If you're enrolled to vote, you can be asked to serve on a jury once every 2 years.
If you need to go to court, check with the Ministry of Justice first.
For civil cases, they decide on claims of up to $200,000.
In criminal cases they cover minor offences, but can also conduct trials for some serious offences, such as rape and aggravated robbery.
You receive a summons letter
If you’re chosen for jury service you’ll receive a summons in the mail.
The summons will tell you what you need to do and when you need to be at court.
If you can’t attend
If you don’t do your jury service and you haven’t been excused, you can be fined up to $1,000.
Use your summons form to apply to delay your jury service for up to 12 months or to be excused.
There are certain situations where you can be excused from jury service.
Get selected for a jury
Being summoned doesn’t always mean you’ll sit on a jury. There are 3 steps before you can sit on a final jury:
- When you get to court, the court registrar draws names out of a box. If your name is called, you’ll go into the courtroom.
- When you’re in the courtroom, names are drawn at random again. If your name is drawn, you’ll be asked to walk to the jury box.
- Lawyers may call out “challenge” as you walk to the jury box. If you’re challenged, you won’t be on the jury for that trial.
Attend the trial
Your role is to decide on the facts after hearing all the evidence from witnesses, the prosecution, and the defence.
As a member of the jury you must not:
- talk about the trial to anyone who is not on the jury
- investigate the case yourself (and this includes searching the web for information)
- post anything on social media about the trial.
You’ll discuss the case in the jury room with the other members of the jury and come to a decision.
What happens next
After the trial you can:
- find out what sentence the defendant gets by going to the sentencing hearing or you can ask the court to tell you the sentence
- get counselling if you need it.
You must keep what happened in the jury room confidential.