Trial Jurors serve as the finders of fact in a civil or criminal trial.
Who serves on jury duty?
To serve as a Massachusetts juror you must...
- be a citizen of the United States;
- be over 18 years of age;
- live in Massachusetts for more than 50% of the year (therefore, most college students are eligible for jury service in Massachusetts, even if they are legal residents of another state); and
- speak and understand English sufficiently well to be able to participate in the trial.
How long will I serve?
- The Commonwealth of Massachusetts operates under the One Day or One Trial system.
- This means that as a trial juror, you will serve for either one day or for the duration of one trial (if you are impaneled on a case).
- Most, but not all, of those who report for jury duty serve for only one day.
- Almost all jurors complete their service within three days.
- This is why you should be sure that you are available for at least three days when you report for jury duty.
- It is possible that you could be impaneled on a case that lasts for a week or more. Before you are impaneled, the judge will tell you how long the case is expected to last. You will always have an opportunity to speak to the judge and explain your circumstances before being impaneled on a case.
Where will I serve?
- Each person called to jury duty receives a summons to serve in the “judicial district” (usually the county) where he or she lives. If you are a legal resident in one county but living in another county for six months of the year or more (college student, vacation home), you can be called to serve in either county.
- All summoned jurors, and the courthouses to which they are assigned, are randomly selected by computer. This helps to ensure that the pool of jurors in each courthouse is an accurate representation of the population of the entire judicial district.
- If you have moved from the address on your summons, you may or may not be disqualified. Contact the OJC at 1-800-THE-JURY (1-800-843-5879) or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out if you are still required to serve.
Will I be paid?
For The First Three Days:
- By law, a juror’s employer is required to compensate the juror for the first three days of jury service.
- Self-employed jurors are expected to compensate themselves for the first three days, and jurors who are not employed are not compensated until the fourth day of service.
From The Fourth Day Onward:
- From the fourth day on, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will pay $50 per day to all sitting jurors.
- Some employers choose (or are required by contract) to compensate their employees for part or all of their jury service, beyond the three days required by law. These employers may or may not permit the juror to retain the $50 per day paid by the Commonwealth.
- You should know your employer’s policy BEFORE reporting to jury duty, so you are aware of the financial impact your jury service will have on you when questioned by the judge.
Here are some helpful links that will provide you with more information about being a Trial Juror:
Office of Jury Commissioner for the Commonwealth
560 Harrison Avenue - Suite 600, Boston, Massachusetts 02118-2447
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