Information for Jurors
Union County Jury Management
2 Broad Street, Elizabeth, New Jersey
Jury Manager – Abigail Jacobson
Telephone - 908-659-4620
Office hours are from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Monday through Friday
Information for the Petit Jurors in the Superior Court of New Jersey in Union County
If you have been chosen to serve as a petit juror in the Superior Court of New Jersey in Union County, your selection has been made in accordance with the laws of our State which are designated to distribute this responsibility equitably among all persons qualified for jury service.
This information has been prepared to assist you in discharging your duties in an efficient and informed manner.
Juror Instructions and Information:
You have been summoned for jury service. If you are chosen to sit for trial, you will be a juror for the duration of the trial. In the event that you are not chosen for trial on the day you come in, you may again be chosen on the second day. If you, again, are not chosen, you will be excused. Once you have completed your jury service obligation, you do not have to serve jury duty again for three (3) years.
- Please report to the courthouse by 8:00 AM and have your badge scanned for registration.
- You are paid $5.00 a day for jury service and will receive this in the mail two weeks after your service is ended.
- After you have registered, you will be shown a video about jury service, you will be given an orientation from a judge and then will be sworn in as a juror.
- Juror badges should be worn at all times while on jury duty including lunch time.
- Jury panels are called by name or number, so please listen for your name or number.
- If you are picked as a juror to serve on a case, you may expect the court hours, generally, to be from 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM and from 1:30 PM to 4:00 PM. However, these hours may vary. The lunch hour for jurors not working on a case is 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM.
- There is a coffee shop / cafeteria located in the basement of the Main Courthouse and in the Annex Courthouse. If you wish to eat elsewhere at lunch time, there are other restaurants in the vicinity of the courthouse. Smoking is not permitted in the courthouse or jury facilities.
- Restrooms are located in the vicinity of the jury lounge.
- There is no prohibition on you having electronic devices in the jury room. However, when in a court room, please turn off all electronic devices. We do not want them to be heard by the judge or to disrupt proceedings. Reading materials and other personal items are to be put away when in the court rooms. Internet access is available for personal laptops.
- You may not leave the Jury Assembly Room and lounge area during the court day, except at lunch time. Please speak to the Jury Manager if an emergency situation occurs.
- If you are serving on a case, and are unable to appear for jury service because of illness or another emergency, please notify the Jury Manager's Office at 908-659-4620 between 8:30AM and 9:00 AM.
- If you are required to remain on jury duty after 4:00 PM and wish to notify someone of the delay, you should give the necessary information to the Sheriff's Officer or Court Aid who escorts you to the court room.
The Jury Assembly Room is located on the 4th floor of the Main Courthouse. However, on your first day, you will report to the Assignment Judge's court room on the first floor of the Main Courthouse.
- The court provides free parking; bring your parking ticket with you so it can be validated. The garage is located on 28-56 Jefferson Avenue, please park on the upper level. The courthouse complex is, also, highly accessible to the Elizabeth Railroad Station. Mass transit information is available at www.njtransit.com or 973-275-5555.
- The Court will not be responsible for any motor vehicle violations or parking violations during your jury service. For that reason you should not park at a meter on the street.
Importance of Jury Service:
Trial by jury is for the protection of all individuals. Under our American system of administering justice, the people who compose the jury are a part of the court itself. Your work is as important as the work of the judge who presides at the trial. Because of this importance, jury service is one of the highest duties of citizenship.
The cases which come before our courts which require your services involve factual disputes. Your duty as a juror is to consider carefully the evidence presented in the case and to determine the facts. Your verdict should then be the reasonable and logical result of the application of the law as defined by the judge to these facts.
Your service as a juror should be characterized by sound judgment, absolute integrity and complete impartiality. Each case on which you sit is a matter of grave importance to the parties involved. If you are to fulfill your obligations as a juror under the oath which you take, you should render the same thoughtful consideration and attention that you would expect from a jury in a case where you are a party.
It is of the most importance that you faithfully obey the following rules of conduct during your period of service as a juror:
- Be punctual in the performance of your duties.
- Give undivided attention to the evidence and the proceedings of the trial.
