The Basics of Your Jury Duty Summons

When that first Jury Summons arrives in the mail, it’s almost impossible to know how you’ll react. Most people are upset, not wanting to interrupt their lives to serve at the pleasure of the justice system for an undisclosed amount of time. It’s hard to imagine being separated from your family, friends, and life for so long. So, wanting to understand the process a little bit more and what the government expects from you is perfectly normal. Initially, it’s important to remember that serving on a jury is one of the key responsibilities of every American citizen. For everyone that does it, they also understand that it can be a trying experience. The pros and cons of being on a jury are numerous. But, taking the time out of your life and sitting in on the most important process in our government can be not only informative but intriguing.

The Process

Being selected for a Jury is likely the same no matter where you live. Though the actual bureaucratic method of selection might vary slightly from state to state, the basics are usually similar. From a pool of likely applicants, created from Driver’s licenses and voter registration, you will eventually be called for jury duty. That does not immediately mean you need to serve though. It only means that you will be expected to be available to serve for a period of time. Each courthouse will have its own slightly different means of handling jurors though, so it’s important to contact your specific courthouse if you have any problems.

The Summons

When you first receive a summons in the mail, the first step is to review the questionnaire and return it to the courthouse through the mail. The questions on that questionnaire are simple, but largely decide if you will be called in to serve. Keep in mind as well that if you for some reason lie on your questionnaire, you will be subject to prosecution just the same as skipping jury duty altogether.

The questionnaire contains questions designed to discern if you are a U.S. citizen, your age and birth date, your residency status, your native language, if you are a convicted felon, whether you are disabled, if you are a public servant or official, if you are a police officer or firefighter, if you are a member of the armed forces, and what your gender, occupation and level of education are.

Also included in the questionnaire is a comment space allowing you to note any particular reasons why you might not be available to serve on jury duty. These notes could, at any time, be read by the attorneys or the judge when trying to select the jury for a particular case, so keep that in mind as you respond.

After the questionnaire is complete, you must call the court for a period of time daily. This time period is usually around two weeks or so, sometime during which you will need to visit the courtroom and sit for jury selection. Eventually you will be interviewed and selected or sent home and if selected, hear and deliberate on a case.

What if there are ways to avoid jury duty legally. Wouldn’t it save all your time and hassle of going through the whole process.

If you feel like there is just too much on your plate right now to even think of going for jury duty, then you need help.

Discover the strategy that hundreds have already put to good use at Avoid Jury Duty

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8 Responses

  1. I misplaced my jury duty information which I believed to be on 8/28/2009. I need to find out when it is and how to look up my information.

  2. I misplaced my jury duty information which I believed to be on 12/08/2009. I need to find out when it is and how to look up my information.

  3. I can not do the jury summons on August 9, 2011. I have a health problem.

    Thanks,

    Raymond Louis Russell

  4. I received a letter and questionaire a couple weeks ago to be considered for jury duty. I misplaced the letter after I had decided to file the form on the inter-net. Having lost the instructions, I do not know where to go for help or how to complete the form on the inter-net. My name and address, phone number and e-mail address follows:
    John L. Kreynus
    3007 Day Street
    Hopewell, VA 23860
    E-mail: jkreynus@aol.com
    Phone: 804-458-5405

    Please E-mail me instructions as to how to get to and fill out the form.

  5. John Laurence Kreynus, on July 12, 2011 at 9:30 pm said:

    I received a letter and questionaire a couple weeks ago to be considered for jury duty. I misplaced the letter after I had decided to file the form on the inter-net. Having lost the instructions, I do not know where to go for help or how to complete the form on the inter-net. My name and address, phone number and e-mail address follows:
    John L. Kreynus

    3007 Day Street
    Hopewell, VA 23860
    E-mail: jkreynus@aol.com
    Phone: 804-458-5405

    Please E-mail me instructions as to how to get to and fill out the form.
    Show me where I can fill out the form on line. Thanks, John

  6. I received my summons in the mail and I completed it and mailed it. It stated to appear January 9,2012. I miss read the date an thought it was for the 10th and didn’t realise it till the 10. What should I do? Please anyone..

  7. Dont worry about it. Just call the jury commissioner’s office and reschedule. I’ve done it twice now. It happens all the time.

  8. People telling me I should have recieved a orientation letter first. But I only received the Jury Summons paper telling me to appear in front of the judge. Does anyone know anything about this???

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