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JERS - Jury Evidence Recording System


The court is using JERS, which allows evidence admitted during trial to be viewed electronically in the jury deliberation room after a case is submitted to the jury. JERS relies on a large jury room monitor to provide jurors easy access to evidence during their deliberations. Attorneys of record will be given an opportunity to review the exhibits at the conclusion of the presentation of evidence. Court personnel, at the judge’s direction, will release exhibits to the jury after the court provides the final jury instructions and directs the jury to begin deliberating.

JERS has the ability to:

-  Store all exhibits submitted prior to trial, and then designate just those exhibits that are admitted into evidence for the jury’s use during deliberations;

-  Print a list of the exhibits, by number and by description, that can be released to the deliberating jury; and

-  Restrict how the jury may review the exhibit: Audio Only, Video Only, Zoom Off (Zoom Off restricts the jury from enlarging an exhibit on the touch screen in the deliberation room).  The presiding judge will determine how and if JERS will be used during any trial.


This video provides a brief demonstration of the program:


Acceptable File Types

Electronic evidence that a party intends to provide to the jury for the jury’s use during deliberations must be in one of the formats that is compatible with JERS. Each format listed below is commercially available to the public, is in common use, and is acceptable to the National Archives:

-  Documents and Images: .pdf, .txt, .jpg, .bmp, .tif, .gif, .png

-  Audio Files: The court will only accept audio files that are in an uncompressed Waveform audio format (.wav), a Motion Pictures Expert Group format (.mp3), or an Audio-Video Interleave format (.avi). No other formats are acceptable.

-  Video Files: The court will accept only video files that are in an Audio-Video Interleave format (.avi), a Motion Pictures Expert Group format (.mp4), or Windows Media Video file format (.wmv). No other formats are acceptable.

-  Audio or video content that requires proprietary software or third party "codecs" to play and cannot be reviewed by the court will be returned. Use of the designated audio and video file formats is necessary to ensure that the submissions can be reviewed by the court. The court will not convert audio or video files to an acceptable format.

-  Each pdf file may not be larger than 15mb.

-  Size limitation for all other file types is 500mb.


Submitting Exhibits

Counsel must email each proposed exhibit under 25MB to (link sends e-mail) not later than 3 days prior to the final pretrial conference for civil cases and not later than 3 days prior to trial for criminal cases.

Any proposed exhibit over 25MB must be submitted to the court using a storage device such as a thumb drive or CD/DVD.

*Parties must submit copies of their exhibits for trial according to the directives included in the Trial Management Order. Each exhibit file should be clearly named as in the examples below:

Exhibit number_exhibit description.file extension:

1_camera footage.wmv


or, if an exhibit has sub-parts:

Exhibit number-exhibit subpart_exhibit description.file extension:

3-a_photo of store from east view.jpg

3-b_photo of store from west view.jpg


Note: The exhibit description will appear on the list displayed to the jury.


- The exhibit description may not exceed 130 characters, including spaces.

- Quotation marks, brackets, parentheses, and foreign language accent marks may not be used in the exhibit description. Hyphens and underscore characters must be used only as shown in the examples above.


Prior to Trial

As outlined above, counsel must submit all proposed exhibits not later than 3 days prior to the final pretrial conference for civil cases and not later than 3 days prior to trial for criminal cases.


During Trial

JERS does not have a practical impact on attorneys when they are presenting exhibits during trial.  Exhibits will be presented and admitted in the traditional format (i.e. on paper or electronically).  The presiding judge will decide what method will be used to present evidence to the jury.  Attorneys must have paper copies of all exhibits available to be marked by the courtroom deputy when admitted by the court and for use by the jury during deliberations.


On occasion, evidence may be modified by a witness (for example, marking a picture or document) or by the court (redacting certain pages of an exhibit) during the trial.  If evidence is modified prior to the case being submitted to the jury, the courtroom deputy will work with counsel to substitute the original exhibit in JERS with the new or additional version of the exhibit that the court admitted.


Prior to Jury Deliberations

The courtroom deputy will meet with counsel, and counsel will review all exhibits that are entered in JERS to guarantee the evidence has been admitted and is labeled correctly.  JERS allows the jury to zoom in or zoom out of any evidence (other than audio or video submissions).  The default setting allows jurors to use the zoom function.  If a lawyer objects to the use of the zoom function, he or she needs to let the presiding judge know before the exhibits are submitted to the jury.  The presiding judge will advise the jury as part of his or her charge that JERS is available in the deliberation room and explain that a tutorial is also available.



The custody of exhibits and the handling of exhibits for appellate purposes is addressed by Local Rule 83E(d)-(e) and Eighth Circuit Rule 10A.