Commonwealth of Massachusetts
OFFICE OF JURY COMMISSIONER

JUROR INSTRUCTIONS
AND INFORMATION

Containing Information About:

  • Completing the Juror Confirmation Form
  • Qualifications and Disqualifications
  • Postponements and Transfers
  • Parents, Students, Self-Employed Jurors
  • Accessibility
  • Compensation

YOU CAN RESPOND ONLINE OR GET MORE MORE INFORMATION AT

www.MAjury.gov

(Your Badge Number and PIN will be required to log in)


A FEW THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT JURY DUTY...


QUALIFICATIONS: 

In order to be a juror, you must be a U.S. citizen, 18 years of age or older, and speak and understand English. 

You must live in the county in which you have been called to serve, and you cannot have served in the last 3 years.

Please review the Reasons For Disqualification below this section for more information.


CALL BEFORE REPORTING FOR SERVICE

Your Reminder Notice will instruct you to call the Juror Line at your court on the day before your service, to learn if you must report. Unless the Juror Line states that your group is cancelled, you must appear as scheduled, reschedule online, or call the Office of Jury Commissioner at 1-800-THE-JURY (1-800-843-5879). If you appear without calling, and your service was cancelled, you will not get credit for serving.

POSTPONEMENT

You may postpone your date of service to any available day up to a year from your original date. You can select your own date online and be confirmed immediately. You can also request a date at #4 on the Juror Confirmation Form: if the date you select is unavailable, you will be scheduled for the next available court date. You should choose a date no more than 11 months from your original date, in case you must postpone again.

HARDSHIP TRANSFER

If necessary, you can request a hardship transfer to another court within your county. You must have a serious hardship that prevents you from appearing at your original court. Inconvenience and distance are not eligible hardships. Briefly explain your hardship online, or at #3 on the Juror Confirmation Form.

MAP & DIRECTIONS

You will receive a map and directions to the courthouse about ten days before you are to serve. Maps, directions, and other information about your courthouse are also available online.

COMPENSATION

By law, your Massachusetts employer must pay you for work hours you miss during the first three days of jury service. This applies to all employees: full-time, part-time, temporary and casual. Failure to compensate employees is a crime. From the fourth day on, the Commonwealth pays all jurors $50 per day. Some employers will continue to pay wages to seated jurors even after the third day: check with your employer.

NIGHT SHIFT WORKERS

Night shift workers cannot be required to work past midnight of the night before their first day of jury service. You also cannot be required to work if you are impaneled on a trial. You cannot be required to work on your last day of service if you are released by the court after 4 pm.

RESIDENTS / INHABITANTS / STUDENTS

Regardless of whether you are a registered voter, you are qualified to serve if you are a resident of a county OR an inhabitant of a county for more than 50% of the time, unless you are disqualified pursuant to the REASONS FOR DISQUALIFICATION on the other side of this brochure. Examples: (1) Students who study in Massachusetts (inhabitants) must serve, even if they are residents of another state; (2) Students who live in one Massachusetts county (residents) but study in another (inhabitants) can be summoned to serve in either county; (3) Massachusetts residents who study out of state must serve in their home county when they return to Massachusetts.

STUDENTS / PARENTS / CHILDCARE

There are no exemptions from jury service. Everyone is eligible, including students and parents of young children. Only a judge can excuse you from service for hardship. If you are seeking to be excused for hardship, you must report to the courthouse on your scheduled date of service and speak with a judge. Remember: you can postpone your service to minimize conflicts with your academic schedule, childcare responsibilities, or other personal issues.

HEALTH

If you are ill or disabled, you may postpone your service, transfer to an accessible location, or request a disqualification by providing a doctor's certification. See REASONS FOR DISQUALIFICATION, REASON 9 on the other side of this brochure.

AGE

If you are 70 or older, you may choose to serve or not. If you choose not to serve, please complete the Juror Confirmation Form online, or by mail as follows: #2A: fill in Circle 2. #2B: provide your date of birth. #7: sign your name, and mail. If you are under 18, follow the same procedure but fill in Circle 3.

SELF-EMPLOYED

There are no occupational exemptions from jury service. Everyone is eligible, including the self-employed. Only a judge can excuse you from service for hardship. If you are seeking to be excused for hardship, you must report to the courthouse on your scheduled date of service and speak with a judge. You can postpone, but self-employment does not qualify you for a hardship transfer.

FELONY CONVICTION

If you have been convicted of a felony within the last 7 years, or are currently charged with a felony, or are presently in the custody of a correctional institution, please see REASONS FOR DISQUALIFICATION, REASON 7 on the other side of this brochure. If you were convicted more than 7 years ago, you are eligible to serve.

