Massachusetts law about juries and jury service

Laws, regulations, cases, and web sources on juries, jury service, and jury instructions.

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Table of Contents

Best bet

Jury information: Everything you need to know if you've been summonsed for jury service, as well as an overview of the Massachusetts jury system.

Massachusetts laws

Mass. Constitution Declaration of Rights Art. XII Right to trial by jury in criminal matters

Mass. Constitution Declaration of Rights Art. XV Right to trial by jury in civil matters

MGL c. 234A Office of Jury Commissioner

Massachusetts regulations

Massachusetts court rules

Federal laws

28 USC §§ 1861–1878 Juries; trial by jury

Jury instructions

Selected cases

Web sources

Federal jury duty information, US District Court, District of Massachusetts.

Grand jury service, Mass. Office of Jury Commissioner.
Have you been summoned for grand jury service? Find out what to expect during your service.

Grand juror's handbook, Mass. Office of Jury Commissioner.

Jury and juror use of new media: a baseline exploration, National Center for State Courts.
Authors "offer insights into the current and likely future use of new media by jurors at all stages of the process."

Jury duty, Mass. Office of Jury Commissioner.
Have you been summoned to jury duty in Massachusetts? Learn how to respond to your summons.

Massachusetts Trial Court policy on juror use of personal communication devices, Mass. Trial Court, 2010.
"This policy relates to the use of cell phones and other personal communication devices by jurors in courthouses and courtrooms."

Office of the Jury Commissioner (OJC)
Resources for jurors: respond to your summons online/check your statues; important forms related to your jury duty; learn about jury duty accessibility; what to expect on the day of your jury service; take the jury service survey.

Trial juror's handbook, Office of Jury Commissioner.
Answers common questions about serving as a juror.

Trial juror instructions and information brochure, Mass. Office of Jury Commissioner.
Information about completing the juror confirmation form; qualifications and disqualifications; postponements and transfers; parents, students, self-employed jurors; accessibility and compensation.

Trial jury service, Office of Jury Commissioner.
Have you been summoned for trial service? Find out what to expect during your service.

Wood, Pamela J., "Vantage Point: Massachusetts' Leadership Role in the American Jury System," 55 Boston Bar Journal 13 (Spring 2011)

Print sources

Criminal model jury instructions for use in the District Court, 3rd ed., MCLE, loose-leaf.

Criminal practice and procedure, 4th ed. (Mass. Practice v.30A) Thomson Reuters, 2014 with supplement. Sections 17:1–17:70 (Rule 5 – The Grand Jury); Sections 32:1-32:85 (Rule 20 – Trial Jurors); Appendix 32A. “Good Cause” and “No Good Cause” to discharge deliberating juror decisions (examples).

Federal grand jury: a guide to law and practice, 2nd ed., Thomson/West, c2006.

Grand jury law and practice, 2nd ed., West Group, loose-leaf.

Massachusetts jury trial benchbook, 5th ed., Flaschner Judicial Institute, 2022.

Massachusetts Superior Court civil practice jury instructions, 3rd ed., MCLE, loose-leaf.

Massachusetts Superior Court criminal practice jury instructions, 3rd ed., MCLE, loose-leaf.

Contact for Massachusetts law about juries and jury service

Last updated: August 9, 2023

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