General Jury FAQs
What are an employers obligations?
Your employee has been summoned to jury duty in the United States District Court.
Jurors are obligated to remain 'on call' for jury service up to 4 weeks. During that time, they may be called to serve on a jury. Jurors normally serve from 9AM to 5PM. In most instances, the burden of Federal Court jury service is not so overwhelming that it could not be absorbed by business or other establishments with relative ease.
You may not know that in order to ensure that the serious need for federal court jurors is met, in 1978 the Protection of Juror's Employment Statute Title 28, United States Code, Section 1875 was enacted. The statute demonstrates the attitude of the United States Congress toward assuring adequate representation and the corresponding duty of employers to their employees and the justice system. Financial hardship claimed as an excuse by an individual summoned for jury duty is not usually a valid reason for the Court to grant release from service. Unless there are some compelling reasons for that excuse, it will not be granted.
If your employment policy is against paying employees while they are on jury duty, you are now asked to reconsider that policy. Federal jurors are paid $40.00 per day for their service. Paying the difference between your employee's salary and the juror attendance fee is strongly encouraged, if possible.
What if I have a serious hardship?
If you have a compelling reason to be excused from jury service (extreme inconvenience or undue hardship), you must notify the jury office in writing. Any request must be prepared by the juror and detail the hardship. You may include any attachments you deem appropriate to aid the Court in rendering a decision. All medical excuses must have a doctor's statement attached. The request will be reviewed and you should call the automated phone system for the status of that request. You will not receive a written response.
You may also request to have your service postponed (within your term of service)or may be changed to another term, to be served at a later date.
Your service may be postponed for a short period (within your term of service), or may be postponed to another 2 or 4 week term at a later time (you will be issued another summons in this case).
What is the penalty for not responding to a summons?
Any person summoned for jury service who fails to respond or appear may be ordered by this court to appear at their own expense to show cause why they failed to comply with the summons. Any person failing to show good cause for non-compliance with the jury summons may be fined not more than $1000.00 or imprisoned not more than three (3) days, or both, pursuant to Title 28, USC Section 1866(g).
How can I get proof of my jury service?
You will be issued an attendance certificate covering each day of your jury service.
Why must I serve in (Camden, Newark or Trenton)?
The state of New Jersey is considered one district (The District of New Jersey). However, the state is divided into three vicinages, with designated counties for each vicinage, as follows:
Camden : Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem, Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic
Newark : Essex, Sussex, Passaic, Bergen, Morris, Union, Northern-Middlesex, Hudson
Trenton : Mercer, Ocean, Monmouth, Somerset, Hunterdon, Warren, Southern-Middlesex
Your full time county residence determines where you will serve.
Is Jury duty mandatory?
Yes. The United States Constitution guarantees the right to a trial by jury in both criminal and civil cases. Your participation as a juror helps make that possible.
What protects my employment while serving on jury duty?
Jurors are protected by Federal Statute, Title 28 USC Section 1875, from being discharged, intimidated, or coerced by a employer because of grand or petit jury service.
Am I required to give my employer my check for jury service?
Most employers who pay their employees while they are on jury duty require them to return the jury service fee to them. This has been deemed to be an acceptable practice. However, this should only apply to the attendance fee, and not to the reimbursement for travel expenses.
Are juror attendance fees considered reportable income?
The IRS considers juror attendance fees to be Other Income and must be reported. At the end of the year, a 1099 MISC form will be mailed to all jurors who earn $600 or more in attendance fees in the calendar year. This applies only to the "attendance fee" and not for reimbursement for travel expenses (mileage, tolls, etc.).
Are there restrictions on what can be brought into the Courthouse?
Yes. Portable phones, Laptop computers and PDA are PERMITTED. Cameras, recording devices, knives, scissors and similar type items are PROHIBITED in the Courthouses. Please do not have these objects in your possession upon arrival at the courthouse.