Chapter 13 of the Revised Judicature Act (RJA) authorizes two types of jury systems in Michigan. All trial courts must operate one of the authorized jury systems. In many counties the circuit, district, and probate courts all use the same jurors
Management of the jury system includes every aspect of selecting jurors and using their services from managing the jury board's work to devising accurate techniques for forecasting the number of jurors who will be needed, from automating the jury records to providing for the comfort and convenience of jurors during their term of service.
As with other aspects of court management, the chief judge of each trial court has the responsibility to manage the jury system. The chief judge must be committed to efficient use of court resources, including efficient use of jurors. The court should promulgate administrative policies for effective management of the jury system. These policies should be formulated through the same consultative process involving court staff, the bar, and other interested agencies – as is used in all court policymaking.
Centralized and effective management of the jury system should be implemented. There should be full-time administration of the jury system at the top managerial level of the court, with delegation of day-to-day operating responsibilities to a clerical or administrative staff member. Operating responsibilities should include the following.
- Supervising all aspects of juror selection.
- Setting up liaison between the jury management system and other court personnel to ensure two-way information flow about anticipated trial activities and the number of jurors available.
- Integrating management of juror selection and use so that the operation of each complements the other.
- Maintaining statistical records on the response and qualification rates for persons sent questionnaires or summoned, the numbers of jurors used (and not used) daily, and other statistics necessary to determine how many questionnaires to send out, how many jurors to summon, etc., in the future.
- Predicting both on a long-range and day-to-day basis the number of jurors needed at court.
- Managing the activities of jurors while at court.
- Maintaining attendance records.
- Notifying jurors to come to court.
- Preparing panels of jurors to be sent for voir dire.
- Arranging for payment of jurors.
- Planning for better management and recommending improvements when needed.
(Excerpted from "Management of the Jury System,” ABA Commission on Standards of Judicial Administration, by Maureen Solomon, 1975.)
The jury system used by each trial court should minimize inconvenience to citizens serving as jurors, broaden citizen participation in the jury system, distribute the responsibility for participation in the jury system among the people in as fair a manner as possible, minimize the term of service of a juror, minimize the number of trials on which an individual juror serves during the juror's term, and provide courteous and helpful treatment of jurors by all trial court personnel. (MCL 600.1301b)
For details about jury systems, the jury board, jury service, and more, see Section 12 of the Michigan Court Administration Reference Guide.