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Why Was I Picked For Jury Service?

By: Dave Howell - Updated: 9 Feb 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 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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[Add a Comment]
i have served 4 times now yet have just been summoned for a 5th time. is there a maximum number of times one is obliged to be a juror?
daisy - 9-Feb-16 @ 12:19 PM
Why are people picked to serve jury service outside their own city, not everyone has a car,and get to place stated at time stated.how can I, a non driver in mk get to Aylesbury crown court by 9.15.
Nobbler - 7-Feb-16 @ 6:46 PM
Hi,have had a jury summons do you return to work if you are not selected?
Lollypop - 1-Feb-16 @ 4:13 PM
Hi do I have to go in if I have previously been in court for a murder case but got acquitted because I was innocent , my current occupation is drug dealer so I don't think am suitable for this role !
DvS - 16-Jan-16 @ 9:21 PM
I've done jury service twice now. It's one of the most interesting things I've done - totally out of my comfort zone but it's a civic duty and if asked I wouldn't hesitate on doing it again. Think of the experience as a positive one. You have been selected. Some people will never have the experience that you will have in their lifetime
Lou_b - 16-Jan-16 @ 9:10 PM
What's the contact number for UK jury duty as I can't remember my date to attend,the number above doesn't work
RyanG1111 - 15-Jan-16 @ 2:21 PM
magylenny - Your Question:
Hi,I have been selcted for jury service on 1st of February. Only problem is a few weeks ago they asked me if I'm eligible or qualified for this service. I have filled and returned the form since I think I'm not eligible because I moved to the UK 18 months ago. Do I have to attend on the 1st of February?

Our Response:
You would really need to contact the Jury Central Summoning Bureau directly for an answer to your question.
CourtroomAdvice - 12-Jan-16 @ 11:42 AM
Hi, I have been selcted for jury service on 1st of February. Only problem is a few weeks ago they asked me if I'm eligible or qualified for this service. I have filled and returned the form since I think I'm not eligible because I moved to the UK 18 months ago. Do I have to attend on the 1st of February?
magylenny - 11-Jan-16 @ 1:33 PM
I have been called for jury service in March. Do I just turn up? Will I get another letter confirming things before that date? Like what to take, wear etc and whether they need me still?
Pheebes - 10-Jan-16 @ 11:53 PM
All these people moaning about Jury service when there are actually some people out there who wouldnt mind serving! Can a policy not be brought into place in this the 22nd century that you can volunteer or at least have a chance! I know of 3 people whom 2 of which have actually served twice! Sort it out!
lbatter - 2-Jan-16 @ 3:15 PM
My sister has been called fro Jury Service in Feb 2016 but she is not actually living in UK at the moment. What options does she have? Do I call the telephone number top of the letter? or she will have to call herself (from oversea)? Will she be able to claim for "travel cost - return air fare" if she HAVE to do perform her duty? Merry Xmas everyone!!!
spacon - 24-Dec-15 @ 10:35 PM
I am a teacher and have been summoned to attend during the half term holidays. I cannot take holiday at another time since these are scheduled but do not have a holiday 'booked'. Its time to have a break, catch up with friends and family. I cannot get this time back. Is this a reason for deferring?
g - 24-Dec-15 @ 2:27 PM
I have just recieved a summons today 24th december for jury duty in febuary. It says I have to fill in the form and send it back within 7 days. But the thing is it's christamas new year period and I should be exempt under the mental health act but I can't contact anyone using the phone number provided to ask what to do
Jez85 - 24-Dec-15 @ 10:53 AM
I was picked for Jury Duty and had a letter giving me a date. The letter also had a phone number to ring and find out if i was needed on 1st day.I wasn't needed. I was then asked to ring the Court again to find out about the next day. This has been going on for a week and half now .Does anyone know what the reason could be for this? A complete waste of time,, choosing us and then being told our services were not required. Also will that be within the official 2 week period of jury service.
Beth - 14-Dec-15 @ 3:05 PM
Ali B - Your Question:
My husband has been called for jury service commencing Jan 4th 2016. He already has a short holiday booked for Jan 24th - 28th. I would like to book another holiday for Feb 22nd.Each of these holidays would be outside the official 2 week period of jury service, but I know that some cases go on a long time. I believe if this is anticipated the jurors will be notified. If he were put on a case that was expected to be lengthy, do you know what his chances would be of being excused the longer case on the grounds that he has holiday booked? with thanks

