Bond County Board Seeks Relief From State Jury Pay Law

The Bond County Board has passed a resolution seeking relief from a state law that increased the pay of jurors in civil trials.

The Illinois General Assembly approved the law in December of 2014 and it went into effect on June 1, 2015.

Bond County Circuit Clerk Rex Catron said that for a time, counties were able to decide whether they wanted a six-person or 12-person jury for a civil case. The fees for each option were different. That action was determined to be unconstitutional, so a 12-person jury is now required for civil cases.

Catron said another change that has made a local impact is juror compensation. Previously, jurors were paid $10 a day plus round trip mileage. As of July 1, 2015, jurors are paid $25 for the first day of service plus $50 for each additional day. Jurors are no longer paid mileage.

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The country board resolution states the increased fees have the potential, or will likely result in significant and pressing burden on Bond County.

It will be sent to the United Counties Council of Illinois which is being asked to retain legal services to assist in the drafting, preparation and filing of a legal brief regarding the issue, to be submitted to the Illinois Supreme Court.