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Why Was I Picked For Jury Service?

By: Dave Howell - Updated: 28 May 2016 | comments*Discuss
 
Jury Court Case Coroner Coroner’s Court

Serving on a jury is a civic duty that anyone that lives in UK could be called upon to perform. You can be called for jury service if:

  • You are between the ages of 18 and 70.
  • You are registered on your local government’s electoral register.
  • You have lived in the UK, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands for the last 5 years since you were 13 years old.

There are certain people who cannot serve on a jury. These people include anyone who has been in prison over the last 10 years. Other reasons are listed in your jury summons letter.

You have been called for jury service because the Jury Central Summoning Bureau (JCSB) randomly chose your name from the electoral register of everyone eligible for jury service. If you are selected and require further information you can call the JCSB on: 08453 555 567. Don’t forget to have your juror number handy as this is used to identify you. The number will be on the letter your were sent.

If you live in Northern Ireland you can contact the Jury Management Team on: 028 7126 1329. If you live in Scotland you can contact civil jurors court of session on: 0131 240 6772 or for criminal jurors at the high court of justiciary on: 0131 240 6907.

What if I Can’t Attend?

When you receive your jury summons it will state when your jury service will take place. If you can’t be a juror during this time, you should let the Jury Central Summoning Bureau know as soon as possible.

It is possible to defer your jury duty until a more convenient time. If you do apply for a deferment, remember you can only do this once. It’s very important, therefore, you inform the JCSB of any other times over the next 12 months when you definitely won’t be available. They can then make arrangement for your jury service around these dates.

As well as a deferment you can also apply to be completely excused from your jury duty. To be totally excused jury duty you have to have a very good reason, supported with evidence. You will see a box on the summoning form you were sent were you can explain your reasons for applying for an excusal from jury service. The JCSB will evaluate your request and may ask for additional evidence such as doctor’s certificates before making their final decision.

Choosing a Jury

When you arrive at the court stated on your jury summons form, a court official who will look after you while you are at the court will meet you. Expect your bags to be searched and your identity checked. Once this is complete you will be taken to the jury assembly area where all jurors wait.

When a jury is required the court’s clerk will pick 12 people from the jury assembly area. Once you and your fellow jurors are in the court the swearing in will take place.

How Long will I have to be a Juror?

Most jurors are called for approximately 10 working days. During this time you could sit on a number of juries covering a wide-range of trials. In some exceptional circumstances you may be asked to serve as a juror for much longer. If the trial you are involved with will run for more than 2 weeks the judge will usually state this before you are sworn in. It is at this time you can raise any problems you may have with serving longer on the jury.

Can someone Take my Place?

When you are called for jury service the jury summons is made out in your name and your name alone. You cannot transfer the jury summons to someone else. Also, no one else impersonate you on a jury. This is a criminal offence.

Will I Get Picked for a Jury?

The court that has called you for jury duty always calls many more people than they may need. This is to ensure they have enough people when the juries are being picked. You many find that you attend court, but never get picked for actual jury duty. This may seem like a waste of time, but it’s your civic duty to attend the court if you are called, just in case you are chosen for jury duty.

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[Add a Comment]
Ive been called for jury service on 25th July. My parents will be here on holiday from South Africa (haven't seen them for 18 months) and I've taken leave over jury request period to spend time with them and we have a holiday booked for 6 August so if longer than two weeks will be a problem. Do you think I would be deferred due to this request?
Shirls - 28-May-16 @ 8:47 PM
I have been called for jury service on the 13th June but I cannot get anyone to watch my 18 month old son and obvs I cannot take him with me and I also cannot pay for child care will they allow me not to do it?
leighag1234 - 27-May-16 @ 3:36 PM
Kayanne - Your Question:
The Mental Health Discrimination Act (2013) ended the bar on anyone with a mental health problem serving as a juror. Your information is wrong - if you have currently or in the past suffered a mental health problem the bar on serving no longer applies.

Our Response:
Many thanks for drawing our attention to this - our article has been updated accordingly.
CourtroomAdvice - 23-May-16 @ 2:06 PM
The Mental Health Discrimination Act (2013) ended the bar on anyone with a mental health problem serving as a juror. Your information is wrong - if you have currently or in the past suffered a mental health problem the bar on serving no longer applies.
Kayanne - 22-May-16 @ 7:28 PM
I have made such a mess of my jurors form am I able to ask for another one
heddew - 22-May-16 @ 6:47 PM
Monkey - Your Question:
I was summoned for May 23rd l returned my form and ticked the box as l am 71 yrs old. A letter came back saying l don't qualify and don't have to attend

Our Response:
Did you turn 71 between the time of the summons? Currently only people aged 18 to 70 are eligible to sit as jurors, while this is to change to 75, I'm not sure whether this as yet has been implemented. So if you are over the current age, then this will be the reason why you no longer qualify to take part.
CourtroomAdvice - 5-May-16 @ 2:20 PM
I was summoned for May 23rd l returned my form and ticked the box as l am 71 yrs old. A letter came back saying l don't qualify and don't have to attend
Monkey - 4-May-16 @ 11:27 PM
I received a jury summons in February 2016. My date to attend was April 18th.I attended and waited all day.I was called to a trial but not selected for the jury.I was later told that the court had enough people for their trials and I was not required to return.So, I was dismissed.
Jackie - 24-Apr-16 @ 6:36 PM
Gel - Your Question:
Hi I have been called to jury service 31st May. I have sent my form back with a covering letter explaining that I have a much needed holiday booked. I have recently been bereaved and I am still very emotional. I am exhausted from being a carer and I think doing Jury Service 20 mile train ride from where I live will be very tiring. I sent this letter 2 weeks ago or more and have not had a reply.

