JURY SUMMONS BROCHURE
WHAT IS A JURY?
A jury is a group of people chosen to sit in a Court, hear evidence and make a decision about facts with the
guidance on the law from a Judge. A jury will generally consist of 12 people. Not all people attending Court
will be chosen to sit on a Jury.
While you are in attendance at the court complex you must not disclose your name or address to anyone
other than a Sheriff's Officer, Court Officer or a Judge. If in any doubt you should request identification.
A CRIMINAL TRIAL
In a criminal trial the jury determines whether the accused is guilty or not on the facts presented. In a criminal
trial, a verdict of guilty or not guilty must be unanimous, that is, the verdict of all jurors. In a civil hearing the
jury gives a verdict for the plaintiff or the defendant.
HOW WAS I CHOSEN FOR JURY SERVICE?
A jury roll for each court district in New South Wales is made up at least once every 12 months. Names are
selected at random by computer from the electoral rolls, and this time your name was selected. You would
have received a notice informing you that your name has been included on a jury roll making you eligible for
jury service and giving you the opportunity to apply for removal from the jury roll if you came within one or
more of the schedules under the Jury Act.
WHAT IF THE JURY SUMMONS IS SENT TO A PERSON WHO CANNOT SPEAK ENGLISH?
If the jury summons has been sent to a person who cannot speak or understand the English language, a
responsible person must read the summons to the juror and complete the application to be excused on
behalf of the juror. The application should include details of the length of time the person who has received
the jury summons has resided in Australia and the details of his or her occupation.
WHAT IF MY DETAILS ARE NOT CORRECT?
If you have changed your name, address or occupation you should advise the Sheriff's Office in writing or if
you are required to attend Court then advise the Sheriff's Officer in charge of the Court.
It may happen that with a change of address you are no longer required to serve as a juror in your former
jury district. If this situation occurs the jury roll will be amended to ensure that you do not receive any further
summonses for your former jury district.
Failure to advise a change of address may result in you not receiving important information. This could lead
to the enforcement of a penalty by the State Debt Recovery Office of up to $1,650.00 (plus costs) for non-
attendance at jury service. The onus is on you to confirm that the changes have been made.
DO I HAVE TO ATTEND?
Unless you have been excused for good cause, the laws of New South Wales impose a penalty of up to
$2,200.00 for not attending in accordance with a jury summons.
WHAT IF I CANNOT ATTEND THIS TIME?
The Jury Act provides for you to be excused from attendance if you have a good reason. This reason could
be childcare responsibilities, temporary absence from your home (ie holidays), sickness or physical infirmity,
which would affect your ability to serve on a jury.
Should you be unable to attend on the date of your jury summons give details on the back of the summons
and return it to the address shown. Alternately a letter will suffice. Substantial penalties can be imposed for
supplying false information. An application to be excused should be forwarded to the Sheriff's Office at least
7 days before the summons date.
You should also include copies of any documents that support your application to be excused ego airline
tickets, medical certificates or itineraries.
You will be notified of the success or otherwise of your application but it should be noted that it is your
responsibility to ensure that the application has been received by the Sheriff's Office and processed. Do not
make any assumptions about the outcome of an application.
If you are excused from jury service that does not necessarily mean that your name will be removed from the
jury roll. While the roll is current, you may receive further jury summonses until you attend the Court and are
willing to serve as a juror.
COULD I RECEIVE MORE THAN ONE SUMMONS?
If you attend Court prepared to serve as a juror you can claim an exemption from further jury service for 12
months. If you are empanelled on a jury you can claim an exemption from jury service for a period of 3 years.
HOW LONG IS JURY SERVICE?
If you are not empanelled on a jury then normally you will be required to attend court for I or possibly 2 days.
Your jury service is finished when you are discharged by a Judge or an officer of the court. If you are
empanelled on a jury your jury service concludes when the Judge discharges you at the end of the trial.
If you are empanelled on a jury you will be given attendance times and generally be required in Court
between 10.00am and 4.00pm each day. The Judge will, however, authorise regular breaks. If you are
empanelled you will receive meals and refreshments. If the Judge allows you to leave the Court premises
during the luncheon adjournment, an allowance for the purchase of food may be payable.
People attending Court and who are not empanelled on a jury will be discharged as soon as possible. Where
facilities are available tea and coffee will be provided while you are waiting.
There may be some delay on your first day and you can, if you like, bring something to read. The delay will
usually occur because the parties to the proceedings need to raise some preliminary matters with the Judge.
The Sheriff's Officer will endeavour to keep you informed of what is happening. You should have breakfast
before attending Court, as you may be required to wait some time before being able to be either discharged
or be provided with a short break.
WHEN IS MY JURY SERVICE FINISHED?
Your obligations as a juror finish when you have been discharged by the Judge or an officer of the court.
In the event of a guilty verdict in a criminal case, the Judge can either pronounce sentence immediately
following the verdict or at some other date.
