“All qualified jurors have an obligation to serve on juries when summoned by the courts…”
—Policy of Arizona
If a person is at least 18 years of age and is registered to vote or has a driver license, his name undoubtedly is on a list of eligible juror candidates.
A master jury list is maintained by the jury commissioner of every county. At least twice a year, the names of prospective jurors to serve on trial and grand juries are selected at random from the master jury list. The jury commissioner then mails a questionnaire to each person whose name was drawn from the master jury list to determine his qualifications to serve, and whether he has valid grounds to be excused from service.
If a person’s answers to the jury questionnaire indicate that he is disqualified for jury service or state grounds sufficient to be excused from jury service, he will be excused. If the jury commissioner refuses to excuse a person who claims he is disqualified or is entitled to be excused, that person may ask the presiding judge to decide whether he should be excused.
A prospective juror who is at least 75 years of age may submit a written statement to the court requesting that he be excused from service. On receipt of the request, the judge or jury commissioner will excuse the prospective juror from service.
A person may be summoned to serve on a trial jury in federal district court, the superior court, a justice court, or a municipal court, or to serve on a federal, state or county grand jury. The manner in which a person is summoned for jury duty may be different in each case. In the superior court, the jury summons is generally mailed to a person at his place of residence.
If a person fails to appear in response to a jury summons, a second summons will be sent. Failure to respond to the second summons may lead to the person’s arrest and a fine of up to $500.
A person who is scheduled to appear for jury duty may postpone the date of his initial appearance only twice. To postpone an appearance, the person summoned must contact the jury commissioner and request a postponement.
An employer may not discipline or fire an employee for fulfilling his jury service obligation.
According to statistics published by the Maricopa County Superior Court, more than half a million jury summonses are mailed every year for all of the courts within the county limits, and for the state and county grand juries. Only a small fraction of the people who receive jury summonses are actually sworn as jurors. A person who has been summoned and selected to serve on a jury in Arizona is generally not required to serve again as a juror for two years.
Those sworn as jurors in the superior court are entitled to a jury fee of $12 per day plus mileage to and from the courthouse. A juror whose service lasts more than five days may submit a request for payment from the Arizona Lengthy Trial Fund. The amount of replacement or supplemental earnings paid will be at least $40 but not more than $300 per day beginning on the fourth day of service. The amount a juror receives from the Fund is limited to the difference between the jury fee paid to the juror and the juror’s actual lost earnings, up to $300 per day. Jurors who are unemployed are eligible to be paid $40 per day.
Despite the inconvenience, jury service is still both a duty and a privilege.
The above article is an excerpt from Arizona Laws 101: A Handbook for Non-Lawyers, 2nd Edition (Fenestra Books, 2012), by Donald A. Loose, republished with the author’s permission.
Disclaimer: Laws change constantly. Specific legal advice should be obtained regarding any legal matter. The information contained on this website does not constitute legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is created.
Donald A. Loose is an Arizona attorney, and the author of Arizona Laws 101: A Handbook for Non-Lawyers, and Estate Planning in Arizona: What You Need to Know. Mr. Loose is a regular guest on radio shows featuring local newsmaker interviews. He may be contacted at email@example.com.
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