How to get on a jury

Jury service is one of the most important civic duties you can perform. The protection of rights and liberties in federal courts largely is achieved through the teamwork of a judge and jury.

Were you summoned to federal jury service?

Each district court summons eligible citizens within the local area. You must contact your local district court website to fill out a Juror Qualifications Questionnaire online or contact your local district court for questions about jury service.

  • COVID-19 Pandemic Update: If you were called for jury service during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit the website of the federal district court where you were summoned for information about reporting and steps they are taking to protect jurors.

What is Federal Jury Service?

U.S. citizens, 18-years-old and older, may qualify to serve in the federal courts on a jury. The Jury Selection and Service Act establishes the process for selecting jurors and outlines qualifications a person must meet to serve on a federal jury.

National eJuror Program

The national eJuror Program gives potential jurors the option of responding to their jury qualification questionnaire or summons online through the website of the local court that summoned citizens to jury duty.

Warning – Jury Scam

Members of the public are not contacted initially by email or phone for jury service. Prospective jurors first receive an official court mailing— never a phone call or email— which may direct them to an online questionnaire. Please do not provide this type of information to anyone claiming to be associated with the federal courts. Learn more.

Jury service is one of the most important civic duties you can perform. The protection of rights and liberties in federal courts largely is achieved through the teamwork of a judge and jury.

Were you summoned to federal jury service?

Each district court summons eligible citizens within the local area. You must contact your local district court website to fill out a Juror Qualifications Questionnaire online or contact your local district court for questions about jury service.

  • COVID-19 Pandemic Update: If you were called for jury service during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit the website of the federal district court where you were summoned for information about reporting and steps they are taking to protect jurors.

What is Federal Jury Service?

U.S. citizens, 18-years-old and older, may qualify to serve in the federal courts on a jury. The Jury Selection and Service Act establishes the process for selecting jurors and outlines qualifications a person must meet to serve on a federal jury.

National eJuror Program

The national eJuror Program gives potential jurors the option of responding to their jury qualification questionnaire or summons online through the website of the local court that summoned citizens to jury duty.

Warning – Jury Scam

Members of the public are not contacted initially by email or phone for jury service. Prospective jurors first receive an official court mailing— never a phone call or email— which may direct them to an online questionnaire. Please do not provide this type of information to anyone claiming to be associated with the federal courts. Learn more.

District of New Jersey

You are here

  • Home
  • For Jurors

Your employee has been summoned to jury duty in the United States District Court.

Jurors are obligated to remain ‘on call’ for jury service up to two (2) weeks. During that time, they may be called to serve on a jury. Jurors normally serve from 9AM to 5PM. In most instances, the burden of Federal Court jury service is not so overwhelming that it could not be absorbed by business or other establishments with relative ease.

You may not know that in order to ensure that the serious need for federal court jurors is met, in 1978 the Protection of Juror’s Employment Statute Title 28, United States Code, Section 1875 was enacted. The statute demonstrates the attitude of the United States Congress toward assuring adequate representation and the corresponding duty of employers to their employees and the justice system. Financial hardship claimed as an excuse by an individual summoned for jury duty is not usually a valid reason for the Court to grant release from service. Unless there are some compelling reasons for that excuse, it will not be granted.

If your employment policy is against paying employees while they are on jury duty, you are now asked to reconsider that policy. Federal jurors are paid $50.00 per day for their service. Paying the difference between your employee’s salary and the juror attendance fee is strongly encouraged, if possible.

If you have a compelling reason to be excused from jury service (extreme inconvenience or undue hardship), you must notify the jury office in writing. Any request must be prepared by the juror and detail the hardship. You may include any attachments you deem appropriate to aid the Court in rendering a decision. All medical excuses must have a doctor’s statement attached. The request will be reviewed and you should call the automated phone system for the status of that request. You will not receive a written response.

You may also request to have your service postponed (within your term of service)or may be changed to another term, to be served at a later date.

Your service may be postponed for a short period (within your term of service), or may be postponed to another 2 or 4 week term at a later time (you will be issued another summons in this case).

Any person summoned for jury service who fails to respond or appear may be ordered by this court to appear at their own expense to show cause why they failed to comply with the summons. Any person failing to show good cause for non-compliance with the jury summons may be fined not more than $1000.00 or imprisoned not more than three (3) days, or both, pursuant to Title 28, USC Section 1866(g).

You will be issued an attendance certificate covering each day of your jury service.

The state of New Jersey is considered one district (The District of New Jersey). However, the state is divided into three vicinages, with designated counties for each vicinage, as follows:

Camden : Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem, Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic

Newark : Essex, Sussex, Passaic, Bergen, Morris, Union, Northern-Middlesex, Hudson

Trenton : Mercer, Ocean, Monmouth, Somerset, Hunterdon, Warren, Southern-Middlesex

Your full time county residence determines where you will serve.

Yes. The United States Constitution guarantees the right to a trial by jury in both criminal and civil cases. Your participation as a juror helps make that possible.

Jurors are protected by Federal Statute, Title 28 USC Section 1875, from being discharged, intimidated, or coerced by a employer because of grand or petit jury service.

Most employers who pay their employees while they are on jury duty require them to return the jury service fee to them. This has been deemed to be an acceptable practice. However, this should only apply to the attendance fee, and not to the reimbursement for travel expenses.

The IRS considers juror attendance fees to be Other Income and must be reported. At the end of the year, a 1099 MISC form will be mailed to all jurors who earn $600 or more in attendance fees in the calendar year. This applies only to the “attendance fee” and not for reimbursement for travel expenses (mileage, tolls, etc.).

Yes. Food, drink, and electronic devices are PERMITTED. Cameras, recording devices, knives, scissors and similar type items are PROHIBITED in the Courthouses. Please do not have these objects in your possession upon arrival at the courthouse.

Want To Avoid Jury Duty? Here’s How

  • 1
  • 2

Although jury duty is the epitome of democracy, for many, serving as a juror is considered a burden. If you are called upon to serve as a jury member, know that the selection process is random, so no, nobody has it in for you and nobody is picking on you. It looks like this could be your lucky day.

Now, I’m not trying to encourage anyone to squirm their way out of jury duty, but if you happen to not want to go, there are ways to go about escaping. Or at least attempt to. Be advised, however, that evading jury duty or failing to show up is enough to be penalized, so make sure to check with the legal regulations of your country or state. And don’t say I didn’t warn you.

If you want to avoid jury duty, you can try one of these approaches.

escape jury duty

If the authorities want to penalize you, they’ll have to prove that you received the letter in the first place — which is done by signing a registered letter. As long as you don’t sign it, you’re likely in the clear. Those who don’t return the form might include people who were on vacation, have moved, or simply didn’t pick up their mail. So if anyone wants to penalize you, be sure to show ’em your tan. By returning the letter, your name is placed in future random selection processes for potential jurors.

Are you objective?
If you are selected and receive a summons, then you are about to embark on another kind of trial, only this one consists of questions and answers to ensure you fit as a jury member for a particular case. The prosecutor, lawyer and maybe even a judge will interview you and evaluate your responses and reactions. Now of course, each side wants to make sure you are untainted and bias-free, and will offer an objective verdict. Here’s where you need to use your acting abilities, especially if the case is described to you.

You know, that happened to my cousin’s ex-boyfriend.
If the legal staff explains the case, jog your memory for someone you know who may have been in a similar situation. If the trial is about harassment or car theft, for example, and you say that you know all about that sort of thing because it happened to a relative or a friend, you’ll be deemed biased and likely disqualified.