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Jury Service - General Information

The jury process is governed by state statues enacted by the New Jersey State Legislature and by Court Rules established by the New Jersey Judicial Council. Trial by jury is a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. It is a cornerstone of our democracy and as U.S. citizens, we have the responsibility and an obligation to serve as a juror. With the exception of voting, jury duty is the most significant way in which we take part in the democratic process.

The Juror Source List

The juror source list is a compilation of registered drivers, registered voters, and state income tax and homestead rebate filers. Names are drawn from the juror source list, at random, for summoning purposes. The juror source list is updated annually. This process removes duplicate names, those jurors permanently disqualified, and adds new names identified through the above sources.

The Questionnaire/Summons

The questionnaire/summons is a legal document. Please read the summons carefully and follow the instructions. You have to fill out the Juror Qualification Form (the yellow portion of the summons), sign it and mail it back to the Jury Management Office within ten (10) days of receiving it. Please make sure to provide all necessary documentation when requesting to be excused. (See Frequently Asked Questions ). Keep the "JUROR" portion of the summons. On the back of the "JUROR" portion of the summons is the telephone number you must call or the website you must visit after 5:00 p.m. on the day prior to your service day for reporting instructions.

NOTE: Failure to complete the questionnaire or making a false statement on the questionnaire may subject you to a $500.00 fine and/or contempt of court.

Qualification of Jurors

In accordance with N.J.S.A.2B:20-1, every person summoned as a juror:

  1. Shall be 18 years of age or older;
  2. Shall be able to read and understand the English language;
  3. Shall be a citizen of the United States ;
  4. Shall be a resident of the county in which the person is summoned;
  5. Shall not have been convicted of any indictable offense under the law of this State, another State, or the United States ;
  6. Shall not have any mental or physical disability that will prevent the person from properly serving as a juror.

If your are disqualified from jury service, you do not have to appear. However, you are still required to fill-out the questionnaire in order to avoid penalties.

For more information on disqualifications, please refer to Frequently Asked Questions.

Grounds for Excuse from Jury Service

An excuse may be granted only if:

  1. You are 75 years of age, or older.
  2. You have served as a juror in this county within the past three years.
  3. You have medical condition that is unlikely to change within the next twelve months which will prevent your service as a juror and which is verified by a licensed physician.
  4. Jury service will impose a severe financial hardship that will compromise your ability to support yourself or your dependents, considering factors such as household income, the possibility of reimbursement, and expected length of service.
  5. You have the personal obligation to care for another who requires your personal care and no alternative care is available without severe financial hardship.
  6. You provide "highly specialized technical health care services for which replacement cannot be reasonably obtained."
  7. Your are a health care worker directly involved in the care of a handicapped person and your presence is essential to that person's "regular and personal treatment."
  8. You are full-time member of the instructional staff at a grammar school or high school, are summoned during the school term, and a replacement cannot reasonably obtained.
  9. You are a member of a volunteer fire department or fire patrol, or a volunteer member of a first aid or rescue squad.

The above qualifications and list of grounds for excuse appear on the jury summons. When requesting an excuse you must provide documentation and details supporting the request. You must report as summoned if you do not receive a letter indicating you have been excused by the Court. The Assignment Judge, or designee, will determine whether to grant an excuse from jury service.

Note: Jurors are not permanently excused from jury service. If you are excused, you will be excused from a particular term of service. You may receive another questionnaire 3 years after you are excused. In order to be excused again, you must provide the necessary documentation each time you are summoned.

For more information on excuses, please refer to Frequently Asked Questions.

Failed to Appear as a Juror

In Hudson County , if you fail to respond or appear for jury service, the Judge may impose one or more of the following penalties:

  • Issue a bench warrant;
  • Fine you up to $500.00;
  • Impose community service;
  • Enter a civil judgment against you;
  • Hold you in contempt of court;
  • Order you fulfill your civic duty as a juror.

Name/Address Updates or Corrections

We recommend that you make corrections or updates on your juror questionnaire. If you are not sure that you have done so, know that on your reporting day an announcement will be made for jurors to update or to make corrections as to name and address. Please include your apartment number. The post office will only deliver your jury duty check to a correct and complete address. Consistent information on the jury questionnaire could substantially reduce your chances of being summoned under a different name as well as ease in the verification for prior jury service.

Telephones & Electronic Devices

A statewide policy prohibits the use of cell phones, pagers and any other wireless communication device by jurors while in a courtroom, deliberation room or grand jury room. These devices may be used in the Jury Assembly Room; however, they must be turned off in a courtroom, deliberation room or grand jury room. For their convenience, jurors are provided with an emergency telephone number at which they may be contacted while they are participating in the jury selection process.

Accommodations For Jurors With Disabilities

Please notify the Jury Management Office at 201-795-6691 of any disability accommodation needs, so that you may be assisted accordingly. The Court's TTY number is (201) 217-5404.

Public Transportation

The Administration Building is easily accessible by public transportation, at one and one half blocks walking distance from the Journal Square Transportation Center and Path Station. For Path information call 1-800-234-PATH. For NJ Transit bus information call 1-800-772-2222.

Weather or Other Emergency Closings

In the event of inclement weather, jurors should call 201- 795-6706; or tune into FM 101.5 or access www.judiciary.state.nj.us/closings.htm to check for closings and cancellations at Hudson County facilities.

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