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Why Was I Picked For Jury Service?

Author: Dave Howell - Updated: 20 May 2015 | commentsComment
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 on bail or that has previous convictions or has served a prison sentence.
  • If you are currently or have in the past suffered from a mental health problem. This includes if you are in a hospital, visit a doctor for treatment regularly, or you are in guardianship under section 7 of the Mental Health Act 1983.

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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Leave a Comment, Ask for Advice or Share Your Story...
[Add a Comment]
I am invited for js and I am happy to join but because I am the only person who picks my daughter from schoolas it isn't any direct public transport from school to my house. will they pay for my child taxi fare? so I can join .
shad - 20-May-15 @ 9:36 PM
@dmg37 - Are you a registered citizen in the United Kingdom, and have been for at least five years? Do you have a disability that might make you unsuitable as a juror? For instance a person who is blind may be considered unsuitable because of their inability to see evidence. If you need to find out for sure, you could give the Jury Central Summoning Bureau via the link here. I hope this helps.
CourtroomAdvice - 19-May-15 @ 10:21 AM
@Tasha1 - If you have a specific question about jury service, you can call the Jury Central Summoning Bureau via the link here. I hope this helps.
CourtroomAdvice - 15-May-15 @ 9:39 AM
Hi.. I had my jury summons two weeks ago.It was sent to my old address but forwarded to me (having been opened! !) I sent the summons back but have just had a letter to say I do not qualify.I have never been in prison. I am well over 18!! I am registered to vote etc at my new address. I do not have mental health problems and I have always lived in the UK. . Just wondering why I would not qualify.. im confused! !
dmg37 - 15-May-15 @ 6:20 AM
Hi I work shifts, 6am till 1.30pm. If I only do 4hrs jury service do I have to go back to work? I have 1hr 1/2 journey to and from the court as well.
Tasha1 - 13-May-15 @ 8:14 AM
@ShazFah - there should be a part on your form that gives you an option to delay or being excused from jury service. As specified in the article, 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 before making their final decision. I hope this helps.
CourtroomAdvice - 7-May-15 @ 2:01 PM
Hi I got married and currently staying with my husband in Africa. My mother has informed me that a letter has come through for me to attend the Jury Services on the 29th June. I cannot afford to come for this, is there anywhere I could be taken off the list as I am not sure when I shall be returning to the UK?
ShazFah - 6-May-15 @ 8:11 PM
@emoshiri - your jury service will be timed to co-incide with a specific court case, you can refer to the paperwork to see if you may be able to defer your jury service. However, it might also be a good idea to tell your new employer, as they will understand.
CourtroomAdvice - 1-May-15 @ 11:39 AM
Hi,i'm due to start jury from the 18th may,the second week involves a bank holiday,do courts still sit on bank holidays? If not needed on any days,does the court still pay upto 4 hrs as this would affect me financially big time as my works would have someone in place to do my shift etc,so would not be able to go back to work.
Matt - 1-May-15 @ 10:42 AM
Hi, I have been called for Jury Summons very much like to do. The fact that it is a pure lottery and I won is even better. However I was wondering if there is a possibility to do it sooner rather on the date given on the paper work? Reason for that is very simple. I am just in the process to accept a new job offer, this would mean a start date of around 8 - 12th of June while my summons are for 22nd of June. Now I would like to do my Jury duties before I start my new work as it would impact the new work and the impact on the old job would be limited. Any ideas or suggestions?
emoshiri - 30-Apr-15 @ 10:43 PM
@Lucy - If you have a specific question about jury service, you can call the Jury Central Summoning Bureau via the linkhere. I hope this helps.
CourtroomAdvice - 28-Apr-15 @ 11:13 AM
I am called for jury service but not required for day one so I need to go to work?
Lucy - 25-Apr-15 @ 12:14 PM
Hi i been called but have to young children and ones a baby will i need to attend
vic - 1-Apr-15 @ 11:20 AM
@Mo - it is unlikely you will be called again for a while as the process is random, a bit like picking a lottery number.
Carrie - 27-Mar-15 @ 12:24 PM
Hi, I just performed two weeks of jury service.What is the earliest I can be called to serve again?Thanks.
