Jury selection refers to a procedure employed to choose the people from among the community using a reasonably random method to serve on a trial jury. Indiana Jury Rules govern petit jury assembly, selection, and management in all courts of the State of Indiana.
The judges of the trial courts administer the jury assembly process. Jury administrators are appointed to administer the jury assembly process. The jury administrator shall compile the jury pool annually by selecting names from lists approved by the Supreme Court. Later, the jury administrator shall randomly draw names from the jury pool as needed to establish jury panels for jury selection. After the date of the drawing of names from the jury pool, the jury administrator shall send notice of the period during which selected jurors service may be performed.
The summons shall include the following information: directions to court, parking, public transportation, compensation, attire, meals, and how to obtain auxiliary aids and services required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The judge may direct the jury administrator to include a questionnaire to be completed by each prospective juror.
The court shall determine if the prospective jurors are qualified to serve. In order to serve as a juror, a person shall state under oath or affirmation that he or she is:
- a citizen of the United States;
- at least eighteen (18) years of age;
- a resident of the summoning county;
- able to read, speak, and understand, the English language;
- not suffering from a physical or mental disability that prevents him or her from rendering satisfactory jury service;
- not under a guardianship appointment because of mental incapacity;
- not a person who has had rights to vote revoked by reason of a felony conviction and whose rights to vote have not been restored; and
- not a law enforcement officer, if the trial is for a criminal case.
Any person selected to serve as a juror has an obligation to serve so, however, the court may excuse any person from reporting for jury service whose bona fide religious conviction and affiliation with a religion prevents the prospective juror from performing jury service. A person who has completed a term of jury service in the twenty-four months preceding the date of the person’s summons may also claim exemption from jury service.
In all civil cases, the jury shall consist of six persons, unless the parties agree to a lesser number of jurors before the jury is selected. In both civil and criminal cases the parties shall make all challenges for cause before the jury is sworn to try the case. The court shall sustain a challenge for cause if the prospective juror
- served as a juror in that same county within the previous three hundred sixty-five days in a case that resulted in a verdict;
- will be unable to comprehend the evidence and the instructions of the court due to any reason including defective sight or hearing, or inadequate English language communication skills;
- has formed or expressed an opinion about the outcome of the case, and is unable to set that opinion aside and render an impartial verdict based upon the law and the evidence;
- was a member of a jury that previously considered the same dispute involving one or more of the same parties;
- is related within the fifth degree to the parties, their attorneys, or any witness subpoenaed in the case;
- has a personal interest in the result of the trial;
- is biased or prejudiced for or against a party to the case; or
- is a person who has been subpoenaed in good faith as a witness in the case.
In civil cases the court shall sustain a challenge for cause if the prospective juror is interested in another suit, begun or contemplated, involving the same or a similar matter.