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COVID-19 Juror Info

The Judges and staff of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana are committed to taking reasonable measures to protect the safety and well‐being of jurors called to serve during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are closely following and reinforcing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local and state health authorities and have taken precautionary measures to limit the potential spread of COVID-19 while also ensuring that we are able to continue with essential judicial proceedings.

  • The following are some of the preventative measures the Court has taken to "stop the spread" of COVID-19 and keep the public safe.
  • By Order of the Court, all vaccinated and non-vaccinated persons summoned for jury service, and court staff interacting with people reporting for jury service, must wear face coverings while in rooms and public spaces designated for juror check-in, orientation, and related activities until entering a courtroom.
  • Once jurors arrive in the courtroom, the presiding Judge will instruct you on face covering policies that are in effect in the courtroom, jury room, and other spaces. Judges are authorized to ask about individuals' vaccination status.
  • All other persons entering any courthouse in the Southern District of Indiana are encouraged, but not required, to wear a face covering.
  • All visitors are required to answer this question before being allowed to enter a courthouse in the Southern District of Indiana, "Regardless of your vaccination status, have you experienced any symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 48 hours?".  Employees also conduct self-health screenings each morning before reporting to work.
  • The courthouse's janitorial staff conduct cleaning in all public spaces at least once per day.

Please review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), provided below, for more information relating to the Court's COVID-19 protocols, prevention, and juror protection efforts.

COVID-19 Symptoms and High-Risk Individuals - FAQs:

What are COVID-19 Symptoms?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recognized symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • New loss of smell or taste
  • Congested/runny nose different from pre-existing allergies
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Unexplained muscle aches

Who is considered to be at "high risk" for illness related to COVID-19?

See the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for information on people who may be more likely to become severely ill.

Receiving a Summons to Appear for Jury Service During the COVID-19 Pandemic - FAQs:

If I receive a Summons to Appear for jury service during the COVID-19 pandemic, how can I safely pre-check-in for jury service?

If you receive a Summons to Appear, issued by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, please follow the steps below to safely check-in for jury service:

STEP 1:  Confirm your appearance either online or by telephone at (877) 803-2073.

STEP 2:   Within 48 hours PRIOR to your reporting date & time:  Complete a self-health screening and inform the jury office of any COVID-19 related symptoms or exposure, including:

New loss of taste or smell

Fever or chills

Cough

Sore Throat

Shortness of breath

Muscle Pain

Nausea or Vomiting

Diarrhea

Congestion

Headache

Fatigue

Runny Nose

Also, please indicate if you believe you have recently been exposed to a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or who is showing any of the symptoms listed above.  If any of the above does apply to you, please send a detailed email to jury@insd.uscourts.gov or send your explanation via FAX to 317-229-3727 immediately. Please be sure you include your name and participant number in the email or FAX.

STEP 3:  The evening prior to your reporting date:  After 6:00 p.m., call and confirm via telephone that the trial is scheduled to proceed as planned, and provide the Court with updated information regarding any COVID-19-related exposure or symptoms.
 

How do I safely and physically check-in on the day jury service is scheduled to begin during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Upon entering the courthouse, you will be asked if you have experienced any symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 48 hours, undergo security screening, and then be directed to the jury assembly room.

Consistent with the Court's General Orders and policies related to COVID-19, all persons summoned for jury service, and court staff interacting with you, must wear face coverings while in rooms and public spaces designated for juror check-in, orientation, and related activities. Once you enter a courtroom to begin your jury service, the judge will instruct you on masking procedures in the courtroom and other spaces.

Deferring Jury Service – FAQs:

May I request to be excused from Jury Service for circumstances related to COVID-19?

Yes.  If you are in a "high risk" category and wish to request deferral of your service, you must submit your request for deferral along with the completed Federal Jury Service Questionnaire (2-sided).  A request to defer your jury service will not be accepted without the completed questionnaire.

  • If you complete the questionnaire using the paper form, you must also include a letter asking to be deferred and explaining your situation.  Return both to our office in the enclosed, postage-paid envelope or via fax to (317) 229-3727.
  • If you complete the questionnaire online, you must submit the request to defer your jury service via the online form provided.  You may do so after completion of the online questionnaire by email to ejuror@insd.uscourts.gov, by fax to (317) 229-3737, or on paper using the enclosed, postage-paid envelope.  Please ensure your name and participant number are indicated on your request.

Keep in mind that while a circumstance related to COVID-19 is a basis to request a deferral, your deferral request must be evaluated by the Court.

Face Coverings and Cleaning Supplies - FAQs:

What are the Court's face covering requirements?

Consistent with the Court's General Orders and policies related to COVID-19, all persons summoned for jury service, and court staff interacting with you, must wear face coverings while in rooms and public spaces designated for juror check-in, orientation, and related activities. Once you enter a courtroom to begin your jury service, the judge will instruct you on masking procedures in the courtroom and other spaces.

Will Personal Protective Equipment ("PPE") be available?

Face coverings will be available for all persons who enter the courthouse, including individuals who are called to serve as jurors. For court proceedings, the Judge determines the face covering policy in their courtroom and related spaces. The Judge may order that certain individuals (attorneys, parties, witnesses, and/or jurors) wear a clear, plastic face shield rather than a face covering. If you are asked to wear a face shield, the court will provide one to you.

In addition, hand sanitizer, wipes, and /or cleaning solution and paper towels will be placed at frequently used places in the jury assembly areas and the courtroom.

Serving on a Jury During the COVID-19 Pandemic: - FAQs

I am healthy but serving as a juror right now makes me really nervous. Is there anyone I can talk to?

The Court completely understands that many people may be nervous or have concerns about being asked to serve as a juror in the middle of a pandemic. Please take a moment to read about what the Court is doing to keep its employees, litigants, jurors, and any members of the public safe. If you still have concerns after reviewing the Court's protocols related to COVID-19 prevention, please contact the jury office by phone at (317) 229-3743, email at jury@insd.uscourts.gov, or by mail at Jury Administration, 46 East Ohio Street, Room 105, Indianapolis, IN, 46204.

What about lunch?

Individuals called for jury service are allowed to bring a cold lunch, packed in a cooler (upon entrance to the building, you will need to advise the security officers that you are a juror, and your lunch and cooler will be inspected). You will be able to leave your lunch with your personal effects while you are in the courtroom. Or, you may obtain lunch from one of the many restaurants that are available within walking distance of the Courthouse.

You will be able to eat your lunch either in the courthouse or outside, as you prefer. If you eat in the courthouse, jury staff will provide you with a clean eating space for lunch.

What if I am sequestered?

If an Order is entered to sequester jurors during trial, the Clerk's Office, at the direction of the Court, will provide and pay for meals and/or lodging for jurors during the trial and deliberations.