| Essex Vicinage Home | Back to Jury Index|

Frequently Asked Questions -- Essex County Jury Division

  1. Why do I have to serve?
  2. How was I selected for jury service?
  3. What If I have already served in the past 3 years?
  4. How long must I serve?
  5. Can I request a postponement of my jury service?
  6. How can I be excused from jury service?
  7. Are there penalties for not reporting for jury service?
  8. How much do I get paid?
  9. What If I need special accommodations?
  10. How will I know what to do when I arrive?
  11. Are employees of the State paid?
  12. What are the hours of the court?
  13. Where will I park?
  14. Is there public transportation nearby?
  15. What if I become ill while serving jury duty?
  16. Is smoking permitted in the court complex?
  17. Why do I have to wait around so much as a juror?
  18. What is the dress code for jurors?
  19. How do I find out if my service has been canceled?
  20. How Do I Contact the Jury Manager for My County?

1. Why do I have to serve?

The United States jury system and our system in New Jersey have their source in English history. The right to trial by jury in this country dates back to the Colonial period. This right is discussed in the Declaration of Independence, and is guaranteed by the Sixth and Seventh Amendments to the United States Constitution and in Article One of the New Jersey Constitution.

The guarantee of trial by jury is the reason you have been called to serve as a juror. It is both an honor and a duty to participate in our judicial process. As a juror, you will have the opportunity to observe, participate in, and increase your knowledge about the operation of our court system and the judicial branch of government.

Jury service is an important duty of citizenship. Having jurors available to decide the facts in a case and to apply the law is fundamental to our entire system of justice. The courts cannot function without members of the public offering their time to serve as jurors.

Top of Page

2. How was I selected for jury service?

Citizens are randomly selected to serve as jurors in trial courts located in the county of their residence. The legislature and governor determine the method of jury selection and the qualifications and acceptable excuses for jury service. In 1995, the legislature changed the law to enlarge the group of people required to report for jury service. Under the 1995 law, if you have a driver's license; are a registered voter; have applied for the homestead tax rebate, or have filed a state income tax return, your name is in the jury pool. Nearly all employment exemptions have been eliminated, including legislators, doctors, hospital workers, police and others. In 1997, the legislature revised the statutory juror qualifications to disqualify from jury service those individuals convicted of an indictable offense.

Top of Page

3. What If I have already served in the past 3 years?

Once you have fulfilled your jury service obligation, usually, you will not be called again for three years. You should keep juror summons as proof that you fulfilled your jury service in case you are called again within three years. Should you receive a notice within three years and wish not to serve, you must complete and return the questionnaire indicating the date on which you served and that you wish to not serve again. If you wish to serve, you must complete and return the questionnaire.

Top of Page

4. How long must I serve?

The term of service for all petit jurors is an anticipated two days or the duration of one trial. Sometimes, based on the needs of the courts, you may not be required to return for a second day. If however, you are required to report a second day and you are not involved in a jury selection process, you will generally be dismissed provided there are no unexpected trial demands for jurors.

Grand jury selection is held on the first day of service. The grand jury will be selected on the first day. If you are selected, your service will be on a specific day each week for approximately 19 weeks.

State grand jurors will be notified of the reporting date, time and location in a second notice following the summons/questionnaire.

Top of Page

5. Can I request a postponement of my jury service?

If you have a scheduling conflict or problem that would prohibit you from serving jury duty, you can request one postponement from your assigned service date to a future date. All requests must be received at least ten (10) days prior to the reporting date.

Top of Page

6. How can I be excused from jury service?

There are very few statutory reasons for being excused from jury duty. If you have an extreme hardship, or you feel that you should be exempt or excused from your service obligation, you can submit a request for excuse to the Jury Management Office. All requests must be received at least ten (10) days prior to the reporting date to:

Jury Management Office
Veterans Courthouse – 1 st floor
50 West Market Street
Newark, NJ 07102

Note: Your request to be excused must be approved by the assignment judge. A reasonable effort will be made to notify you if your request has been approved or denied. If, however, you do receive notification from this office, you must report on the assigned date.

Top of Page

7. Are there penalties for not reporting for jury service?

Jury service is both a privilege and an obligation of citizenship. While jury service can be inconvenient, your service is a necessary and valuable part of the legal system of this country. There are penalties for not reporting for jury service ranging from fines of up to $500, to a jail sentence or both.

