jurors are paid $6.00 per day if they go through the Voir Dire process.

Can I be excused from jury duty? You may be excused from jury service if any one of the following apply:

  1. You are over 70 years of age.
  2. You have legal custody of a child under 15 years of age and jury service would leave the child unsupervised.
  3. You are a student in a secondary school or college and will be in class on the day of jury service.
  4. You are the caretaker of a person who is an invalid.
  5. You can show a physical or mental impairment or an inability to comprehend or to communicate in English.
  6. You are an employee of the legislative branch of the State of Texas.
  7. You have served more than five (5) days as a petit juror in county court during the last three (3) months, or in district court during the last six (6) months.
  8. You are a non-resident of the city of Carrollton.
  9. You are under the age of 18.
  10. You are a convicted felon.

If you are in one of the above categories and you wish to be excused from jury service complete and sign the back panel of your Jury Summons and mail, fax or email promptly to:

Mansfield Municipal Court 

1305 E Broad Street  
Mansfield, Texas 76063     
Fax (817) 276-4715  

If you will be unable to be present for jury service and you do NOT fall within one of the categories above call the court office at 817-276-4716 and request a reset.

Legal Terminology

Bailiff - A court attendant whose duties are to keep order in the courtroom, to carry out court instructions, to take care of your requests, and to see that you are comfortable and well informed.

Challenge for Cause - A challenge for cause is an objection made by a party to a juror that automatically disqualifies the juror from serving as a juror in that case, or which in the opinion of the court renders the juror unfit to sit on the jury. Upon such challenge the examination is not confined to the answers of the juror, but other evidence may be heard for or against the challenge.

Clerk of Court - Court official who keeps track of court files, records, and exhibits.

Court Reporter - A person who by shorthand or stenograph takes down testimony during court proceedings.

Counsel - One or more lawyers who represent a client

Defendant - In a civil case, the person being sued. In a criminal case, the person charged with having committed a crime.

Deliberations - The process by which a jury reaches a verdict, as by analyzing, discussing, and weighing the evidence.

Directed Verdict - A judgment entered on the order of trial judge who takes over the fact-finding role of the jury because the evidence is so compelling that only one decision can reasonably follow.

Exhibit - A document, record, or other tangible object formally introduced as evidence in court.

Felon - A person who has been convicted of a felony.

Foreperson - The juror who chairs the jury during deliberations and speaks for the jury in court by announcing the verdict. The presiding juror is usually elected by the jury at the start of deliberations.

Jury Pool - A panel of presumably qualified persons who have been summoned for jury duty and from among whom the jurors are to be chosen.

Jury Summons - A command sent out by the court, requiring a prospective jury to appear for jury duty.

Litigant - A party to a lawsuit.

Objection - The act of a party during a trial to call the court's attention to some matter or proceeding that may be improper.

Pending - Remaining undecided; awaiting decision.

Peremptory Challenge - A peremptory challenge is an objection made to a prospective juror without giving a specific reason for the objection. A specified number of peremptory challenges are automatically accepted by the court and are an important part of the process of obtaining a fair and impartial jury.

Perjury - The act of a person deliberately making material false or misleading statements while under oath.

Plaintiff - A person who brings a court action; the party who complains or sues in a personal action.

Poll - To ask how each member of a group individually voted. Typically, the court clerk will call the names of each individual juror to record his or her vote for the record.

Subpoena - An order commanding a person to appear before a court or other tribunal, subject to a penalty for failing to comply.

Testimony - Evidence given by a witness, under oath.

Verdict - A jury's finding or decision on the factual issues of a case. Or in a non-jury trial, a judge's resolution of the case.

Voir Dire - To speak the truth. The phrase denotes the preliminary examination the court may make of a prospective witness or juror to determine the qualifications of the witness or juror.  


The information contained on this website is not intended to take the place of the instructions given by the judge or the court concerning any aspect of jury service. In the event of any conflicts, the instructions and procedures given to you by the judge or the court should be followed.