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Question of the Month ~ June 2015

 

Q. What level of compensation do jurors receive in the Midwestern states for their services?

Juror compensation varies not only from state to state, but often from one county to the next. Other factors, such as time served and distance traveled, also determine the level of compensation. According to the National Center for State Courts, pay for jurors can range from a high of $50 per day (in Illinois, North Dakota and South Dakota) to a low of $10 per day — the minimum rate set by Iowa, Kansas and Ohio. Individual county courts can pay higher than that amount.
Over the past year, at least three states in the Midwest have considered proposals to boost juror pay.
Illinois SB 3075, signed into law in December, increased minimum compensation levels from $4 (first day) and $10 (subsequent days) to $25 (first day) and $50 (subsequent days). Michigan’s HB 4561, introduced in May, would give jurors a daily raise of $5 — up to $30 for the first day and $45 for each subsequent day of service.
In Minnesota, Gov. Mark Dayton proposed in his budget a pay increase for jurors (from $10 a day to $20). Since 2003, juror pay has been cut two times due to difficult fiscal conditions in the state. Dayton’s proposal would have restored pay to pre-2008 levels, but it was not included in the Legislature's final budget agreement.
Funding for juror pay comes from the state, the county or a combination of the two. Iowa, Minnesota and North Dakota are among the jurisdictions where juror compensation comes completely from the states' funding of the judicial branch. In contrast, one of the concerns raised about the recent pay increase in Illinois is that it adds a financial burden on local courts, which must pay for the increase. (Gov. Bruce Rauner has proposed reversing the changes made under SB 3075.)
Michigan is among the states that rely on a mix of state and local funding to pay jurors. Twelve years ago, when the Legislature increased juror pay, it established a fund to reimburse local counties to cover the higher costs. Money for the fund comes from a fee charged to individuals seeking to have their driver’s licenses reinstated or requesting a jury trial.
In addition to the prescribed monetary compensation, states and the federal government provide job protections for jurors — for example, prohibiting employers from firing or reprimanding workers for their jury service.
Nebraska is the only Midwestern state that requires employers to provide paid leave for an individual serving jury duty. But although paid time off isn’t legally required in most states, 67 percent of employers voluntarily provide paid time off for jury duty, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 

Article written by Grant Gregory. Question of the Month highlights a research inquiry received by CSG Midwest.