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Why Was I Picked For Jury Service?

By: Dave Howell - Updated: 16 Aug 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]
I have been picked for jury service for the 4th time.I was unable to do the first two because of a health condition and finally did my first nearly nine years ago.I have only recently started a new role (last Sept) and work a 3 day week. Is there anyway I can get out of doing this again, I'd rather finish my first big project I have been given at work.Help
Ang - 16-Aug-16 @ 1:24 PM
I've been summoned for jury duty and have started reading up on it, if I go to the court and don't get picked as one of the 12, do I have to go back the next day?
Zoe1106 - 12-Aug-16 @ 1:28 PM
cheermom - Your Question:
Hi I received a jury citation last week and I suffer from panic attacks and anxiety and still take daily medication, the thought of jury duty really freaks me out. so I phoned doctors to make an appointment but receptionist told me just to hand citation in and doctor would decide. I did receive a phone call to say doctor had written me a letter ,but all it says is I am a patient at that surgery and that she confirms my symptoms my medication and I that I had requested a letter about my health because of jury duty. Is this enough ? I thought the doctor made you exempt or is it different now ? I know someone who went to doctors a few years ago and the doctor contacted the court direct for them. I'm in scotland. I will send away today but was just wondering if anyone had recent experience has its really worrying me and making me feel quite unwell. thank you.

Our Response:
It is up to the court's discretion and would be dealt with differently by your GP on a case-by-case basis. You should receive a letter from the court advising whether your request has been granted or not.
CourtroomAdvice - 11-Aug-16 @ 10:31 AM
hi I received a jury citation last week and I suffer from panic attacks and anxiety andstill take daily medication, the thought of jury duty really freaks me out . so I phoned doctors to make an appointment but receptionist told me just to hand citation in and doctor would decide . I did receive a phone call to say doctor had written me a letter ,but all it says is i am a patient at that surgery and that she confirmsmy symptoms my medication and i that I had requested a letter about my health because of jury duty. Is this enough ? i thought the doctor made you exempt or is it different now ? I know someone who went to doctors a few years ago and the doctor contacted the court direct for them. I'm in scotland . I will send away today but was just wonderingif anyone had recent experience has its really worrying me and making me feel quite unwell. thank you.
cheermom - 10-Aug-16 @ 10:03 AM
I would love to do jury service, I've never been called.My husband has been called twice.I know it is supposedly random database choosing, however my question is would they pick the same address again?It doesn't make sense that the same people are called on numerous occasions.
cor - 8-Aug-16 @ 2:46 PM
Hello, I was called for jury duty in January but couldn't attend due to my university degree. I deferred it until October, but I might be starting a new job in a different city, so is there a way to transfer it to the court in the new city where I might be living? Thanks!
KateB - 7-Aug-16 @ 2:24 PM
I'm currently pregnant so do I have to sit for the hole week just to see if I get picked I'm reading up on it but doesn't say any thing about pregnancy plus I honestly through the it was for one day till I read up on it. I just wanted to know what the rules are if ur pregnant etc as I don't want to keep popping out to the loo etc thanks
Michelle - 31-Jul-16 @ 2:32 PM
Richard - Your Question:
How can I request to do Jury duty?

Our Response:
You cannot request to do jury duty - you have to be picked from the national database.
CourtroomAdvice - 27-Jul-16 @ 12:55 PM
How can I request to do Jury duty?
Richard - 23-Jul-16 @ 1:29 AM
I am 19 and I dont earn any income as im not working and I havent signed on as I am going back to college in 2 months, what can I do because it will cost alot each day to travel if I am picked
Tam - 14-Jul-16 @ 1:48 PM
Badger - Your Question:
I'm a student in Manchester and live in stafffordshire for the summer. I recently deferred jury service in Manchester because I'd be in Stafford. It has now been deferred to a Stafford court whilst I'm in my final year of studying in Manchester and don't want this to affect my degree. As I will miss at least a week of lectures and workshops. What shall I do?

Our Response:
As a rule you can only defer jury service once. So when you deferred last time, you would have answered the question which would have asked you when you will be available for jury service over the next 12 months. Your only option is to contact the JCSB directly for advice.
CourtroomAdvice - 22-Jun-16 @ 10:27 AM
I'm a student in Manchester and live in stafffordshire for the summer. I recently deferred jury service in Manchester because I'd be in Stafford. It has now been deferred to a Stafford court whilst I'm in my final year of studying in Manchester and don't want this to affect my degree. As I will miss at least a week of lectures and workshops. What shall I do?
Badger - 21-Jun-16 @ 10:13 AM
I have been called for jury service 27th June. I asked to be deferred for 2 weeks between august and september. We will see i got it or not.i have a holiday to go home visiting my family in my country. My question is how many time i can get a new case or how is going.cause may i want to have in this 12 months other holiday or i cannot go anywhere in this 12 months? Or how many weeks before thay will let me know the new case date? Sorry for that but I dont know too many things about that service. Thank you
Marta - 12-Jun-16 @ 8:58 AM
Please can you confirm the age restrictions for jury service. On line is says 'going to be raised to 75' but I cant find any confirmation. Thank you
Lucy - 11-Jun-16 @ 1:20 PM
Georgia - Your Question:
I was supposed to be doing my jury service on the 11th of july which was ideal. However, I received a phone call saying they are sending me another letter for me to attend on the 20th of june instead but I am going on holiday on the 25th! Should I phone back and tell them this or do I turn up to my jury service and explain the situation then?

Our Response:
I would advise contacting the Jury Central Summoning Bureau (JCSB) prior to your going away so alternative arrangements can be made if necessary.
CourtroomAdvice - 8-Jun-16 @ 11:02 AM
I was supposed to be doing my jury service on the 11th of july which was ideal. However, i received a phone call saying they are sending me another letter for me to attend on the 20th of june instead but i am going on holiday on the 25th! Should i phone back and tell them this or do i turn up to my jury service and explain the situation then?
Georgia - 7-Jun-16 @ 1:05 PM
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
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