- Do not discuss the case, evidence or trial proceedings with anyone, nor permit another to talk to you about these matters. If there is an attempt to engage you in such a discussion, whether innocently or purposely, ask the name of the person involved and report the incident immediately to the judge.
- Since the attorneys you may meet in the courthouse or its vicinity may participate in a case in which you are called upon to serve as a juror, you should not talk to them during your term of service as juror.
- Do not discuss the evidence or trial proceedings with your fellow jurors prior to deliberation in the jury room at the close of the case.
- Do not undertake a personal investigation of the case on which you are serving as a juror, either by visiting the scene of the incident or by talking to the parties, their attorneys or witnesses. If it necessary for you to visit the scene, the judge will make arrangements for all members of the jury to do so.
- Let your verdict be impartial and free from passion, prejudice, sympathy or an unjust influence.
- Be faithful to the trust committed to you, remembering the full measure of your responsibility and the solemnity of the oath which will be administered to you at the trial in which you serve. As members of the jury you are entitled at any time, even during deliberations, to request instructions from the judge concerning your duties.
Procedures in Civil Cases:
The parties in a civil case are known as the plaintiff and the defendant. The party called the plaintiff has instituted an action against the defendant. In some cases the defendant, in addition to defending the action, brings an action against the plaintiff at the same time. This is known as a counterclaim. If several defendants are involved, one defendant may bring an action against another defendant known as a cross claim. In the discretion of the judge, several cases may be consolidated into one case for trial because they all arise from the same transaction or occurrence. Whatever the pattern of the case may be , the judge and the attorneys will carefully explain it to you.
The trial begins with the selection of the jurors. In order that a completely impartial jury may be selected, prospective jurors will be questioned either by the judge or by the attorneys. You should answer the questions frankly and accurately, bearing in mind that the purpose is to determine whether any prospective juror should be excused from participating in the case. The law also permits each party to "challenge" a certain number of jurors without assigning any specific reason for doing so. If you are "challenged", you should not feel that this is done on any personal basis nor to secure any unfair advantage to any party.
After you have been selected to participate in a particular case as a juror, you are required to take a solemn oath that you will "well and truly try the matter in dispute" and render a verdict according to the law and the evidence.
When the case begins, the attorney for the plaintiff presents to the judge and the jury a statement of facts upon which the plaintiff intends to rely. The attorney for the defendant then states his clients position. The evidence is then presented for the jury's consideration under the supervision of the judge. After all the evidence has been received, arguments are made by the attorneys of both parties.
The judge will then deliver instructions to you, commonly referred to as a "charge" to the jury. The purpose of the "charge" is to inform the jury of the law which must be applied to the various factual determinations which the jury may reach. It serves to insure a proper verdict.
After the judge has delivered the "charge", the jurors retire to a place of privacy for their deliberations. It is the duty of the foreperson of the jury to see that the deliberations are carried on in an orderly fashion. In reaching it's verdict, the jury should first determine the truth of the factual matters in dispute and then apply the proper law as "charged" by the judge. When the jury completes its deliberations, it returns to the courtroom and announces its verdict through the jury foreperson to the judge.
Procedure in Criminal Cases:
The procedure in criminal cases is similar to that in civil cases. In criminal cases, the State of New Jersey is always the plaintiff. Other differences will be revealed to you in the course of the trial through your own observations and the instructions of the judge. At least 14 jurors are selected to serve on a criminal case.
Complete cooperation between Court and Jury is essential. The Court is aware that your service as a juror requires temporary absence from your usual vocation and activities. It will extend every reasonable accommodation for your comfort and convenience and will seek to conserve the time of the jurors to the utmost. If you are selected to serve on a trial as a juror, there may be occasions where the Court may excuse you so you can attend to your private affairs.
If sudden illness or emergency prevents your appearance at court, notify the Jury Office (908)659-4620 immediately.
Your reward in serving as a juror lies in the fact that you have performed an important duty of citizenship by aiding in the maintenance of law and order and in the administration of justice among your fellow citizens. It is hoped that your contribution to this important function of government will be an enlightening and interesting experience and that at the conclusion of your service, you will enjoy the satisfaction of having performed and important duty well