Top of Page

8. How much do I get paid?

The first three days of jury service, you will be compensated $5.00 (five) dollars per day. On the fourth day of jury service and beyond, you will receive $40.00 (forty) dollars per day. There is no reimbursement for mileage. Juror checks are mailed directly from the State Department of the Treasury every Friday for each week of petit jury service. Grand Jurors are paid $5.00 for each day of service, upon completion of service.

Top of Page

9. What If I need special accommodations?

The New Jersey Judiciary is committed to providing equal access to all of its services, programs, and activities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Individuals requiring special accommodations for jury service should contact the Jury Management Office at least two weeks prior to your jury service date. Please notify the jury ADA liaison of the special accommodation needs so that you may be assisted accordingly.

TDD# For TTY/TDD (voice) dial #711 for New Jersey Relay Services.

For addition information on Court Access for the Disabled go to www.judiciary.state.nj.us/services/aocada.htm

Top of Page

10. How will I know what to do when I arrive?

Upon your arrival at the jury management office, you will be given written information, a juror orientation and shown a video explaining your duties and responsibilities as a juror. Additionally, the trial judge will instruct you throughout the trial process. You do not need special knowledge or ability to perform your service as a juror. Jurors need only to keep an open mind, use common sense, concentrate on the evidence presented, and be fair and honest in their deliberations.

Top of Page

11. Are employees of the state paid?

Jurors that are full-time employees of any State agency, independent authority, instrumentality, or entity of any political subdivision of the State do not receive payment for juror service since they are entitled to their usual compensation while serving as a juror.

Top of Page

12. What are the hours of the court?

Court hours are 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Lunch break will be announced in the jury waiting area between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. A dismissal announcement is made at the end of the day.

Top of Page

13. Where will I park?

A secured juror parking lot is located between 13 th and South Orange Avenues. Please pull a ticket upon entering the facility. Jurors must have the parking ticket validated to avoid the $10.00 parking fee.

Bring your parking ticket with you when reporting for jury service. Validation machines are located in the Jury Assembly Area.

Top of Page

14. Is there public transportation nearby?

For New Jersey Transit bus and train schedules, please contact New Jersey Transit at 800-772-2222. Bus schedules are also available in the Information and Community Relations Center, located on the 1 st in Room 132.

Top of Page

15. What if I become ill while serving jury duty?

If you become ill after checking in, do not leave before being excused by the jury management staff. If you become ill before you report for jury service, you must call the jury management office at 973-693-5913 between 8 and 9:00 a.m.

Top of Page

16. Is smoking permitted in the court complex?

Smoking is not permitted in the court complex.

Top of Page

17. Why do I have to wait around so much as a juror?

The most common complaint of jurors is the unexplained time sitting in the jury assembly area. What might appear to be a waste of time to you is actually time being used by judges and attorneys working on resolving cases. Many cases are resolved once the parties realize that trial is imminent because citizens such as you are here.

Top of Page

18. What is the dress code for jurors?

Jurors must wear clothing appropriate for an appearance in court. Shorts, T-Shirts, or clothing containing statements, logos, or offensive symbols are not permitted. In addition, work uniforms, including police uniforms, should not be worn.

Top of Page

19. How do I find out if my service has been canceled?

An on line call off message is posted on the judiciary website at the address listed below: http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/juryreporting/essex/index.htm

A recorded message regarding court closing announcements can be accessed by dialing 973-693-5896. Media announcements will be on radio station 101.5 FM and on FOX TV -Channel 5 between 6 and 9 a.m.

All jurors are required to call 973-693-5896 after 5 p.m. on the day before they are required to report, even if this day is a Sunday or a holiday. A recorded message provides jurors with specific reporting information. The recorded message will inform you as to whether your service is still required. You may be called-off and not required to appear or rescheduled to a future date. If the telephone recording is not operational, report for jury duty as directed on your summons.

Top of Page

20. How Do I Contact the Jury Manager for My County?

Call us at (973) 693-5913 or visit www.judiciary.state.nj.us/directory/jury.htm

Top of Page

Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © New Jersey Judiciary