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Frequently Asked Questions - Jury
   

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How was I selected for jury duty?
Do I have to serve?
Failure to Report: What happens if I don't appear for jury duty?
Why can't I serve closer to my home?
Can I request an excuse or postponement over the telephone?
Will I get paid?
What if my employer wants proof that I was serving on jury duty?
May I smoke in the courthouse?
How long will I have to be at the court?
As a petit juror, if I serve on a trial, is my service over after the trial is completed?

Information concerning different aspects of your jury duty is located in detail on our website. The questions below are designed to assist you only in areas that we have not covered elsewhere. For additional information, please feel free to contact the jury staff.

Q: How was I selected for jury duty?
The court draws names from both the general election voter registration lists provided by all New Hampshire cities and towns and a list of active licensed drivers as maintained by the Motor Vehicle Division from the New Hampshire Department of Safety.

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Q: Do I have to serve?
Yes. Jury duty is not optional. Most jurors do not qualify for a statutory exemption from jury duty. However, if you believe you have an unusually difficult personal or business situation, you may provide that excuse to the court in writing. The court will then determine whether or not you meet the statutory requirements allowing you to be excused.

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Q: Failure to Report: What happens if I don't appear for jury duty?
28 U.S.C. section 1864(b) and the Judicial Administration and Technical Amendments Act of 2008, Pub. L. No. 110-406 allow the following sanctions for noncompliance with a jury summons or for lying on a questionnaire: the imposition of a fine from $100 to $1,000; imprisonment for not more than 3 days; and the potential penalty of community service. In fairness to all jurors who do report, a failure to report will be immediately addressed by the court and additional time may also be added to your term of service.

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Q: Why can't I serve closer to my home?
The United States District Court is a federal court and there is only one in the State of New Hampshire. If you are a resident of New Hampshire, you are eligible for service in this court and your service cannot be transferred to any other court.

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Q: Can I request an excuse or postponement over the telephone?
No. Requests to be excused or postponed must be submitted in writing and returned when you submit your juror documents. IF your request is granted, you will receive a written dismissal or deferral notice from the court. Otherwise, you must report when instructed to appear.

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Q: Will I get paid?
Yes. Federal jurors nationwide are compensated at the rate of $40 per day. You will also receive a mileage allowance from your home to the court and reimbursement for tolls. If you travel more than an hour to the court, you may also stay overnight locally at government expense. Jurors are generally paid on a weekly basis. Jury attendance fees are reportable income, but you should not include your expenses.

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Q: What if my employer wants proof that I was serving on jury duty?
To avoid conflicts with your jury commitment, employers and other interested parties should be provided with the schedule of your jury service as soon as you receive your summons. The court will gladly provide certificates of attendance for all jurors who appear at the court for jury selection and trials.

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Q: May I smoke in the courthouse?
No. However, jurors will receive a lunch break and are not required to remain in the courthouse at that time.

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Q: How long will I have to be at the court?

Petit Jurors: A typical jury day begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m. However, your schedule will depend on the court's schedule. When you first report for a one-time orientation, you will be asked to report about an hour earlier, around 8:00 a.m.

Grand Jurors: A typical grand jury day begins at 9:30 a.m. and ends before 5:00 p.m. There are breaks throughout the day and jurors are permitted to leave the courthouse during their lunch break.

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Q: As a petit juror, if I serve on a trial, is my service over after the trial is completed?
You may be dismissed from the balance of your term if you serve on a case, depending upon the length of the trial. Generally, jurors who serve more than 5 days on a case are dismissed after they render their verdict. Such dismissals will be granted by the trial judge.

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