Missoula Jury Selections Now Being Done Electronically
As of Friday the Missoula County Clerk of District Court’s office sent 10,000 notice of jury mailers.
For the first time, the questionnaire as to qualification for jury service is now being collected online; a shift that will eliminate postage costs for the potential juror and the County. Clerk of District Court Shirley Faust said the move will save money for the county and make it easier and more convenient for citizens to comply with the request.
"Number one, it will reduce postage costs for the county and for the jurors," Faust said. "It also increases the efficiency in our office. When we receive the paper questionnaire, we update our system and then we scan the information into our system and save them so that they're available electronically for the attorneys whenever a trial comes up. Now, if we receive them electronically, all we have to do is save them. It's just so much more efficient."
Faust said requests to be excused from jury duty will be considered under certain conditions.
"If they're going out of town, for instance," she said. "If you'll be traveling and have already booked your tickets, that can be excused, or if folks have a medical condition that prevents them from being able to sit for long periods of time, or to be able to understand what's going on in the courtroom, with a doctor's certification, they can also be excused."
Faust said people of all ages and occupations are called to jury duty, including lawyers and those involved with law enforcement.
Faust said it is very important that Missoula residents respond to the postcard they find in the mailbox this week under penalty of law.
"Anyone who ignores this annual notice, by statute the clerk of court has to certify a failure to respond to the annual notice, as well as a failure to respond to a call for jury duty," she said. "There were 10,000 notices that we just sent out, so if folks don't get an immediate response, please be patient and we will get to your question as quickly as we can."
For questions, contact the Clerk of Court's office at 258-4780, and bypass the automated message by pressing zero.