Receiving a jury notice

Each year, approximately 33,000 people are randomly selected from the Electoral Register to potentially be called for jury service. If selected, you will receive a letter called a jury notice and will have to complete a Form of Return.

If you receive a jury notice

The Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunal Service (NICTS) normally post jury notices to selected people in February/ March each year.

If you receive a jury notice, it means you could be called for jury service at any time during a 12 month period, from the beginning of July to the end of June the following year.

If you're selected at random for jury service, you will receive a jury summons. This will have further information, including where and when you are required to attend to meet your legal obligations as a juror.

The jury summons will give you at least 10 days’ notice to enable you to make arrangements to attend, however the office will always try to give longer notice were this is possible.

Form of Return

If you are on the list of potential jurors you will receive a juror notice pack. The pack will give you information on the jury service process and a form you need to complete called the ‘Form of Return’.

A Form of Return is needed because the Electoral Office does not hold all the information the court needs about you. This includes:

  • if you are retired
  • your job
  • if you have any criminal convictions

The only way the court can find this information out is by asking you to provide it.

You must complete and return your Form of Return to the Juries Officer within 14 days of receipt of the Jury Notice. If you fail to make a return within 14 days, or make a false statement, you will be liable on conviction of a Magistrates’ Court to a fine of up to £1,000.

If the Form of Return is not completed and returned, a reminder will be sent to you.

You can return the Form of Return by post or complete the form online.

Exemptions from serving as a juror

Some people are exempt from serving as a juror. There are several reasons for excusing someone from jury service. Details of these categories will be listed on your jury notice.

You can also find out more about exemptions at the page below.

Previously excused from jury service

If you have been excused from jury service before, you should complete your form of return and send it with an accompanying letter to the Juries Officer to consider. In this letter you should explain the situation, including when and why you were excused.

Depending on the circumstances, the Juries Officer may require you to submit additional documentation.

If the person on the jury notice has died

Due to the electoral list being compiled some time prior to the jury notice process starting, regrettably sometimes a deceased person’s name can be selected.

In such circumstances the next of kin should return the form of return to the Juries Officer who will ensure that no further correspondence is received.

If too ill to do jury service

If you are ill and unlikely to recover sufficiently between receiving a jury notice and being summonsed for jury service, then you should speak to your GP, who may certify you unfit for jury service. The GP should not charge for this service. You should send any medical certificate with your Form of Return to the Juries Officer.

The Courts and Tribunal Service cannot reimburse the person selected if your GP does charge you, or make enquiries on your behalf.

If you have moved address

If selected for jury service and you have moved address, then you must let the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunal Service know.

You should attach a letter to your jury notice advising the Juries Officer of your new address.

If jury notice is lost

If your jury notice is lost, you can do one of two things: either wait for a final reminder to be issued, which will contain duplicate documentation; or contact the NI Courts and Tribunal Customer Service Centre and request duplicate documentation to be issued.

 

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