What to do with your jury summons

This page explains what to do if you receive a summons for jury service in the post.

Why have I been summoned?

Your name has been chosen at random from the electoral register.  Most people eligible to vote in the UK will be asked to do jury service at some point in their lives.  It is an important contribution to our society and justice system.

How do I fill in the form?

Your jury summons is made up of two pages.  The first page is the cover sheet that says when and where you are being asked to serve.  The second page is a form that you need to fill in and send back in the envelope provided.  There will also be a covering letter and an information sheet that aims to answer questions you may have at this stage.

Start by putting your date of birth and telephone number on the top of the form. 

Question 1 asks if you are qualified to serve as a juror.  Tick either YES or NO.  To be qualified you must:

  • Be aged between 18 and 76 on the start date of your service
  • Be registered to vote in the UK
  • Have lived in the UK for at least five years after turning 13

People are not qualified to be jurors if:

  • They are on bail
  • They have been to prison or been subject to a community order within the last 10 years
  • They have ever been given a prison sentence of 5 years or longer
  • They are having ongoing medical treatment for a mental disorder
  • They do not have capacity to manage their property and affairs

Full-time serving military personnel and Coroners and their staff may serve if they wish but can be excused if they ask.

If you are not qualified, say why in question 2.  If you are qualified, leave question 2 blank.

If you are qualified but you want to be excused from jury service, say why in question 3.  Explain as fully as you can and say whether you want to be excused permanently or just delay your service to a later date.  Your reason for wanting to be excused must be serious.

Sign the form and post it back in the pre-paid envelope.  You should do this as soon as you receive the form.

What will happen next?

The Coroner’s Office will look at your form and decide one of three things.

  1. You may be accepted on to the jury.
  2. You may have your service deferred (put off) to a later date.
  3. You may be excused from jury service.

You will receive a letter with the decision within a week of returning your form.  If we have questions about what you have put on the form, we will phone you to discuss it.

What happens if I don't reply?

It is very important that you do reply to the summons and give true information.  If you do not, the Coroner has the power to have you brought to court by the Police and fined. 

If you are away on holiday when the form arrives, or if you have some other good reason for not replying straight away, don't panic.  Just send it in as soon as you are able to.