In order to meet its mandate to provide a diverse and fair selection of prospective jurors, the Office of Jury Commissioner (OJC) depends on accurate data supplied by each of the city and town clerks.
On or before June 1 of each year, every city and town of must submit a Numbered Resident File (NRF) to the OJC. Although the OJC may grant a short extension for this deadline, the June 1 date applies unless you're notified that a deadline extension has been issued.
The NRF must be created from the Annual Listing of residents performed by each city and town in January of every year as required by M.G.L., Chapter 51, section 4.
Format requirements for submitting your Numbered Resident File
OJC Regulation 2 lists the specifications of the Numbered Resident File (NRF), but the following is a list of the data elements required:
Date of Birth
The exact configuration of the data to be submitted (field order, field lengths, etc.) is laid out in OJC Regulation 2.
The NRF must contain all residents who are seventeen years of age or older as of the first day of January of the current year, and who are residing in the city/town as of the first day of January of the current year.
Additional Resources for Format requirements for submitting your Numbered Resident File
List accuracy and completeness
It’s very important that you be as diligent as you can in gathering NRF data so that the Master Juror Lists are inclusive of the entire Massachusetts population and that certain groups aren’t excluded from the jury selection process. Excluding groups of people by not listing them, or providing inaccurate addresses, could potentially impact criminal convictions and civil verdicts.
The OJC depends on you to make your best efforts to locate all residents and submit the required information for the Master Juror List. We recognize the challenge you face, including budget constraints and non-responsive residents. Nevertheless, the OJC is required to take all necessary steps, including legal action if necessary, to ensure that all 351 Massachusetts cities and towns are in full compliance with Mass. General Laws c.51, §4 and c.234A, §10 .
Please contact this Office immediately if you encounter any difficulties or foresee any problems with your town’s ability to meet its obligations.
The Massachusetts Jury System is widely regarded as the “gold standard” among all states precisely because we have access to the most complete resident information through the annual census. It is your commitment to conducting a complete and accurate census that enables Massachusetts to maintain its position as the national benchmark, and we thank you for that commitment.
It is important to remind municipalities that the OJC will file suit, if necessary, as we did in Boston and more recently had to threaten in New Bedford. We also want to leave the explanation of the importance of the census, the position MA occupies nationwide because of it, and thank them for the role they play in maintaining that position.