A letter of welcome from Chief Justice Tina Nadeau:
I am pleased to welcome you to your service as a juror in the New Hampshire Superior Court system and trust that you will find this experience both rewarding and interesting.
As a citizen of New Hampshire, you have certain rights and responsibilities including the duty imposed by both the Constitution of the United States and the State of New Hampshire to serve as a partner in the administration of justice. This is an awesome responsibility and a vital public service which you should assume with pride.
We all recognize that jury service places a significant burden on you by interrupting your personal and business lives and imposing substantial financial hardship on some. It also represents a unique privilege we have as citizens to meaningfully participate in the judicial system. Jury service not only represents a responsibility but also a unique opportunity to ensure fairness in the justice system, to learn firsthand how it works, and to help us make it work better.
The information contained on this website will provide you with important details about your jury service. You should review it carefully. If you have any questions, court personnel will be pleased to answer them.
Please be assured that the judges and court staff will make certain you are not inconvenienced any more than necessary consistent with your duties as jurors. On behalf of the judges and staff at the Superior Court, thank you for your commitment and effort in representing the citizens of New Hampshire.
Tina Nadeau, Chief Justice
INFORMATION FOR JURORS
Here are answers to questions you may have about your Jury Service.
(please click on the question to be brought to the answer)
1. What is a Grand Jury?
A Grand Jury considers evidence presented by the County Attorney or the Attorney General and decides whether there is sufficient evidence to formally charge a person with committing a crime. The Grand Jury does not decide if a person is guilty or innocent. Your summons letter will let you know if you have been selected to serve as a grand juror.
For Court specific information, such as directions, parking and Grand Jury dates, please click on the County where you have been asked to serve.
2. What is a Petit Jury?
A Petit Jury hears testimony and views evidence in cases being brought to trial then deliberates and reaches a verdict. Your summons letter will let you know if you have been selected to serve on a petit jury. For additional reporting dates for Petit Jury, please click on the county where you have been asked to serve.
3. How do I complete the juror questionnaire?
You can click here to enter the secure eResponse site. eResponse is an electronic version of the juror questionnaire. You will need your ten digit candidate id and the PIN which can be found on your summons . The PIN is in the format of letter/number/letter/number. (See a sample summons here)
If you have any questions please call 1-855-212-1234 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., press 4 and ask to be transferred to the Jury Center.
If you would like to use our automated telephone system to hear your status, the result of any requests, contact us, or leave a message after 4:00 p.m. and before 8:00 a.m., please call 1-855-207-8888. To use the automated telephone system, you will need your ten digit candidate number from your summons, and your zip code.
4. How was my name selected?
New Hampshire combines the list of licensed drivers provided by the Department of Motor Vehicles and the lists of registered voters provided by the Secretary of State to create a master list of jurors. Names are randomly selected for jurors in each county.
- You are not a U.S. Citizen
- You have moved out of the State of New Hampshire or the county where you have been asked to serve
- You have a permanent medical condition that would make it very difficult to serve as a juror and are not asking the court to provide you with accommodations
- You are a convicted felon. The jury center will send you a form called a Juror Eligibility for Annulment which needs to be filled out and returned. The court will contact you as to whether you are disqualified from jury service
- You have difficulty speaking or understanding the English language
Your request will be ruled on by a Judge and you will receive notification from the Jury Center.
You can click here to enter the secure eResponse site. Please complete the entire questionnaire, submit your answers, and then request a disqualification.
6. Can I change the date of my service and come at another time?
If the month that you have been summoned for is particularly inconvenient for you, you can request to have your service deferred to another month. For example:
- You are out of state attending school
- You are a member of the Legislature and the General Court is in session
- You have a case pending in this county that could be heard by this jury panel
- You have a temporary medical condition that would make it very difficult to serve as a juror
- Jury service would create undue hardship or extreme inconvenience (such as having travel plans or work commitments)
Your request will be ruled on by a Judge and you will receive notification from the Jury Center.
You can click here to enter the secure e-response site. Please complete the entire questionnaire, submit your answers, and then request a deferral.
- You are 70 years of age or older, and you do not wish to serve
- You are actively serving in the military
- You have served as a juror in the New Hampshire Superior Court within the last three (3) years
You can click here to enter the secure e-response site and request an excusal.
8. What if the juror is deceased?
If the juror who has been summoned is deceased, please call the call center at 1-855-212-1234 within our business hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., press 4 and ask for the jury center when your call is answered.
9. I have a felony criminal record; can I still be a juror?
You cannot serve as a juror if you have been convicted of a felony which has not been annulled or which is not eligible for annulment under New Hampshire law. If you think this applies to you, please complete the jury questionnaire here and indicate your criminal record details. The court will let you know if you have been excused.
10. What if I have a disability and want to serve as a juror?
Please complete the entire questionnaire. Be sure to indicate what accommodations you would need to be able to serve as a juror in question 46.
