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Top 10 things prospective jurors should know about jury duty

A list of the top things you should know about jury duty in Massachusetts.
  1. The reasons you can be disqualified from jury duty — There are 10 disqualifications from jury service. The way you report a disqualification depends on the type of disqualification.
  2. Jurors are picked using random selection — Prospective jurors are selected at random from the resident lists supplied to the Office of Jury Commissioner every year. Random selection means that if you're eligible to serve, you have the same chance of being summoned as anyone else who’s on the jury list with you, even if you've already served before. This is why some people may be summoned several times before their spouses, neighbors, or friends ever receive a summons. See learn about the Massachusetts jury system for more information.
  3. Courthouses are chosen to help keep jury pools diverse — Jurors are randomly assigned to courthouses within their judicial districts, which is usually the county. The goal is to make sure that the jury pool in each court has a mix of people from all over the district, not just those who live closest to the courthouse. In special circumstances, you can request a hardship transfer, but remember that inconvenience isn’t an eligible hardship.
  4. There are age limits for jury duty — You must be 18 or older to perform jury duty. If you're 70 or older, you can choose whether or not you want to perform jury service.
  5. Be prepared to serve up to 3 days — You will likely only serve for 1 day, but you should be prepared to stay for up to 3 days.
  6. You can get jury duty updates by email — You can sign up to receive an email telling you whether or not you need to appear for jury duty on the Massachusetts Juror Service Website.
  7. You can also get jury duty updates by phone You can find out if you need to appear for jury duty on the day before you’re scheduled to serve by calling the Juror Line listed on your Reminder Notice after 3 p.m.
  8. What you should bring to jury duty On the day of jury duty, you can bring:
    1. Food and drinks. You will likely sit and wait for a while, and lunch break isn’t until 1 pm.
    2. Reading materials
    3. A cell phone and/or laptop. However, be aware that there is no Wi-Fi.
  9. Your employer has to pay you for your jury service See learn about compensation for jury duty for more information. If you’re retired, unemployed, or a student, you can get your expenses reimbursed.
  10. Call the juror helpline if you lose your summons If you’ve lost or misplaced your summons, call 1 (800) THE-JURY (843-5879) for help. See Get help if you lose your jury summons for more information. 

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