Jury Service: Qualifications, Exemptions and Excuses

Jury service is a way for United States citizens to participate in the judicial process. It is one of the most important civic duties you can perform.

To be qualified for jury service a person must:

  • be a United States citizen;
  • be at least 18 years of age;
  • reside primarily in the judicial district for one year;
  • be adequately proficient in English to satisfactorily complete the juror qualification form;
  • have no disqualifying mental or physical condition;
  • not currently be subject to felony charges punishable by imprisonment for more than one year; and
  • never have been convicted of a felony (unless civil rights have been legally restored)

There are some groups of persons who are exempt from jury service:

  • full-time paid members of the armed forces on active duty;
  • full-time paid members of professional fire and police departments; and
  • full-time paid "public officers" of federal, state or local governments.

In this district, the following additional persons may be excused upon request from jury service:

  • persons who are over age 70;
  • persons who have served on a grand or petit jury within a 2-year period; and
  • volunteer safety personnel, such as persons who serve without compensation as firefighters or members of a rescue squad or ambulance crew for a public agency.

Other Excuses if Summoned for Service

Persons summoned for jury service may ask to be excused temporarily or permanently from service or deferred to another time on the grounds that service would cause undue hardship or extreme inconvenience. To request an excuse or deferral, you must submit a Request for Jury Service Postponement/Excuse form. The form will be available to you to download after you complete the summons questions using the court's online eJuror program, or you may contact the court's jury clerk to request that a form be sent to you. 

All requests to be excused should be submitted to the court by the deadline that will be provided in the jury instructions you will receive if you are summoned for service. This will allow the court to consider your request before you are required to report for service. If you only need to be partially excused for one of the jury selection dates listed in your instructions or you need to be deferred to another month, such requests can be acted on more quickly than requests to be permanently excused from service. Requests for permanent excuse could take several weeks for the court to process before you receive a final decision.

Unless you receive notice that your request was granted, you must report for service on the dates originally provided in the jury instructions you receive when summoned. Any excuses not granted before you report for service or which arise after the deadline for submitting a request for an excuse may be raised when you report for service.

Jury Clerk Contact Information:  Brigid Davis ejuror@nhd.uscourts.gov   603-225-1527 or 1-800-776-0320 (option 3)

You may learn more about jury service in the federal courts at www.uscourts.gov/services-forms/jury-service.