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Ministry of Justice

Jury Duty

Frequently Asked Questions

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link to Are you disqualified?

link to Request an exemption

link to Selection Process link to You the juror

Frequently asked questions

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This section provides information about frequently asked questions about jury duty.

Why did I receive a jury summons?
What is a jury panel?
What is a juror?
I requested an exemption when I submitted my certification form. When can I expect to hear whether it will be granted?
What are the consequences if I do not respond to the summons or do not show up for the jury selection process?
If I am a member of the reserves of regular force military, am I exempt?
If I serve as a juror, will I have to go through this process again?
If I am selected as a juror, how long will it be for?
If I’m not selected as a juror, will I have to come back?
What should I bring to jury selection?
What do I do on the date of my summons?
What happens when I have signed in?
How will I know what type of trial I might serve on?
What if I don’t think I should serve and want to be exempted?
What if I was not selected in the first jury selection?
What if I can’t get the time off work?
Can I lose my job or position for attending jury duty?
Does my employer have to pay me while I am on jury duty?
I’m receiving Employment Insurance Benefits. How does jury duty affect me?

 

Why did I receive a jury summons?

You received a summons because your name was randomly selected from data from the provincial voters list. 

What is a jury panel?

A jury panel is a group of people who receive a summons to attend court for jury selection. You are part of the jury panel until you are either exempted, excused or serve as a juror. 

What is a juror?

A juror is a person who has been selected from the larger jury panel to serve on a jury. If you go through the jury selection process and are selected and sworn in, you are then considered a juror.

I requested an exemption when I submitted my certification form. When can I expect to hear whether it will be granted?

If you responded to your summons online using the eResponse system, you can log back in anytime, 24/7, and view your status under the profile tab. If you have been exempted (or disqualified), your status will indicate this. Also, if using eResponse, you can select to be notified of your request via email once the sheriff has processed your request. If you responded to your summons in writing, the sheriff will make every reasonable effort to contact you within 10 working days from the date your request for an exemption is received. However, until you have been specifically informed by the sheriff that you are exempt, you must attend at the date and time of jury selection.

What are the consequences if I do not respond to the summons or do not show up for the jury selection process?

The Jury Act sets out your legal obligation to respond to the summons and participate in the jury selection process. The act also authorizes the sheriff to report the name of any person who fails to respond and appear for jury selection directly to the court. If you fail to appear, you may be subject to a fine set out by the court. 

If I am a member of the reserves of regular force military am I exempt?

Yes, the National Defence Act provides an exemption from jury duty for active service personnel.

If I serve as a juror, will I have to go through this process again?

If you serve as a juror, you are exempt from jury duty for two years.

If I am selected as a juror, how long will it be for?

It depends on the type of trial. You will be advised of the anticipated length of the trial by the judge on the panel section date. 

If I’m not selected as a juror, will I have to come back?

A jury summons may be active for up to two months, depending on the location. If you are not initially selected as a juror, you may be asked to attend court again for another jury selection within two months from the first panel selection date. The court will advise you of any future attendance dates. 

What should I bring to jury selection?

Bring the top portion of your summons document and picture identification with you to the courthouse. This will make it easier to be signed in by the sheriff. 

What do I do on the date of my summons?

Attend on the date, time and at the address indicated on your jury summons. You are responsible for any costs incurred in getting to the courthouse. As you enter the courthouse, you will either see signs or a person will direct you to where you can sign in with the sheriff.

What happens when I have signed in?

Once the sheriff has marked down your attendance, you will be directed to a room or area with all the other jury panellists. The sheriff will explain the jury process to you. When the court is ready, the sheriff will take you and the other jury panellists into the courtroom and the jury selection process will begin. Specific questions you may have can be directed to the judge at this time.

How will I know what type of trial I might serve on?

The summons you receive indicates what type of trial you may potentially be serving on. 

What if I don’t think I should serve and want to be exempted?

Make your exemption request to the sheriff at the time you first receive your jury summons. If your request is denied by the sheriff, you can ask the sheriff to make the judge aware of your request on jury selection day. Depending on the reasons for your request, the judge may or may not allow you to be exempted. Be sure to make it known to the sheriff, prior to counsel asking any questions to the court, that you would like to address the judge asking to be exempt.

What if I was not selected in the first jury selection?

It will depend on whether there is more than one jury being selected that day. If there is more than one jury selection being conducted, the jury selection process will begin again with the remaining panellists.

If no other jury selection is being performed on that day, you may be told to come back another day for another jury selection. Details regarding the date and time will be provided to you by the court on the jury selection day.

What if I can’t get the time off work?

Under s. 55 of the Employment Standards Act, employers must give employees time off work to attend jury selection and to serve as jurors. 

Can I lose my job or position for attending jury duty?

Under the Employment Standards Act, an employer must not terminate employment or change a condition of employment without the employee’s written consent. Upon returning from jury duty, the employer must either place you in the position you held before going on jury duty or a comparable position.  

Does my employer have to pay me while I am on jury duty?

Under the Employment Standards Act, an employer is not obligated to pay you for lost wages incurred during jury duty. But you are considered to be in continuous employment for the purposes of calculating annual vacation, termination entitlements, as well as pension, medical or other employee benefit plans. You are also entitled to all increases in wages and benefits you would have received if not on jury duty.

I’m receiving Employment Insurance Benefits.  How does jury duty affect me?

Under the Employment Insurance Act, a person entitled to employment insurance benefits remains entitled to those benefits while engaged in jury service.

Still have questions? See Contact Us.