Our Response:
He may be able to defer jury service if you have a holiday booked, see gov.uk link here.
CourtroomAdvice - 10-Dec-15 @ 12:52 PM
My husband has been called for jury service commencing Jan 4th 2016. He already has a short holiday booked for Jan 24th - 28th. I would like to book another holiday for Feb 22nd. Each of these holidays would be outside the official 2 week period of jury service, but I know that some cases go on a long time. I believe if this is anticipated the jurors will be notified. If he were put on a case that was expected to be lengthy, do you know what his chances would be of being excused the longer case on the grounds that he has holiday booked? with thanks
Ali B - 9-Dec-15 @ 5:00 PM
sarah1974 - Your Question:
Recieved to do a jury summons for febuary for a court 26 miles away, but there is a crown court about 4 miles away, can I as if I can do jury service at the court nearer to me. I dont drive, and to be in court for 9am which is stated on the letter, means trying to get 2 buses and then walking from bus station earlier in the morning, miles away. to get there in time, my first bus will be at 6.23AM.train fares are coming up at £40.60 a day, mega money, yes I know they re-emburse you, but thats still alot of money to find for a minumum of 2 weeks. my husband works strange hours and only knows his works shift patterns about 2 weeks in advance if hes lucky ( nhs 111) I have 2 children of 9 and 15, and need someone to be at the house until 9 yr old gets his lift to school ( a school mum over the road takes him, as I suffer from back problems) and cant walk far. My 15 yr old leaves the house at 7.30 for school. what do I do, any advice please.

Our Response:
You can apply to defer jury service by filling in the form and giving details of why you wish to defer, e.g. having an operation or going on holiday. A jury officer will make a decision on your application. However, you are only allowed to defer once in a 12 month period.
CourtroomAdvice - 9-Dec-15 @ 2:52 PM
recieved to do a jury summons for febuary for a court 26 miles away, but there is a crown court about 4 miles away, can i as if i can do jury service at the court nearer to me. I dont drive, and to be in court for 9am which is stated on the letter, means trying to get 2 buses and then walking from bus station earlier in the morning, miles away . to get there in time, my first bus will be at 6.23AM. train fares are coming up at £40.60 a day, mega money, yes i know they re-emburse you, but thats still alot of money to find for a minumum of 2 weeks. my husband works strange hours and only knows his works shift patterns about 2 weeks in advance if hes lucky ( nhs 111) I have 2 children of 9 and 15, and need someone to be at the house until 9 yr old gets his lift to school ( a school mum over the road takes him, as i suffer from back problems) and cant walk far. My 15 yr old leaves the house at 7.30 for school. what do i do, any advice please.
sarah1974 - 8-Dec-15 @ 9:30 PM
I was picked for Jury Duty this morning and after waiting several hours because a "matter" had turned up in Court, we were then asked to take our seats in the Court and the Judge said that the case was deserted and that it would continue tomorrow with another Jury.Does anyone know what the reason could be for this? A complete waste of time,, choosing us and then being told our services were no longer required.
RG - 8-Dec-15 @ 4:41 PM
Chanda - Your Question:
I got a letter & sent the response back but now I have moved from my former address what was I suppose to do chalease?

Our Response:
You should contact the Jury Central Summoning Bureau directly regarding this matter.
CourtroomAdvice - 16-Nov-15 @ 2:14 PM
I got a letter & sent the response back but now I have moved from my former address what was I suppose to do chalease?
Chanda - 16-Nov-15 @ 5:02 AM
Hello, I'm due to attend the court at the end of this month. I'm a little worried about it as I'm not sure what to expect. It says roughly 10 working days, will I still get the weekend off, or will I be in 10 days straight?
Zozo - 8-Nov-15 @ 8:47 PM
I did Jury Dutya few years ago. I sat as a Juror on a trial. How long am I barred for before i can do Jury Duty again? I seem to remember someone saying before I couldnt do it for five years after being picked before.
Hello - 7-Nov-15 @ 10:22 PM
jacrycody5 - Your Question:
I suffer from post natal depression, I got a 11 month old son, and I think it will be too much stress on top to do jury service, will I still need to do jury service in my condition

Our Response:
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. 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.
CourtroomAdvice - 3-Nov-15 @ 10:53 AM
I suffer from post natal depression, I got a 11 month old son, and I think it will be too much stress on top to do jury service, will I still need to do jury service in my condition
jacrycody5 - 2-Nov-15 @ 11:01 AM
t image - Your Question:
Hi,I have just received a jury service letter to say I need to attend on 21/12, please can you tell me whether jury runs on Christmas and bank holidays? Thank you.

Our Response:
It will not run over the Christmas period. However, it would be advisable to check with the Jury Central Summoning Bureau when it breaks for the Christmas recess.
CourtroomAdvice - 29-Oct-15 @ 2:52 PM
Hi, I have just received a jury service letter to say I need to attend on 21/12, please can you tell me whether jury runs on Christmas and bank holidays? Thank you.
t image - 28-Oct-15 @ 8:05 PM
What happens if asked on monday 14 december 10 days will end on xmas day. Would they be open on xmas eve abd xmas day.
trish - 23-Oct-15 @ 8:37 PM
Annie - Your Question:
HiyaIm just wondering, in your life if you get selected for jury service would you only do it the once for the 2 weeks assigned (or longer if depending on trial) or would you have the chance of being selected again in life like say in 5 years?

Our Response:
There is no system for being selected for Jury Service, so trying to predict whether someone could get picked again would be purely speculative.
CourtroomAdvice - 21-Oct-15 @ 2:44 PM
Hiya Im just wondering, in your life if you get selected for jury service would you only do it the once for the 2 weeks assigned (or longer if depending on trial) or would you have the chance of being selected again in life like say in 5 years?
Annie - 20-Oct-15 @ 6:44 PM
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