United States District Court - Northern District Court of California

Phyllis J. Hamilton, Chief Judge

Susan Y. Soong, Clerk of Court

How Jurors Are Selected

Public Notice of the Process by which Names of Prospective Jurors Are Periodically and Randomly Drawn

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1861, all litigants “have the right to grand and petit jurors selected at random from a fair cross section of the community.” The court uses a two-step process to select jurors.

First, a master jury wheel is created by selecting names at random from the lists furnished by the Secretary of State of California of registered voters and from the lists furnished by the California Department of Motor Vehicles of the holders of driver’s licenses and identification cards. Then, names are randomly drawn periodically from the master jury wheel to receive juror qualification questionnaires. Individuals’ answers to these questionnaires determine whether they are legally qualified to serve.

If so, the names of those persons are put on a second wheel, a qualified jury wheel. As prospective jurors are needed for a specific trial or grand jury, juror summonses are sent to persons randomly selected from the qualified wheel. All of these selections are carried out through an electronic data processing system programmed to provide pure randomized selection. The pure randomized process ensures that the mathematical odds of any single name being selected are substantially equal.