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What to expect on the day of your jury service

Find out what to expect when you report to the courthouse for your jury duty.

Learn how to get to your courthouse, what you can bring, and what will happen once you arrive. 

Reporting for jury duty

On the day of your service, you'll report to the courthouse listed on your summons. (Be sure you have confirmed your jury service and reviewed the information found on the what you need to know before your jury service page.) 

You can find directions to the courthouse and information about parking on the Reminder Notice that will come in the mail about 10 days before your service date. Parking availability varies depending on the courthouse.

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What you should bring

There are certain things you can and can't bring to jury duty.

You should bring:

  • Your completed Confidential Juror Questionnaire

  • Reading material, work, or something to do while you're not participating in a panel

  • Money for parking and food

  • Water, coffee, or another drink, if you wish

You can't bring:

  • Children or pets

  • Weapons

Jurors are allowed to bring their cell phones to court. You may need to provide your summons or reminder notice when entering the court to prove you are a juror. In no event however, will you be allowed to have your cell phone on while in a courtroom.

If you have special needs that require you to bring needles, service animals, or other medical supplies to the courthouse, please contact the OJC’s ADA Coordinator at (800) 843-5879 or jurorhelp@jud.state.ma.us so the court can ensure your needs are met on your day of service.

Additional Resources

What you should wear

There is no specific dress code for jury duty, but you should avoid clothing that's excessively casual, revealing, or in bad condition. If you're impaneled on a case, the judge may give you additional instructions on what to wear to court.

Arriving at the courthouse

When you arrive at the courthouse, you'll go through security. Once you arrive in the jury pool room, you’ll check in using your Reminder Notice or Summons, and give the jury pool officer your completed Confidential Juror Questionnaire. The court officer will give you general information about lunch breaks, restrooms, and perhaps what is going on in the courthouse that day, and you'll also be greeted by a judge. You'll watch a brief orientation video about the trial process and performing your duty as a juror.

At this point, depending on the needs of the court, you could be brought to a courtroom for impanelment. Otherwise, you may remain in the jury pool room for some period of time. You may be sent to more than one impanelment over the course of the day, or you may not be called at all, depending on how that day’s cases develop. The judges and courthouse personnel will try to dismiss you as early in the day as possible. The jury pool officer will give you information about options for your lunch break, and you may also be able to take a coffee break if you aren't sent to an impanelment right away.

Leaving the courthouse

The jury pool officer and the others at the court will try to release you for the day as soon as possible, but generally no later than 4:30 pm, unless you're participating in an ongoing impanelment at that time. You shouldn't leave the courthouse until instructed by the court officer or a judge. Unless otherwise instructed, you should return to the jury pool room if you're excused from an impanelment. If you leave without being excused, you may receive a Failure to Appear Notice or a Delinquency Notice and may not get credit for serving, which means you'll have to schedule another day to serve within the next few weeks.

Most, but not all jurors, will finish their service in 1–3 days. This means that you'll serve for 1 day or, if impaneled, for the duration of 1 trial. Whatever your length of service, you don't have to serve again for another 3 years.

If there's an emergency, family members can call the court, and you'll be notified immediately. Before you go, be sure to let the court officer know that you're leaving.

Emergencies, cancellations, or postponements

In the event of severe weather, you should call the Juror Line on your Reminder Notice. Any cancellations or postponements will be recorded by 7 a.m. If you have a personal emergency and you can't appear, contact the Office of Jury Commissioner (OJC) at (800) 843-5879 or by email at jurorhelp@jud.state.ma.us.

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