The Court knows that your time is valuable and that you are setting aside many important tasks in order to perform your civic duty. Before you arrive for jury service, we take every possible step to ensure that the cases set for trial during your service are ready to proceed.
By Supreme Court Order of February 11, 2021, the moratorium on jury trials will expire on March 31, 201, and trial courts are free to resume jury trials on April, 1, 2021. According to the Order, jury trials may resume when local courts have determined that jury trials can be held in a safe environment, with observance of safety protocols, including strict social distancing and mask mandates.
“It is imperative that members of the public feel safe in returning to our courthouses for jury duty. Serving as a juror is one of the most important civic responsibilities to be undertaken by our citizens, and it is the courts’ responsibility to ensure their safety,” stated Chief Justice Weimer. “In a jury trial, jurors are the most important people in the courthouse because without them, our system of justice simply cannot work. Thank you to everyone who steps up to serve as a juror as we schedule trials to work through the backlog of cases resulting from the pandemic.”
Chief Justice Weimer continued, “Mindful of our responsibility to prove a safe environment for our jurors, we assembled a diverse team of experts from the legal field to develop best practices in resuming jury trials. We consulted with medical experts, including Dr. Joseph Kanter of the Louisiana Department of Health (who, coincidentally, responded to a summons for jury service), and Theresa Sokol, Louisiana State Epidemiologist, for advice on safety protocols. We have shared this advice with our judges, which I am confident will enhance the safety of our courthouses.”
Based upon the current infection rates and number of Grant Parish citizens that have been vaccinated, we believe that jury trials may resume in Grant Parish beginning April 19, 2021. For the health of those participating in the jury, the following precautions will be taken for petit jury terms:
The Court is sensitive to each person’s health and their privacy. However, given the nature of the proceeding, the Court requires that any request to be excused from jury duty prior to appearing in Court on the trial date, be made in writing. To be excused for a medical condition, the Court generally requires an explanation from a medical provider. Please note that any documentation provided to the Court will be available for review by both the district attorney and defense counsel and may form part of the appellate record.
All prospective jurors will be brought into the courtroom for a roll call, and general information will be given at that time. As each panel of jurors selected for questioning will be seated, the remaining jurors may be asked to wait outside the courtroom. When it is your turn, please be alert, courteous and honest about your f
All prospective jurors will be brought into the courtroom for a roll call, and general information will be given at that time. As each panel of jurors selected for questioning will be seated, the remaining jurors may be asked to wait outside the courtroom. When it is your turn, please be alert, courteous and honest about your feelings and opinions on issues. Upon completion of the jury selection process, anyone not selected will be released. If you need something in writing for your employer, please see the Grant Parish Clerk of Court.
If you are selected as a juror, the judge will give you detailed instructions and information concerning such matters as anticipated length of the trial, when to report back to the courtroom after a recess, what you are expected to do and not do as a juror, and other matters that the judge feels are relevant to your jury service.
La. R.S. 23:965 provides that:
A. (1) No employer shall discharge or otherwise subject any adverse employment action, without cause, any employee called to serve or presently serving any jury duty and no employer shall make, adopt, or enforce any rule, regulation, or policy providing for the discharge of any employee who has been called to serve, or who is presently serving on, any grand jury or on any jury at any criminal or civil trial, provided the employee notifies his or her employer of such summons within a reasonable period of time after receipt of a summons and prior to his or her appearance for jury duty.
(2) Any employer violating the provisions of this Subsection shall be required to reinstate all discharged employees at the same employment, wages, salary, benefits, and other conditions of employment enjoyed by said employees before their discharge. The employer shall additionally be fined not less than one hundred nor more than one thousand dollars for each employee discharged.
B. (1) Any person who is regularly employed in the State of Louisiana shall, upon call or subpoena to serve on a state petit or grand jury, or central jury pool, be granted a leave of absence by his or her employer, of up to one day for that period of time required for such jury duty. Such leave of absence shall be granted without loss of wages, or sick, emergency, or personal leave or any other benefit.