ACCESSIBILITY

The Trial Court and the Office of Jury Commissioner are committed to making the courts accessible to all. Accessibility includes the right and the obligation to perform jury service. Please visit our website at www.MAjury.gov and click on "Accessibility" for more information. You can also contact us at JurorHelp@jud.state.ma.us, or 1-800-THE-JURY (1-800-843-5879), or our TTY line for deaf, late-deafened, and hard of hearing jurors at 1-800-328-3202. Those who know they would benefit from the use of an FM Assistive Listening Device should complete #5 on the Juror Confirmation Form.

FOR MORE INFORMATION...

...be sure to review ALL of the information contained in this summons packet: this brochure, the summons, and the Trial Juror’s Handbook. Most of our frequently-asked questions are answered here. You can get more information on our website at www.MAjury.gov or by calling us at 1-800-THE-JURY (1-800-843-5879) (within Massachusetts only) or 617-338-6409 (out-of-state callers only). The OJC takes calls M-F, 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., and pre-recorded information is always available. You can e-mail us at JurorHelp@jud.state.ma.us , or write to us at:

OFFICE OF JURY COMMISSIONER
560 HARRISON AVENUE, SUITE 600
BOSTON, MA 02118

You can also visit our website at:

www.MAjury.gov


REASONS FOR DISQUALIFICATION...


You should read through the following disqualifications before completing the Juror Confirmation Form, even if you believe you are qualified.. 

  • Respond Online: Complete the Juror Confirmation Form online at www.MAjury.gov. Your Badge Number and PIN, located on your summons, will be required to log in.
  • Respond by Mail: You must provide details at #2A and #2B on the Juror Confirmation Form.

REASON 1:
YOU ARE NOT A U.S. CITIZEN

Provide your alien card identification number, visa status, or any other pertinent information.

REASON 2:
YOU ARE AGE 70 OR OLDER & CHOOSE NOT TO SERVE

Provide your date of birth.

REASON 3:
YOU ARE UNDER AGE 18

Provide your date of birth.

REASON 4:
YOU CANNOT SPEAK AND UNDERSTAND ENGLISH

Provide your primary language.

REASON 5:
YOU HAVE MOVED PERMANENTLY OUTSIDE THE COUNTY

Provide your new address.

REASON 6:
YOU ARE LIVING FULL-TIME OUTSIDE OF THE COUNTY AND WILL NOT RETURN AT ANY TIME FOR MORE THAN 1 YEAR

Provide a brief explanation, e.g., active military service, medical internship. Include your out-of-state address.

REASON 7:
YOU WERE CONVICTED OF A FELONY WITHIN THE PAST 7 YEARS, OR ARE CURRENTLY CHARGED WITH A FELONY, OR ARE CURRENTLY IN CUSTODY

Provide the specific charge and date of conviction, if applicable. If in doubt, check with the court to learn if your charge or conviction was for a felony or a misdemeanor.

REASON 8:
YOU APPEARED FOR JURY SERVICE WITHIN THE PAST 3 YEARS, OR ARE CURRENTLY SCHEDULED FOR JUROR SERVICE ON ANOTHER SUMMONS

Provide the date(s) and place(s) of prior or currently scheduled jury service. Note: This does not include jurors who were previously summoned but were cancelled by mail or phone and were not required to appear at court.

REASON 9:
YOU ARE PHYSICALLY OR MENTALLY INCAPABLE OF PERFORMING JURY DUTY 

Provide a note from a doctor or Christian Science Practitioner describing the nature of your illness or disability. The note must (1) be written on letterhead and include your Badge Number; (2) state the nature of the disability (the specific diagnosis or condition is not required); and (3) include the physician's opinion that such disability prevents you from rendering satisfactory jury service. If the disability is permanent, the note must include the physician's opinion that the disability will permanently prevent you from rendering satisfactory jury service. Guidelines: A person shall be capable of performing jury duty if he or she can perform a sedentary job requiring close attention for 6 hours a day, with breaks in the morning and afternoon, for 3 consecutive days.

REASON 10:
YOU ARE THE PRIMARY CAREGIVER FOR A PERMANENTLY DISABLED PERSON WHO IS A MEMBER OF THE SAME HOUSEHOLD

Provide a note from a doctor or Christian Science Practitioner describing the kind of care you provide and the doctor's opinion on the risk to the health of the disabled person if you are absent.  

NOTE:
If you respond online, please note that Disqualification Reasons 9 & 10 will not be processed until a doctor’s note is received.