WHERE DO I REPORT FOR JURY SERVICE
Details of when and where to report are on your jury summons. Please note the details carefully. Access to
the Jury Assembly area is generally from 8.30am. You should ensure that you contact the recorded
information service before attending Court as your attendance may be cancelled or delayed due to
circumstances beyond the Sheriff's control.
When you attend Court for jury service and you are uncertain of something or need help, Sheriff's Officers
and Court Officers are there to assist you. Please do not hesitate to ask for assistance.
DO I GET PAID FOR ATTENDING FOR JURY SERVICE?
If you are selected as a juror you are paid for each day that you attend Court. You are also paid for
attendance if you attend, willing to serve, and your attendance is required for more that 4 hours. If eligible,
you will receive a jury payment by mail. The jury fee increases with the length of time you are required to
attend Court. If you are empanelled on a jury and are allowed to leave the Court premises for lunch you may
also receive an allowance for the purchase of a meal.
To receive payment however, you must complete a statutory declaration regarding payment. These
declarations will be made available when you attend Court. Payments made by the Attorney General's
Department to individuals in relation to service as a juror may be subject to income tax in the hands of
individuals. The Attorney General's Department recommends that you obtain independent taxation advice in
IS CAR PARKING PROVIDED?
Car parking is not available at any Court complex. It should also be kept in mind that the Sheriff will not
support any application by a juror to reverse a parking infringement notice incurred whilst attending jury
Travel by public transport is recommended wherever possible.
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
You should be suitably attired. Neat and tidy daywear is appropriate.
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY EMPLOYER WILL NOT RELEASE ME FOR JURY SERVICE?
Your employer is under a legal obligation to release you from work to perform jury service. It is an offence for
an employer to prohibit a person from attending for jury service, to alter or threaten to alter their employment
as a result of jury service. If this situation arises you should contact the Sheriff's Office by telephoning on the
COULD I BE CHALLENGED?
Jurors are not questioned as you may have seen in television shows, however, the law gives the parties the
right to challenge a certain number of jurors without a reason being given. A "challenge" should not be
regarded as a personal criticism. It is a right given by law to the parties conducting the trial to participate in
the selection of a jury.
The jurors "challenged" cannot be on that jury but must remain in attendance and may participate, if
required, in other trials.
WHAT DO I DO, IF I KNOW THE ACCUSED OR A WITNESS?
If you find that you know a party in the trial, a witness or the accused, you should immediately bring this to
the attention of a Sheriff's Officer.
Generally a person called for Jury Service is required to attend Court by no later than 9.00am. The recorded
information service will advise if there is any change to the time that you are required to attend.
Empanelled jurors will be given attendance times.
Empanelled jurors receive a morning tea break and lunch is usually taken between 1:00 to 2:00 pm. They will
normally leave the Court at 4:00pm.
Jurors not empanelled are allowed to leave the Court as soon as possible.
If a juror becomes ill overnight or encounters difficulties in' getting to the Court by the required time, he or
she should inform the Sheriff's Officer at the Court shown on the summons or the Sheriff's Office in Sydney.
The Sheriff's Office is responsible for making sure that all citizens of New South Wales who are eligible to
participate in jury duty can do so. People with a disability who have been asked to participate in jury service,
should contact the Sheriff's Office in advance to discuss any disability related access needs. You should ring
at least 7 days prior to your reporting date.
If you are not sure you can participate in jury duty because of your disability, please contact the Sheriff's
Office to discuss the situation. The Sheriff's Office will take all reasonable steps to help you participate in jury
The TTY number for the hearing impaired is 1800469889.
ANONYMITY OF INFORMATION
The Jury Act provides that your personal information should be restricted to all but some relevant Court staff.
In the main these are the presiding Judge and Sheriff's Officers and Court Officers.
You will be issued with a jury card that contains a unique number. You will be referred to in Court by this
number. At no time, other than with the Sheriff's Officer for administrative purposes or in the jury room, will
your name and address be used or required.
Smoking is not permitted in Court precincts.
Mobile phones are not permitted to be switched on in the jury assembly room or at any time if you are
empanelled as a juror. Please ensure that they are turned off at all times in the Court or that they are left at
YOUR SAFETY AT COURT
You may be scanned on entry to the Court. This procedure is carried out to ensure the safety of all people
having business at the Court.
It is an offence to carry a firearm, a knife, or a prohibited weapon in court premises and possession of these
items may result in a person being arrested or fined.
To reduce delays in gaining entry during scanning procedures do not bring the following as they are
considered dangerous items and should not be brought to court: Tools (for example: screwdrivers, spanners
and hammers), scissors, motorcycle helmets, Illegal drugs and syringes (without medical authority), aerosol
cans (other than hairspray, perfume etc); and alcohol.
Contact telephone numbers
Main: 9209 8222
Disability: 9209 8222
Fax: 9287 7260 or 9287 7222
Telephone Interpreter Service 131450 TTY (for hearing impaired) 1800 469 889
Thank you for reading this brochure. I hope your Jury service is a rewarding experience.