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Juror Basics


JUROR SOURCE LIST

The names of persons eligible for jury service are selected from a juror source list of county residents whose names and addresses are obtained from a merger of four lists:

  1. Registered voters
  2. Licensed drivers
  3. Filers of state gross income tax returns
  4. Filers of homestead rebate applications

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QUALIFICATIONS OF JURORS

Every person summoned as a juror:

a. Shall be 18 years of age or older
b. Shall be able to read and understand the English language
c. Shall be a citizen of the United States
d. Shall be a resident of the county in which the person is summoned
e. Shall not have been convicted of any indictable offense under the laws of this State, another state, or the United States
f. Shall not have any mental or physical disability, which will prevent the person from serving as a member of a jury

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JUROR SUMMONS/QUESTIONNAIRE

When you are selected to serve as a juror, you will be mailed a one page document that contains two separate parts: a summons showing the date and time at which you are required to report; and a questionnaire that you must complete and return within 10 days. After reading all instructions, please complete and sign the questionnaire, which is the yellow portion of the document, and return it to the jury management office within 10 days. Please bring the "JUROR" portion of the form with you. This will serve as your juror identification badge while serving. If you have any questions, please contact the jury management office at 973-693-5913.

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RESCHEDULING JURY SERVICE

Jury service is one of the most important duties of a citizen, and we recognize the sacrifices you are making in terms of your time and energy.

If you have a scheduling conflict or problem that would prevent you from serving jury duty on the date you are summoned, you can request to have your service rescheduled to a new date. All rescheduling requests must be received at least ten (10) days prior to the reporting date.

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EXCUSED

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 excused from your service obligation, you can submit your request to the jury management office. Medical excuse requests must be accompanied by a doctor’s note.

All requests must be submitted at least ten (10) days prior to the reporting date to:

Jury Management Office
Veterans Courthouse - 1st floor th, Room 150
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 not receive notification from this office, you must report on the assigned date.

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DISQUALIFICATION

A person is disqualified from serving as a juror if he or she is:

  1. A convicted felon
  2. A non-resident of Essex County
  3. A non-resident of the U.S
  4. Under the age of 18
  5. Unable to read and understand English, and
  6. Unable to mentally or physically perform the functions of a juror. (Doctor’s certification required.)

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JUROR COMPENSATION

Petit Jurors

For the first three consecutive days of jury service, petit jurors will be compensated $5.00 (five) dollars per day. On the fourth day of jury service and beyond, petit jurors 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

Grand jurors are compensated $5.00 (five) dollars per day for each day of service. There is no reimbursement for mileage. Grand jurors are paid upon completion of service. Juror checks are mailed directly from the State Department of the Treasury.

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TERM OF SERVICE

Petit Jurors

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

Grand Jurors

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

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EMERGENCY COURT CLOSINGS

A recorded message regarding court closings can be accessed by dialing 693-5896 or 693-5700. Media announcements will be on radio station 101.5 FM and on FOX TV -Channel 5 between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m.

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JUROR CALL-OFF SYSTEM

The Essex jury management office operates a recorded message system to inform jurors when they are not required to report as summoned. To determine if you are required to report, you must call (973) 693-5896 after 5 p.m. on the evening before your summons date. A recorded message will refer to the juror numbers located on the "JUROR" badge portion of your summons and will provide you with the reporting instructions. You may be called off indefinitely, or required to appear on a future date specified in the recording. If the recording is not operational, you must report as directed on your summons.

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DIRECTIONS TO THE ESSEX COUNTY COURT COMPLEX

For directions to the Essex County Courthouse, 50 West Market Street Newark, NJ 07102, please call (973) 693-5701 or visit our web site at www.judiciary.state.nj.us/directions/esxdirect.htm

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SECURITY

Sheriff’s Department personnel screen all persons, including jurors, when entering the court complex. To expedite this process, please observe the following:

  • Wear your JUROR badge at all times
  • Be prepared to remove all metal objects that will activate the metal detector including keys, coins, cell phones, cigarette packs, foil wrappers and large buckles
  • If the metal detector activates as you pass through, a hand-held metal detector will be used to screen you
  • Purses and other carried items, such as brief cases and backpacks, will be x-rayed
  • Leave pocketknives, scissors, pepper spray, glass bottles, etc. at home or in your vehicle; all potential weapons will be confiscated.
  • Cameras and recording devices are prohibited

The fewer metal items you are carrying, the faster you will pass through this area.

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Building Entrance:

The Juror entrance is located adjacent to the Juror Parking Lot on 13th Avenue. When entering the Court Complex, you must display your summons or Juror ID Badge. If you fail to display your badge, you may be required to use the public entrance located at the east end of the Veterans Courthouse ( 50 West Market Street) and the main entrance to the Hall of Records on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

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Jury System Improvements

  • Increased respect for citizens as jurors
  • Renovated facilities
  • Free secured juror parking
  • Increased juror pay from $5 to $40 after the third day of service
  • Repeal of all automatic exemptions which increased the jury pool
  • Production of statewide Juror Education Handbook with capacity for local insert
  • Improved orientation including personal greeting and orientation by staff and video orientation
  • Complimentary morning beverage (coffee/tea)
  • The encouragement of juror feedback upon completion of service
  • Reduction in term of service from 1 week /1 trial to 1 trial or 2 days
  • Detailed jury information on the judiciary Web site
  • Enforcement of Order to Show Cause Hearings for jurors that are summoned and fail to appear
  • Bar-coded juror questionnaires that can be easily scanned into the jury automated system
  • Annual updating of source lists
  • The establishment of a local vicinage jury committee to seek ways to further improve the overall juror experience

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Exit Survey

The court system encourages juror feedback as a means of measuring our progress and as a source of new ideas on how the system can be made better. For example, if you have completed service, the Superior Court of New Jersey - Essex Vicinage would greatly appreciate feedback on your experience as a juror. To complete and submit the survey please click on the appropriate link below:

Grand Jury Service Exit Survey (Acrobat pdf format)
Petit Jury Service Exit Survey (Acrobat pdf format)

Please return completed questionnaires to:

Jury Management Office
Veterans Courthouse -1st floor th, Room 150
50 West Market Street
Newark, NJ 07102

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Glossary of Legal Terms

Visit the judiciary’s website at www.judiciary.state.nj.us/resource.htm

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Court Volunteers

Volunteer Opportunities are available with several court programs in Essex County. Currently over 5,200 volunteers serve the court system. The New Jersey Judiciary recognizes the critical role of volunteers in promoting the public's trust and building a court/community partnership. They assist in handling cases, resolving disputes and working with juveniles.

For information about volunteer opportunities in Essex County, or visit the judiciary’w website at www.judiciary.state.nj.us/volunteer/essex.htm

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Additional Information

For information on how judicial process and the important role of jurors within the judicial system go to www.judiciary.state.nj.us/juror.htm

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