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Jury Service in Maine
Thank you for your willingness to serve your community
Trial by jury is a fundamental right guaranteed by the U.S. and Maine Constitutions. It is also one of the oldest and most revered civic responsibilities that a citizen can fulfill. Thousands of Maine people from all walks of life answer jury summonses each year and report for jury service. In addition to performing an invaluable service, most jurors find serving as a juror to be a rewarding experience that deepens their appreciation and understanding of our justice system.
How are people selected for jury service?
The clerk of every Superior Court keeps a list of potential jurors (Juror Source List) for every county in Maine. The Juror Source List is compiled from a list of all licensed drivers and individuals who have been issued a State of Maine identification card, supplied by the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Individuals who do not have a driver’s license or identification card but would like to be included on the Juror Source List and are otherwise qualified, may fill out the Request for Inclusion on Juror Source List form and return it in person to the Superior Court in the county where they reside.
Qualifications to serve as a juror
- Age 18 or older;
- United States citizen;
- Resident of the county that sent you a summons for jury service; and
- Able to read, speak, and understand the English language, unless the inability is the result of a physical disability.
- The Judicial Branch complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and will provide reasonable accommodations to enable disabled individuals to serve as jurors. [link to more info/request form]
Returning the juror questionnaire
You will receive a qualification questionnaire with your juror summons. [Please complete and return to the clerk’s office as instructed in the paperwork.] You may need to update or correct your name, current address, and/or other information. If you no longer live in the county where you received the questionnaire, return the questionnaire to the court with your current address. Individuals are eligible for jury service only in the county in which they live.
Exemptions and deferrals from jury service
Maine law exempts the following individuals from jury service:
- The Governor; and
- Members of the armed forces on active duty.
In addition, certain municipal and state election officials are exempt from jury service during elections.
Excused or deferred from jury service
A person 80 years or older who does not wish to serve on a jury may be excused. In addition, a person is not required to serve as a juror more than once in any 5-year period, and three times in total.
The court has the authority to excuse or defer an otherwise qualified person from jury service if the person demonstrates:
- Undue hardship;
- Extreme inconvenience;
- Public necessity; or
- An inability to render satisfactory jury service because of a physical or mental disability.
If you believe you should be excused or deferred from serving for one of these reasons, you will be required to provide written documentation to the court. A request to be excused for medical reasons must be accompanied by a note from your medical provider.
Your employer cannot provide an excuse for jury service and your employer may not penalize you because you have been summonsed for jury service.
In many instances of hardship or extreme inconvenience, the court may be able to arrange for a prospective juror to serve for a limited period to satisfy their jury service obligation. The court may also be able to re-schedule prospective jurors to serve during a time of year that poses less financial or other hardship or inconvenience.
If you wish to be excused from jury service or have your service deferred to a later date, contact the clerk’s office as soon as possible before the date you are scheduled to appear. See Juror Service FAQs for more information.
Failure to report for jury service
Not going to court on the date you have been summoned for jury service is a violation of state law. If you fail to appear as expected, the court may find you in contempt of court and you could be ordered to pay a fine and/or serve jail time. Please do not ignore a jury summons.
Jury service compensation
All jurors are paid $15 per day by the State, plus mileage reimbursement to and from the courthouse. These amounts are set by the Legislature.