NOTICE REGARDING THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990
For further information, please click here.
You will be paid $10 for half a day and $20 for a full day of service. If you live outside the town or city where the courthouse is located you will be paid .20 cents per mile round trip. Jurors who live in the town where the courthouse is located do not receive mileage. If you work for the State of New Hampshire you will not receive payment for your service but you are entitled to mileage reimbursement (if applicable).
Notify the Court that you do not wish to be paid when you check in on your first day of service. You can choose to waive the juror fee only, the mileage reimbursement (if applicable) only, or waive both the juror fee and the mileage reimbursement (if applicable).
13. What happens if my employer doesn't want me to be a juror?
An employer cannot ask that an employee be excused or deferred. That request must come from the juror directly. According to New Hampshire law (RSA 500-A:14), an employer cannot deprive an individual of their employment or threaten or coerce an employee because of their jury service. Any employer who violates this law may be held in contempt of court. If an employee were to be discharged because of their jury service, they would have the right to bring the employer to court and recover their job, lost wages and attorney fees. Please contact the Jury Center at 1-855-207-8888 if you have any concerns.
14. What will happen if I just ignore the summons?
Jury service is an important part of our responsibility as individuals living in a democratic society. Your fellow citizens are relying on you to listen to and decide on the facts in their cases and make impartial decisions about how disputes should be resolved. You should take this responsibility seriously. If you willfully fail to serve as a juror, you can be subject to certain penalties.
15. What should I wear?
The proceedings in any courtroom around the state are conducted in a dignified and respectful manner. Juror's clothing should reflect the seriousness of the situation. There is a dress code for jurors. Do not wear torn clothing, shorts, cut-offs, tee shirts, tank tops or clothing with slogans or written expressions. Your clothes should be neat, clean and comfortable. As a juror, you are representing the court system and should dress accordingly.
16. How many days will I have to serve as a juror?
It is difficult to say for sure. If you have been summoned for Petit Jury Service, most trials last less than a week. Even if you have served on one jury, you may serve on other trials within that same month. You will not be required to sit as a juror for more than 30 days (6, five day weeks) unless you are serving on an on-going trial.
If you have been summoned for Grand Jury Service, your summons will list your reporting day. Additional dates can be found by clicking here. Generally you will be asked to serve between one to three full days every month.
- PHOTO I.D.: You may be asked to show a photo I.D. such as a driver's license.
- SECURITY SCREENING: The court building is a secure environment and all persons entering the court, even prospective jurors, are required to submit to a security screening. This will include passing through a metal detector and placing any items being carried through an x-ray machine. Do not bring guns, knives, pocket knives, knitting needles or other items that could be used as a weapon. Please keep in mind that even certain everyday items (scissors, nail clippers, etc.) will not be permitted.
- On your first day you will watch a short instructional DVD. Following the DVD, jury selection will begin.
- HOW LONG WILL I BE THERE? You should expect to be in court for the full day, until 4:00 p.m. You may be released earlier but it is not something you can plan on.
- LUNCH: Lunch will be on your own. There are soda machines in most court houses. When you are deliberating on a case you will be provided with lunch.
- CELL PHONES: Juror cell phones will need to be switched off during jury orientation and selection. Your cell phone will be held for you by court staff during grand jury proceedings and petit jury deliberations. If an emergency occurs and you need to be contacted, calls can be made to the court.
- DELAYS: You should be prepared to spend time waiting. You may bring reading materials or other items that will occupy you during waiting periods.
- DAY CARE: Courts do not have any facilities for children. You should make other arrangements for your children during the day.
18. When can I talk about a case in which I participated as a juror?
Once a verdict has been reached, the jurors are permitted to discuss the trial, verdict and deliberations with anyone they wish, other than the parties and their attorneys. No one involved in the case, or any person acting for them, is permitted to question you for a period of 30 days after you have completed the entire term of your jury service. After that time, communication is permitted but it is up to you whether you wish to speak with anyone. You should let the court know if you are contacted within the 30 day period or if anyone has asked you questions or made comments that embarrass or harass you or to influence your actions in future jury service.
Here are just a few things to keep in mind when you begin your jury service:
· Do not chew gum or eat snacks during the proceedings. You will be given breaks during the proceedings when you can have a snack or something to drink.
· It is important to be on time when reporting for jury duty. The case cannot begin until all the jurors are ready. If you think you may be delayed for some reason, you should call the clerk's office immediately.
· Remember not to talk to anyone about the case before the judge instructs you to. This means family members, friends or other jurors. If anyone tries to contact you or influence your decision, you should tell the judge or a court officer immediately.
· FINALLY, remember to be fair and keep an open mind about what you hear and see during the proceedings. Set aside your personal feelings. By remaining impartial, you will be able to reach the best decision in this case for the benefit of your fellow citizens.