11 answers

Grand Jury Duty in Bergen County NJ

Hey All

I have Grand Jury Duty for the 1st time ever scheduled for next week. I was wondering if anyone can share some insight on how it works. My notice states 1 day per week for 9 weeks!!! GEEZ!!!

What I am wondering is the following:

Do I go the same day every week? My first day is on a Friday at 2PM in the afternoon. Will my days vary each week?? (Just trying to figure our childcare and that sort of thing!!)

Is there a chance I may not have to do a full 9 weeks?? (actually hoping LOL)

Generally, what goes on for Grand Jury Duty. Am I guaranteed to hear a case each week or do I still have to go thru a selection process each week with possibility of not being selected.

I know I have a lot of questions...I am quite anxious to understand how it works since its my 1st time.
I have heard regular Jury duty is better as you have a better chance of not being selected. Someone told me if my notice is for Grand Jury that I have already been selected for a case...but I am not sure about that since my 1st day is at 2PM...2 hrs before court closes.

Any insight is GREATLY appreciated.
Thank You In Advance to Everyone!!!
Linda

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Featured Answers

I once got out of it because I didn't have childcare for my then 3 and 5 year olds, another time I got out because I was pregnant and having morning sickness. They have never contacted me again. Maybe you can ask about the childcare situation, maybe they will let you out.
All the best to you,
Venus

More Answers

Linda,
As a former prosecutor I can answer a few of your questions. When selected for state grand jury service, you will be called to serve once a week on the same day each week. Once you are selected to sit on a grand jury, you become part of a group of grand jurors that remains the same for the duration of your service. In other words, you will only go through one selection process, right at the outset. And it is unlikely that your service will be cut short, so you will likely serve for the entire 9 weeks. On each day of service, you will hear anywhere from one to several criminal cases. It is up to you to decide whether to return a criminal indictment against a defendant. If the prosecution doesn't have any cases to present to you on your day of service, the likelihood is that you won't be called in at all on that day. For whatever it's worth, I've always found grand jury to be fascinating, and the types of cases you will hear can range from drug cases to bank robberies to political corruption crimes. People that serve on grand juries have a tremendous responsibility to ensure that justice is served. Enjoy.

If NJ grand jury is anything like NY grand jury it is very different from regular jury duty. I have done both. Grand jury is you hear from the prosecutors and witnesses about many cases and decide if they justify an actual court jury. I had it for 9 weeks also but had to report 3 days a week. You do still have to go through a screening process but it is not specific to a certain case until before you hear that case. I heard about 50 cases and was excused from 1 since I new the victim. Just like jury selection I had to call on the days I was to report and see if i was needed but found that if I called most of the time I had to report, and I did have to do all 9 weeks. The deal is if anyone has been charged with a crime you help decide if there is just reason for a court date to be set.

Day care was hard to figure out. I set up 2 people for each day and told them I didn't know what or when the time schedule was or if they would even be needed. I used family members who were also stay at home moms and grandmas. Since you already work, just line up who can pick up the children or be at you house when the bus drops them off.

The only time I had to report in the afternoon was for grand jury selection. Once I was selected I had to report from 9 am to 4 pm. Sorry for the bad news but I did find that when it was over with I felt like I had served my country.

I always want to be on a Jury, but never been called. Sorry I don't know what to be expected. On the other hand,I would love to find out about your home business, because I am a stay home mom of one

I once got out of it because I didn't have childcare for my then 3 and 5 year olds, another time I got out because I was pregnant and having morning sickness. They have never contacted me again. Maybe you can ask about the childcare situation, maybe they will let you out.
All the best to you,
Venus

Linda, I worked for the courts for 13 years, so here is the scoop on Grand Jury... Yes you will be required to sit all 9 weeks, and yes it is usually the same day of the week. You will hear and see evidence for a case but not like you see on TV. The cases that you will hear are in the very beginning stages of prosecution... Meaning the Prosecutor will present evidence and you as a part of the jury panel will decide if there is enough evidence for the case to proceed.(dont worry you will receive plenty of instructions) There is a foreman selected that will then bring the case to a superior court judge along with the prosecutor for indictment (this last part only takes about 5-10 minutes) Hope this info helps, and relax you may actually enjoy it.

I had grand jury duty in NY, so it sounds different in NJ. Once I was selected for the grand jury, I had to be there everyday for a month - no more, no less. It isn't the same as jury duty. In grand jury duty, you are listening to cases and deciding if the defendant should be indicted or not. If yes, then they go to trial. We sat there for a month, and sometimes cases came in, sometimes nothing all day. Sometimes several in a day. It was boring, but when there was a case, it was actually pretty interesting. Bring a book or something else to do for the downtime. If you have to go one day for 9 weeks, then the duty is obviously different, but the responsibilities are the same.

Hi Linda,
You only need to give the jury duty office birth certificates of your children, and provided they are under 5 or eligibility for kindergarten you will not need to serve. They may keep calling on you every year and annoyingly enough you sill have to do it every time.
Good luck, J.

Hi Linda,

I never had grand jury, only petit jury in which I had for a week. After one full day they had enough people chose for the court cases for the week so I was told they didn't need me anymore. I know it's different with grand jury, there should be a phone number on you card that they sent you that you can call. They should be able to explain how it all works.

Good Luck!

P.S. I work for myself as well and am doing very well! My 9-5 working in a cubicle for 10-15 dollars an hour are over!

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