What is Jury Duty?

Petit Jury

There are two types of juries in Sumner County:  a petit jury and a grand jury.  A petit jury serves for one month, but can be called for jury duty multiple times within the month.  Most of the time, jurors only end up serving 1 - 3 days within that month.  However, sometimes we do have trials that last longer than 2 or 3 days but that is not often.  In most civil cases and in all criminal cases, parties are entitled to a trial by jury.  Your service is appreciated not only by the Circuit Court Clerk's office and the Judge, but is especially appreciated by the parties involved in the lawsuit.  Most civil and criminal trials have a jury of 12 individuals and depending on the length of the trial, there is usually 1 - 2 alternates.  
Tennessee Code Annotated 22-1-101 et seq. governs the qualifications and disqualifications of jurors.  In order to be eligible to serve as a juror you must be:

  • 18 years of age
  • A citizen of the United States
  • A resident of Sumner County for the 12 months preceding the date on the Summons

Persons who have been convicted of a felony or convicted of perjury or subornation of perjury are ineligble to serve.  Jurors are randomly selected through a computerized jury pool system which is made up of Tennessee Department of Safety licensed Sumner County drivers.

Grand Jury

The Grand Jury consists of 12 members and meets the first week (Monday through Thursday) of every month.  Each grand jury serves for three months.  The duties of the grand jury are:

  • To consider all criminal cases submitted to it by the District Attorney General
  • To inquire into any report of a criminal offense brought to its attention by a member of the grand jury
  • To inquire into any abuse of office by state or local official
  • To report the results of its actions to the court