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What Is a Jury Summons?


As a citizen of a state or nation, an individual may be obligated to render a service to his or her country when called upon. This duty may include serving as a juror in a jury panel to hear a court proceeding. In order for a person to be called to perform such a duty, he or she must be notified through a legal document referred to as jury summons.


Jury duty in the US is a very rigorous and strict obligation. When a US citizen receives jury summons, he or she must appear at the time and date indicated in the court summons. Penalties will be given to an individual who does not show for jury duty. Receiving a summons for jury duty does not automatically mean that the individual becomes part of the jury. He or she is required to undergo jury selection. Thus, it is also possible that the individual who has received summons for jury duty might not actually be selected.


The process of giving a jury summons for jury duty may vary from state to state. Some states give jury duty to those randomly selected from a list of registered voters. However, variables such as ownership of land, possession of a driver’s license, and others may increase the chances of an individual being picked for jury duty.


Jury summons are usually delivered via mail. It is necessary that a person respond to the summons by the date given on the summons. Failing to respond to a jury summons may mean a short imprisonment of a few days or a hefty fine.

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