Circuit Clerk Jury FAQ

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Jury Service – Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions regarding jury service that are not addressed on this page please contact the Circuit Clerk, Brenda DeShields at (479) 271-1015.

You may bring a cell phone to the courtroom: however, it must be turned off. You may ask the Judge for special consideration of this rule if special circumstances exist, such as a family member’s medical needs requiring you to remain in close contact. You must give such information to the Judge and/or Clerk before the beginning of the trial.

There are no set rules about dress in court. Business casual is a good dress directive. You should also be comfortable. Please avoid extremes–shorts, halter tops, inappropriate t-shirts, muscle shirts, and dress of a similar nature are not permitted. The important thing is to remember that you are going to a place of respect, so please dress accordingly.

There could be some, in the initial beginning process of the trial, as the attorneys may need to submit documents to Court.

Benton County does not usually keep any jurors overnight.

The Benton County Judges have chosen to use registered voters. Every year the Circuit Clerk downloads 5,000 names to make up a master list from the Arkansas Voter Registration database of Benton County voters. This process is done at a random pull of the entire database, excluding those that have served in the last two years in Benton County, Arkansas. Then at the Circuit Clerk’s direction, the computer randomly draws 800 names from the master list to be qualified for a term of service. This process happens every four months.

Arkansas law does allow an option that is called Deferment of Term. However, this does not excuse you from your obligation to serve as a juror. This option simply allows you to transfer your term due to current circumstances.

In most cases, if you have been seated and sworn in as a juror to hear a case and this process has been completed before the lunch break, then the Court will provide lunch for you and continue to do so for each day until the trial ends. Meals are only provided for the actual jurors that hear a case. If you are called in and not seated to hear the case, lunch will not be provided. The presiding Judge will consider the needs of the jurors concerning the meal procedure.

No, you are not required to speak to anyone after the case. If contacted to do so, it is completely your decision. Some attorneys may contact you as jurors to see what they might have done differently during the trial as your opinion holds a great deal of importance to them. On rare occasions, a news reporter may contact you to discuss the case. Again, it is your choice who you speak to, if anyone.

Click here for the parking map. Please remember to not park in private parking lots as your car could be towed at your expense. The City of Bentonville is not currently charging a parking fee. If this changes and you receive a parking ticket, simply sign the back of the ticket legibly and deliver it to the bailiff of your court or the Circuit Clerk so that we can exempt you from this fine. You are exempt from parking fees as jurors.

In the State of Arkansas, anyone eighteen (18) years of age or older is eligible to serve, however, Arkansas does have a voluntary exemption for a person who is eighty (80) years of age or older. If you feel that you do not want to serve and you are eighty (80) years of age or older you must notify the Circuit Court Judge to officially be excused from service. Everyone ages differently so again, eighteen (18) years of age or older, and you meet the legal qualifications, you are eligible to serve.

No, unfortunately, the law doesn’t allow for this substitution. The juror has to come from the random pull of the Voter Registration database.

No, as this would allow one to become very educated in the juror process. The law prohibits one from being a “professional juror”. This is one of the reasons the random pull of jurors from a database is so important.

No. A wise Judge once asked a juror who had asked to be excused “If I excuse you, then who do I choose to replace you?” Everyone has circumstances and special needs. You can present your special request to the presiding Judge when you report for Court.

You are normally given a 24-hour notification. This is a short amount of time, however, this is so that we know almost without a doubt that the trial is going to occur. Trials are on the schedule daily and if we called every time we had one scheduled, you as a juror would have a lot of interrupted time being called in, only to be released once you arrived.

You will be notified via phone by one of the Deputy Clerks. A message can be left with a responsible older child or adult. No messages will be left on answering machines or cell phones. In the event we have advance notice of a trial, you may receive a text, voicemail, or email message for reminders or updates regarding the trial. You may also receive a text, voicemail, or email message if there is a cancellation of a trial. For cancellations due to the case settling or inclement weather, we will use the automated text voicemail messaging system as well as notify the local radio and T.V. stations.

You should contact the Circuit Clerk of any scheduled vacations or medical appointments via email at jury@bentoncountyar.gov.

You should contact the Circuit Clerk at 8:00 am on the day you are to report. The Clerk will then contact the appropriate Judge presiding over your case. (479) 271-1015.

There is no provision in Arkansas law for being excused from jury service due to employment or child care needs. If you feel your need is substantial, you may contact the presiding Judge for special consideration. You will be given the Judge’s contact number when you are summoned to appear.

A misdemeanor charge does not disqualify you from serving as a juror. A person can not be qualified if they have a felony conviction for which they have not been pardoned or the charges not expunged.

You may be required to appear before the presiding Judge to show cause why you did not appear as summoned. You could be fined, given community service or be placed in jail for not appearing.


To contact the Circuit Clerk regarding your jury service, please call (479) 271-1015 or email at jury@bentoncountyar.gov.

  • Circuit Clerk

    Brenda DeShields

    Contact

    Branch Locations

    Administration Building

    County Courthouse

    102 NE A St.
    Bentonville, AR 72712

    8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Courts offices open through lunch
    Archives and Juvenile closed 12 – 1 p.m.

    Recorder’s Office

    215 E Central Ave.
    Bentonville, AR 72712

    8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Recorder’s offices open through lunch

    Office Stops Recording Documents at 4:15 p.m.

    Passport Processing 8 a.m. to 3:40 p.m.

    Passport applications are processed by appointment only.

    Contact Information

    Staff Email

    Jury Email

    Archives:
    479-271-1710

    Bookkeeping:
    479-271-5710

    Child Support:
    479-271-5711

    Circuit Court Fax:
    479-271-5719

    Civil/Domestic:
    479-271-1015

    Criminal:
    479-271-1016

    Jury:
    479-271-1015

    Juvenile:
    479-271-5702

    Recorder’s Office:
    479-271-1017

    Bentonville Offices

    102 NE A St.
    Bentonville, AR 72712

    8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Filing Documents

    Civil Phone
    479-271-1015

    Criminal Phone
    479-271-1016

    Courts Fax
    479-271-5719

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