Detroit's 36th District court to pay jurors cash, same day
Detroit — Jurors who serve at Detroit's 36th District Court will now be able to walk out with money in their pocket the same day they serve.
Previously, jurors had to wait several weeks for a check for their jury service. Now, the court will go to cash payments.
The court announced the change in policy Thursday in a statement on its website. Chief Judge Nancy Blount said the court is "always exploring new ways to broaden citizen participation in the jury system," which she said is challenged because some people are skittish about paying for parking downtown, near the courthouse.
"Paying our jurors daily, in cash, will resolve that issue," Blount continued.
In addition to $30 for the first day of service and $45 for the second and subsequent days of service, jurors at 36th District Court are paid a flat $10 fee to cover mileage.
Court administrator Kelli Moore Owen notes that "jurors are not compensated for parking or travel expenses, and unlike most other district courts, we do not have the option of offering free parking."
Blount told The News that about 63 percent of people who are sent jury notices actually show up. The change wasn't made with a specific numeric goal in mind, Blount said, but she added "we would like that to go up."
Financially, the change is "a wash," she said, though there could be savings in the long run. Cash payments mean no checks to process, no postage to pay for, and no chasing down jurors to remind them to cash their checks.
Jurors will be given cash vouchers, which they can switch out for legal tender at a kiosk on the second floor.
In 2017, the court had about 45 jury trials, officials said.