So you got the jury questionnaire in the mail, you know what that means, you are going to be called shortly for jury duty. Do you panic? No, you fill it out and mail it back, or you go to the website listed on the notice and enter your info. Once you hit enter, you probably forget about it. At least that is what I did.

Fast forward to two or three months later when I got the jury summons in the mail. Great. I really don't have a reason to postpone it, I do see it as my civic duty to do it. My question is why do they do it on a week when I would normally want to take off work? 

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So what do you need to do when you get a jury summons in New York State?

Interior of courtroom

The first thing that you need to do is see if it is for county court or for federal court. That way you will know where you need to be prepared to go when the time comes. Also, notice (immediately) the dates that they are asking you for. This is very important. Why? Hang on one moment, keep reading.

What if you want to get out of jury duty in New York State?


Are you wanting to get out of it because you envision it being a pain and an inconvenience on your time? Remember that everyone does have the right to be judged in front of a jury of their peers. There are legit reasons that you can get out of (or be excused from) jury duty. Needing to care for a relative, you yourself are homebound, etc. You can also ask to have your jury duty moved to another week, say, if you are already scheduled to go on vacation, getting married, or have some other event taking place.

Be realistic. You will probably get one shot to reschedule. After that, they are going to see right through you. If you really need to postpone or say you are asked to report on a certain day, and an emergency comes up, you need to get in touch with the court immediately. How does a court define immediately? Contact them, via the phone at 9 am on the date that you are to appear.

What happens when you need to report to jury duty in New York State?

judge's gavel on desk in courtroom.

You will need to show up a few minutes early, with your jury summons, and photo id. It is recommended that you wear a face mask, but it is optional. It is also recommended that you bring your lunch with you. There will be a chance for you to leave mid-day and get lunch locally, but you will need to be quick about it.

You should also expect to sit around and wait most of the day.  You will also be told to park in a municipal lot, or where you don't have to rely on a parking meter to be fed every few hours, as you will more than likely not be able to leave to go put money in it.

That is if you get called, how do you know that you need to actually report for Jury Duty?

Here is the fun thing, you need to find your juror number on the summons, and then you need to either call each night before the weekday of your jury duty, or you can look at the website, and then look by county, again you should do this after 5:15 PM the day before.

I have been called down and gone through the questioning to be in a jury, but have not yet appeared on one. This time around, I did the whole call the night before and there were other juror numbers that did have to report, but my number was never called. I now am clear of jury duty (on the county level) for six years. How was your experience?

Hopefully, the courthouse you have to go to isn't this creepy! 

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