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Learn about grand jury service

Have you been summoned for grand jury service? Find out what to expect during your service.

Grand jurors don't serve on a trial like trial jurors. The grand jury doesn't decide if someone is guilty or innocent. Grand jurors consider evidence presented by the prosecutor and decide if it's sufficient to bring a criminal charge. Like trial jurors, grand jurors are randomly selected to help ensure that the grand jury is an accurate representation of the population of the entire judicial district.

How long will I serve?

Each grand jury is typically impaneled for 3 months, but in some cases, they may sit for longer periods of time. However, the amount of time the grand juror must actually be at the courthouse varies greatly between judicial districts. Some grand juries meet for only a few days during their term of service, while others meet almost every business day for at least a few hours. Before you're impaneled, the judge will tell you how the grand jury operates in the judicial district you've been summoned to. You'll always have an opportunity to speak to the judge and explain your circumstances before being impaneled on a grand jury.

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Where will I serve?

You'll receive a summons to serve in the judicial district (usually the county) where you live. The grand jury is always assigned to the same courthouse in each judicial district, so you can't transfer your grand jury service to another location within the judicial district.

Can I switch from grand jury service to trial jury service?

Only a judge can order a person summoned to grand jury service to serve as a trial juror instead. You should report to your grand jury service and speak to the judge if grand jury service would be a hardship for you.

Will I be paid?

Your Massachusetts employer is required by law to compensate you for your first 3 days of jury service, from the 4th day on, your compensation will be determined by the court based upon information provided in your Confidential Financial Questionnaire. Some employers offer additional compensation to grand jurors: you should be sure to check with your employer and be familiar with their compensation policy before reporting for grand jury service. Click here to learn more about juror compensation.

Confidential Financial Questionnaire

Grand jurors need to submit a completed Confidential Financial Questionnaire on their first day of service. You'll need to know your employer’s compensation policy in order to complete the questionnaire. The information on this form will be used by the court to determine the financial impact of grand jury service, and your rate of compensation, if any, for your juror service.

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