08Dec
By: Katherine On: December 8, 2016 In: Uncategorized Comments: 16
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If you’ve received a jury duty summons, chances are you have at least a few questions about it — or maybe just one:  “How do I get out of this?”

Serving on a jury is a right and a privilege for a US citizen. But it can also be a confusing process. To be better prepared, check out the answers to seven of the most common questions about jury duty.

US Jury Duty Questions & Answers

1. How was I chosen?

Courts keep a list of eligible jurors that are selected at random whenever a jury term is required. The court compiles this from sources like voter registration lists and lists of licensed drivers.

2. What are the requirements to serve as a juror?

While requirements may vary slightly from state to state, the general requirements are:

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must be a resident of the state and county in which you are asked to serve.
  • You must be adequately proficient in English to satisfactorily complete the juror qualification form.
  • You must be physically and mentally able to serve.
  • You must not be a convicted felon.

3. Can US immigrants serve on a jury?

Only US citizens can be jurors. Both documented and undocumented immigrants often receive a summons for jury duty, as many are licensed drivers. The summons will usually ask if you are a US citizen.

Immigrants can prove they are not eligible for jury duty by showing the court their green card, passport, or immigration papers.

4. Do I have to serve on a jury?

If you meet the above requirements, you must show up for jury duty. The court will make some exceptions for people who suffer undue hardship or other extreme inconveniences as a result of being summoned.

If you are not legitimately inconvenienced by having to serve on a jury, do not try to think of ways to convince the court that you cannot serve — there are even penalties for avoiding jury duty!

5. What about my job?

Your job is protected by state law — an employer cannot fire you or threaten your position when you receive jury duty. Jurors may even receive a small daily wage.

6. Why will I be examined by the court?

The examination seeks to find out if you have any personal interest, prejudice, or preconceived notions about the case — essentially anything that would prevent you from being an impartial juror.

For example, you may have already read a great deal about the case and have formed opinions, or you may be related to someone involved in the case.

If this occurs, the court will excuse you from the jury panel.

7. If I am selected as a juror, what is expected of me?

If you are selected, you must take an oath stating that you will consider all the evidence in the case, follow the instructions given to you, deliberate impartially, and reach a fair verdict.

You are not allowed to talk about the case with anyone during the trial, not even family members or other jurors. You must avoid all media exposure regarding the case, including relevant newspaper articles or news broadcasts.

As a juror, you are required to remain impartial and reach your decision only on the evidence presented during the trial.

8. Are interpreters available for jurors?

If you have limited English proficiency and receive a jury duty summons, whether this is appropriate grounds for excusal depends on the state where you reside. In New Mexico, for example, all citizens are required to serve, regardless of whether they speak English fluently or not. Contact your local district court to determine whether you are eligible for exemption based on your level of English proficiency.

If you are deaf or hard-of-hearing, you are entitled to a qualified American Sign Language interpreter and cannot be excused from jury duty based on your hearing ability. This right is guaranteed by The Americans with Disabilities Act.

If you have limited English proficiency or are deaf or hard-of-hearing and require an interpreter for jury duty you must first alert your local district court. In most cases, the court will provide a qualified interpreter for you (although court interpreting guidelines vary by state).

You may also seek out your own certified court interpreter through the help of a professional language provider such as Legal Language Services. Our interpreters are well-versed in legal terminology and have years of experience interpreting in court settings. Contact us to learn more.

If you have additional questions regarding jury duty, you should ask court officials when you are first summoned or before you are sworn in as a juror.


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16 Comments:

    • Alejandra Rodriguez
    • June 01, 2017
    • Reply

    What happens if I decide NOT to fill out the questionnaire?

      • Anonymous
      • October 02, 2017
      • Reply

      I believe they’re just going to make you fill it out in paper form when you arrive at the courthouse anyways.

        • Sharon Curtis
        • March 12, 2018
        • Reply

        I’m planning on going to jury duty tommorow. I totally forgot to fill out my questionnare. Will they still issue me a warrant?

    • anonymous
    • October 25, 2017
    • Reply

    What if you have no evidence that you are a immigrant, even if you are

    • Joyce Nix
    • February 21, 2018
    • Reply

    What if i missed 3 times coming to jury duty. This last time which is #3, But i was sick. i have no medical coverage so i brought over the counter cough medicine. And i stayed home to get better. What will happen to me now?

    • Sharon Curtis
    • March 12, 2018
    • Reply

    I’m a police dispatcher/911 call taker. Will I be dismissed if I am familiar with the case?

    • Yes.

    • Julia M. White
    • May 16, 2018
    • Reply

    I have a question. I am to report for jury service tomorrow morning. I have misplaced my summons. What do I tell them? Please respond tonight,,if possible! Thank you!

    • Susan LaMotta
    • January 15, 2019
    • Reply

    I don’t believe for one minute that I was chosen “randomly “. I get a summons every 6-8 months, though I’m never chosen for the jury. What a waste of my time, gas, etc.

      • Taylor
      • July 07, 2019
      • Reply

      Same here, every 6-8 months I get “randomly” picked even though none of my friends/family have ever even gone.

    • Bill
    • February 18, 2019
    • Reply

    I lived in the USA for 20 years on a Green Card. I never registered to vote not did I ever receive a notice for jury duty. Thing have changed since 2001 when I moved back to Canada.

    • George
    • March 04, 2019
    • Reply

    If I work p.m. shift and report for jury duty during a.m. time, am I required to work my p.m. job the evening I am to report for jury selection ?

    • Sam
    • March 18, 2019
    • Reply

    I can never understand why they always mail this form to the non-U.S. citizen. This kind of information is extremely easy to get from the data base. Keep doing this just waste the taxpayer’s money and waste people’s time to respond.

    • David
    • March 26, 2019
    • Reply

    It is unfathomable to me that this isn’t a HUGE ISSUE for our courts. The fact that someone who is not a U.S. citizen and also not in this country legally, can receive a notice for jury duty and rather than risk any type of discovery by providing evidence that they are not a U.S. citizen, instead show up for and become a member of a U.S. jury seems highly probable.

    And yet the fact that this can even remotely happen is utterly un-Constitutional. And the repercussions to justice immeasurable — you could completely throw a conviction out based on something like this happening.

    And yet this site treats it as some sort of common bureaucratic issue that can be resolved by simply informing people that a mistake has been made, because you’re not even in this country legally?

    My freaking god, what is the matter with people. This should be a MAJOR ISSUE in the media and government.

      • Sam Clemens
      • August 23, 2019
      • Reply

      I’m sure complaining on a help forum’s obscure topic thread by ranting about immigrants is going to solve your perceived problem. Maybe you should take up the profession of constitutional law. After all, “To succeed in other trades, capacity must be shown; in the law, concealment of it will do.” Still, something tells me you’ll simply come back to your computer and continue to pump your textual hot air into the lungs of the internet. Next time, however, hopefully you’ll do it in a forum that is, in fact, relevant to your rant.

    • Letty
    • June 26, 2019
    • Reply

    I am not a US citizen and I received this paper , what should I do ,?

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