Learn about jury duty accessibility

Find out about accessible accommodations available for jurors at the courthouses.

Table of Contents

Overview

The Trial Court and the Office of Jury Commissioner (OJC) are committed to making the courts accessible to all. Accessibility includes both the right and the obligation to perform jury service.

The OJC Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator can help you with requests for accessibility accommodations and provide information on accessibility for jury duty. For assistance, have your Badge Number ready (located above your name on your summons) and contact the OJC’s ADA Coordinator at jurorhelp@jud.state.ma.us. In addition, every courthouse has an ADA Coordinator on-site to assist with accessibility issues. If you need help while you're at the courthouse, ask a member of the courthouse staff to direct you to the courthouse ADA Coordinator.

If the courthouse you've been summoned to doesn't have the accessibility accommodations you need, you can request a hardship transfer so the proper accommodations can be made.

Jurors with mobility issues

There is at least 1 partially accessible courthouse in each county, and most counties have at least 1 fully accessible courthouse. If the courthouse where you're scheduled to appear is wheelchair accessible, you'll find the symbol next to its name on your summons. Many, but not all, of the courthouses in the state have at least 1 or 2 accessible parking spaces available for those who need them, although they cannot be reserved.

For further information on accessible courthouses, please contact the OJC at (800) 843-5879 (THE-JURY) or on our TTY line at (800) 328-3202. You can also contact the courthouse you've been summoned to and find out what accommodations they offer. 

Deaf & hard of hearing jurors

The Trial Court and OJC offer various accommodations to assist deaf, late-deafened, and hard of hearing jurors.

Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) are available in all courthouses. There are 3 ways to request an ALD.

  • Online — If you respond to your summons on the Massachusetts Juror Service Website, check the box marked "I request an assistive listening device" in step 2 of your response. If you've already confirmed your service, you can email jurorhelp@jud.state.ma.us with your Badge Number to request an ALD.   
  • By mail — Fill in the circle at #5 on the Juror Confirmation Form attached to your summons called “Request an FM assistive listening device.”
  • By phone — Contact the OJC at (800) 843-5879 (THE-JURY) or on our TTY line at (800) 328-3202.

You can also request a CART Reporter or ASL Interpreter from the OJC, which will contact the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH) on your behalf. Certified interpreters and reporters are in great demand for court proceedings, so available interpreters and reporters must be assigned to assist defendants, parties, witnesses, and victims before they can be assigned to assist potential jurors. If the MCDHH isn't able to provide an interpreter or reporter for your scheduled date, the OJC will postpone your jury service and keep the request pending until a certified interpreter or reporter is available to assist you. You'll be notified when an interpreter or reporter is available, and your pending summons will remain active until your request is met.

If you prefer not to wait for a certified interpreter or reporter to become available, you have 2 options:

  • You can bring your own translator to court, although you are not required to do so, and ask the court to decide if the translator is competent to assist you if you're impaneled on a trial or grand jury. 
  • You can request a disqualification for medical reasons. 

Private translators

You're permitted by law to bring your own translator to jury service to help you with the pre-impanelment process, although you're not required to provide your own translator. 

If you're sent to an impanelment, the judge must make a formal determination that the translator is competent to help you during the impanelment and trial. As a general rule, judges rely on the certification of the MCDHH to ensure that a translator is properly qualified to assist in legal proceeding, so a translator who isn't certified by the MCDHH to perform legal translation is unlikely to be approved by the court.

Additional Resources

Jurors with vision issues

The Trial Court and OJC offer various accommodations to assist jurors with vision issues. The Trial Juror Handbook and Grand Juror Handbook are available in web versions, and the Trial Juror Handbook is available in a large print version.

Additional Resources

Service animals

Service animals are allowed at the courthouses. If you plan to bring a service animal with you to jury service, it would be helpful to notify the OJC so the appropriate arrangements can be made in advance. 

Office of Jury Commissioner ADA coordinators

Janice McDermott  
Phone: (617) 422-5860
Fax: (617) 422-5869 
Email: janice.mcdermott@jud.state.ma.us

Contact

Phone

Juror helpline (toll-free in Massachusetts) (800) 843-5879 (THE-JURY)

Monday-Friday 9 am - 4:30 pm

Delinquent jurors (877) 966-7469
From outside Massachusetts (617) 338-6409

Fax

(617) 422-5869

Address

Street Address
560 Harrison Ave.
Boston, MA 02118
Mailing Address
560 Harrison Ave., Suite 600
Boston, MA 02118
Last updated: April 25, 2018

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