Within the American legal system, those who are accused of committing a crime possess the right to a trial. In such trials, they are able to make a plea to what is referred to as a jury of their peers. To those who are made to participate in this function, this responsibility is called jury duty. To those who are not familiar or are confused with how this goes, you may have some questions lined up. Here are a few frequently asked questions about jury duty and the corresponding answers.
How are people selected for jury duty?
Potential jurors are selected from a list of names taken from at least four sources. These sources include a list of registered voters, state income tax payers, licensed motor vehicle operators, and those who receive unemployment compensation. Duplicate names are not included and each individual is chosen at random.
What is the consequence of not showing up/postponing jury duty?
Failing to report to jury duty is considered a state law violation and the consequence is typically a fine. It is possible to postpone your service and there are no negative consequences, provided the date is within ten months of the original date.
An artwork depicting jury duty being carried out. || Image source: reasons.org
Are there accommodations for those with disabilities?
Yes, there usually is. After all, the Judicial Branch is known to comply with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities). Those who need reasonable accommodations have to contact Jury Administration either by email or perhaps by phone.
Will full time employees be allowed to attend jury duty and will they receive payment?
Yes. Employers are prohibited from threatening, dismissing or coercing their employees when they are summoned to serve as jurors. When it concerns the pay, employers are not required to pay their summoned employees’ salaries during such time.
Is there a dress code?
Jurors need to dress accordingly in order to maintain decorum within the courthouse. This means clothing that contains offensive imagery or language is not permitted.
It should be worth taking note of these questions and their answers in order to get through this process without much confusion or trouble. Sources for this post are judiciary.state.nj.us and jud.ct.gov.