Our Response:
You would need to ring the Jury Central Summoning Bureau directly, as we have no knowledge of its administration policies.
CourtroomAdvice - 22-Apr-16 @ 2:45 PM
Hi I have been called to jury service 31st May.I have sent my form back with a covering letter explaining that I have a much needed holiday booked.I have recently been bereaved and I am still very emotional.I am exhausted from being a carer and I think doing Jury Service 20 mile train ride from where I live will be very tiring.I sent this letter 2 weeks ago or more and have not had a reply.
Gel - 22-Apr-16 @ 7:33 AM
Is the jury selected by the city they live in for example if there was a trial in London would all the jury be selected from that city or its a country wide selection??
Felix - 10-Apr-16 @ 6:06 PM
A close friend has recently died and the funeral is to be held on 22 April - potentially the last day of my Jury Service which starts on Monday (11th).How likely is it that I could be excused or released early from service?
Dave1971 - 9-Apr-16 @ 8:16 PM
I did jury service starting on the 14/3/2016. I haven't been paid yet. I was wondering how long I have to wait. As I'm waiting for the breakdown to come through the post to send into my employer?
Jo - 8-Apr-16 @ 9:43 PM
@Robert Downing.No why should you be able to? You don't get paid for your day off anyway so why should you get to rip off the state for wages you're not missing out on? Like everyone else, your expenses will be covered.
UKSFJM - 6-Apr-16 @ 7:51 PM
WillyWonka - Your Question:
I would like to be on a jury but have never been picked yet some people have been picked four times yet it is supposedly random.

Our Response:
I'm afraid we cannot help here as we are given to believe it is a random process and therefore we cannot expand further on this.
CourtroomAdvice - 6-Apr-16 @ 1:48 PM
I would like to be on a jury but have never been picked yet some people have been picked four times yet it is supposedly random.
WillyWonka - 5-Apr-16 @ 6:14 PM
I was summoned for jury duty and recieved the date I had a letter to say ring at 4pm each evening to see if i was required I did this and did not need to attend. 3 days before the end of the second week I was disharged but told as I had not attended I was required to be rescheduled I had to be available for 2 weeks over easter so could not go away or schedule any work so surely that should have been it I now have recieved a letter saying my jury duty was defferred and a new date is this right
Sarah - 30-Mar-16 @ 10:48 PM
Helen- Your Question:
I received jury summons today but it is in my maiden name not sure why? do I need to contact the jury service regarding this before I fill out the form and send back?

Our Response:
I would make sure their attention is drawn to this on the form.
CourtroomAdvice - 21-Mar-16 @ 12:22 PM
I received jury summons today but it is in my maiden name not sure why? do I need to contact the jury service regarding this before I fill out the form and send back?
Helen - 18-Mar-16 @ 5:56 PM
Been called for jury service On 21 March 2016 I work 12 hour shifts and the Monday and Tuesday are my days off can I claim anything for this or not?
Robert Downing - 17-Mar-16 @ 4:34 PM
I have returned my jury summons form stating i am eligible but have not received a confirmation letter as yet. It starts in less than a week do I still turn up if the confirmation letter doesn't arrive. my boss is keen to find out.
matty. - 14-Mar-16 @ 7:58 PM
Just completed Jury service. Was unprepared for an issue, that I sat on. Once I emotionally collected myself, I was immensely proud that I was given this opportunity, as justice was done. Please, don't fear Jury service. It truly is the most amazing experience.
Juror5 - 11-Mar-16 @ 7:53 PM
I've been picked for Jury service but i breastfeed my baby what do i do?
Laur - 7-Mar-16 @ 3:25 PM
My husband has just been called for his fourth service and is really not happy. Is there a limit to how many you can do?
Cazbo - 4-Mar-16 @ 6:21 PM
Will I be picked if I have been on medication for depression in the past?
Bess - 28-Feb-16 @ 10:50 PM
Hi i am summoned for a jury , what happens if i have a baby and i have no place to leave her?
Maya - 26-Feb-16 @ 4:40 PM
Gucci - Your Question:
I have been picked for jury service over Easter. Will the courts be open Good Friday?

Our Response:
Courts are closed in observance of legal holidays on the following days, please see link here.
CourtroomAdvice - 26-Feb-16 @ 2:19 PM
I have been picked for jury service over Easter. Will the courts be open Good Friday?
Gucci - 25-Feb-16 @ 7:15 PM
Danni - Your Question:
I have been called up for jury duty at the end of March. I have just been offered and accepted a job which is 100 miles away and start the job two days after the jury duty starts? But I need to move can I do anything about this

Our Response:
You may be able to defer your jury service due to work and moving commitments. You will need to read the forms sent to you regarding how to do this. If you have any queries you can also ring the Central Jury Summoning Bureau. As specified in the article, it is possible to defer your jury duty until a more convenient time. If you do apply for a deferment, remember you can only do this once. It’s very important, therefore, you inform the JCSB of any other times over the next 12 months when you definitely won’t be available. They can then make arrangement for your jury service around these dates.
CourtroomAdvice - 24-Feb-16 @ 2:50 PM
Andrew - Your Question:
Is there a way to volunteer for jury duty, say over a period of 12 months? If so, how do I go about doing it?Much appreciated

Our Response:
I'm afraid jury service is not voluntary. Jurors are picked and randomly chosen from the electoral register, in order to ensure the process is fair.
CourtroomAdvice - 24-Feb-16 @ 12:52 PM
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