Mo - 26-Mar-15 @ 8:09 PM
Hi, My partner has been called up for Jury service today (starts 18th May). We lived with my parents for several years but brought our own property in October 2015. We now live in a different county and about a 70 mile round trip from the summoning court. Attending would be a logistical nightmare but of course he will do it. My questions are: Why has he been called up from a previous address even though we both changed our electoral roll status to our new address months ago? We lived neared Bournemouth but now live in Southampton. So different counties. Can his summons be transferred to our local court instead? Sorry for the questions but I just thought I'd ask before he fills in the forms (we haven't picked them up yet as we have to travel to see my parents). Many thanks. Clare & David
Nango - 24-Mar-15 @ 8:42 PM
Hi I've been called for service but the second week falls on a Bank Holiday and I've booked concert tickets. Do the courts still work on a bank holiday?
J-A-N-E - 24-Mar-15 @ 4:19 PM
I have been summoned for jury duty, but I am not sure if I am eligible or not. I have not been living in the UK for 5 years yet (been here 3 years). Does this mean that on the forms, I ask to be deferred or to be excused? Not sure which box to tick... I also feel that I might not have the time to go, as I will be going on holiday on May 22, when they have called me to go on May 11. Should I point this out? They also ask to say when you will be available in case of a deferral, but to be honest I don't know yet when I will be as I do not yet have all my holidays planned... I find all this quite confusing to be honest. Anyone who can give me some advice? Thank you!
Nini - 19-Mar-15 @ 9:25 PM
@CourtroomAdvice Thank you for your response. Would I be allowed to do that, considering I have already had one deferral? Or would I have to change my flight? Would I be deferred to later that same week, or several months after?
MV - 13-Mar-15 @ 1:13 PM
@MV - you would have to get another deferral for that day, see link here. I hope this helps.
CourtroomAdvice - 13-Mar-15 @ 12:40 PM
@notrequested - you need to check in every day for as long as the jury service lasts.
Sam - 12-Mar-15 @ 2:33 PM
Hi there. I have received my summons after deferring once. I can do the service, but just not the first day, as I am on a long haul flight back to the UK. Can I push back the JS by just the one day? I am not looking to defer a second time, just delay by one day.
MV - 12-Mar-15 @ 7:11 AM
good night, I m call for jury service but last Thursday I receive a call said i don't need go on Monday just need call Monday (first day). I call and my service it's not requested next day I call again and again the same.. Can anyone explain me if I'm not requested at all? I need call every day? I see on papers I receive and online and I don't see nothing talking about this. Thank you
notrequested - 10-Mar-15 @ 9:01 PM
@Crossy - You can be excused because of ill-health, you would need to contact your GP to provide a medical certificate. I hope this helps.
CourtroomAdvice - 10-Mar-15 @ 10:34 AM
I have been summoned but wonder if I can apply for exemption.I am on extended sick leave due to a bulging disc in my lumbar spine which causes varying degrees of pain.It also means that I cannot sit without pain for longer than about 1 hour or walk/stand for approx 30 mins/1 hour.I can provide a copy of my MRI as proof.I do not know when I will be in less pain.
Crossy - 7-Mar-15 @ 3:38 PM
@Kris79 - I have included a link which will tell you when and when you cannot defer jury service here . I hope this helps.
CourtroomAdvice - 5-Mar-15 @ 2:28 PM
i have had my final confirmation for jury service on 23rd March after bein told by employer the dates wer ok.They have now asked if I can defer it, is this possible now I have my final instructions
kris79 - 4-Mar-15 @ 11:50 AM
@M1tch - I have included the link of expenses and what you can claim for here. I hope this helps.
CourtroomAdvice - 9-Feb-15 @ 12:39 PM
Well I have been called up for jury service for the first time ever in my 37 years. I'm excited and nervous but my main concern is where to park, it is so expensive in some places, the second thing that is stressing me out, is will I end up in debt again as the payment I receive is not as much as my current wages so I hope I don't fall into debt because of it!
M1tch - 8-Feb-15 @ 10:57 PM
Hi All, If you have been called for Jury Service you may be thinking what a pain as this will affect your working day and normal daily schedule. I must admit i thought this too but i would like to allay any concerns about carry out this duty, i have just recently carried out jury service and sat on 2 cases which were totally different, i found both cases interesting and enlightened me in how the legal System works in a Court of Law. Maybe not everyone cup of tea but certainly mine. Enjoy the experience. David
David - 21-Jan-15 @ 5:04 PM
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