Jury service is an important civic duty. Jury service is a privilege and responsibility that you should accept with pride. By serving on a jury, you as a citizen will have a direct hand in the way justice is carried out. Without your willingness to serve as a juror, our judicial system could not operate.
Every two years we acquire a list of persons who have a valid driver’s license in Franklin County Tennessee from the Tennessee Department of Safety. Jurors are randomly selected from this list using our juror management software. Grand jurors are selected every four months and petit jurors are selected every two months. Jurors are not selected from voter registration in Franklin County.
The Grand Jury is a body of thirteen citizens of the County who meet to hear evidence of criminal activity, in order to determine if there is probable cause to require the defendant to stand trial in Criminal Court. Cases reach the Grand Jury by having been bound over by the General Sessions Court, or by having the cases presented directly to them by the District Attorney’s office. If the Grand Jury determines there is probable cause to require the person to stand trial, they will return a True Bill. If the Grand Jury does not find probable cause, it will then return a No True Bill, and the person will be discharged. After the Grand Jury has returned an indictment, the defendant will be brought into Criminal Court for arraignment.
It is also the duty of the Grand Jury to inquire into the condition and management of prisons and other buildings and institutions of the county, inquire into the condition of the country treasury, into any abuse of office by state or local officers, and to report the results of its actions to the court.
Franklin County Grand Jurors are selected to serve a four month term. The Grand Jury will meet every two months unless a special session is called. The next meeting of the Franklin County Grand Jury will be on January 9, 2017. Tom Shemwick is the Franklin County Grand Jury Foreman.
“It is the duty of your Grand Jurors to investigate any public offense which they know or have reason to believe has been committed and which is triable or indictable in this county. Any person having knowledge or proof that such an offense has been committed may apply to testify before the grand jury subject to the provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated.”
The Petit Jury (trial jury) is a panel of twelve persons called to issue a verdict in a civil action or a criminal prosecution. Franklin County Petit Jurors are selected every two months. Jurors will be given a list of dates that are set for trial during the two month term. The list of trial dates may be intimidating, but most trials are settled before the trial date.
To serve on a jury, you must be qualified
TCA 22-1-101 & TCA 22-1-102
- You must be eighteen years of age or older
- You must be a citizen of the United States
- You must be a resident of the State of Tennessee
- You must have been a resident of Franklin County Tennessee for at least twelve months
- You must not have a felony conviction
- You must not have ever been convicted of perjury or subornation of perjury
You may be disqualified from Jury Service if you fall in one of the following categories:
- You have a current case pending in the Franklin County Circuit Court (TCA 22-2-314)
- You have completed jury service in any county of this state within the past twenty-four months
You may request a postponement of Jury Service if
- The juror has not previously been granted a postponement to the juror making the request
- The juror contacts the Jury Coordinator/Clerk in person, by phone or in writing, to request a postponement
- The juror agrees to serve at a later session within 12 months of the current session
If you receive a summons for jury duty, please fill out the enclosed post card, place it in the enclosed envelope and mail it back to us as soon as possible. The information that you provide in the post card is very important to us. It will help us to be of better service to you.
Juror Notification Service
We offer a Juror Notification Service accessible through our website, www.franklincountycircuitcourtclerk.org. Jurors may now elect to receive jury trial cancellation notifications by text message and/or email. A juror would go to our website, click on Juror Reporting, then click on the Text and Email Notification link. The link will direct a juror to a web page where they can sign up to receive text messages and/or email notifications regarding trial cancellations and other juror information. Jurors will be purged from the notification service at the end of their service.