Back to the Introduction Brief Description of the Massachusetts Jury System
ADMINISTRATION OF THE MASSACHUSETTS JURY SYSTEM
In accordance with Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 234A, the Jury Commissioner is the Executive Head of the Office of Jury Commissioner (OJC), and serves under the guidance and supervision of the Jury Management Advisory Committee (JMAC). The JMAC, consisting of six justices selected by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC), is a standing committee of the Court and is charged with assisting its Chief Justice in supervising the OJC. With the approval of the Supreme Judicial Court, the Jury Commissioner establishes rules and regulations concerning policies, procedures and forms. In accordance with Chapter 234A, the Jury Commissioner may, with the approval of the SJC, hire staff and establish branch offices throughout the Commonwealth as needed.
The OJC is ultimately responsible for furnishing each of the 58 jury trial courts and 14 Grand Jury sites with a sufficient number of prospective jurors. In order to meet that goal every court business day, the Jury Commissioner relies on several OJC departments. They include the Operations Department, the Data Processing Department, the Legal Department and the Public Outreach Department. Each of these departments has a number of employees who are trained to be specialists in their fields. The Jury Commissioner interacts with the JMAC, other court departments, state agencies, city and town officials, the legislature, the media and court jurisdictions outside of Massachusetts.
Some of the functions of the OJC include:
-the collection of the source lists (containing data on over four million residents and inhabitants, seventeen years of age and older);
-oversight of the random selection process performed by computer;
-creation of fourteen Master Juror Lists (containing approximately 1.3 million names);
-the summonsing of all jurors who serve in the state courts of Massachusetts (approximately 1.2 million summonses issued per year);
-the scheduling of adequate numbers of jurors at each courthouse in the Commonwealth every business day (approximately 1,400 per day);
-handling about 1,500 questions per day via a toll-free information line, and providing information via reminder and supplemental notices which include courthouse directions to those summonsed;
-providing those who have served with certificates of service and compensation;
-investigating complaints of jurors whose employers have allegedly harassed or refused to compensate them for jury duty;
-educating the public about the system via our Public Outreach Program, and;
-dealing with scofflaws (so-called delinquent jurors) by our Legal Department.
STRUCTURE of the OFFICE of JURY COMMISSIONER:
Top of Page
Trial Juror Service Grand Juror Service Federal
Juror Service Navigational Map of this
Courthouse Information About the Massachusetts Jury System The Source List
Summonsing to Service Delinquent Juror Prosecution Program Public Outreach Program
Related Materials Related Links Frequently Asked Questions Go Back to the Home Page