What is a jury?
A jury is a group of citizens who determine the facts of a particular case. They then render a decision based on those facts and on the instructions on the law given to them by the judge.
Who may be called for jury duty?
Every resident of the Province of New Brunswick who is nineteen years of age or over and a Canadian citizen may be called for jury duty.
Who cannot serve as a juror?
The following is a list of those who are ineligible to serve as jurors:
- Members and clerks of the Senate and the House of Commons of Canada, Legislative Assembly, or the Lieutenant Governor;
- Anyone who works in the administration of justice (for example, a peace officer or employee of the provincial or federal departments of justice)
- Lawyers and other officers of the Courts;
- Spouses of persons referred to in paragraphs (1) to (3);
- Ordained ministers, priests or clergymen of any faith or worship licensed to perform marriages in the Province, and persons who are members of religious orders vowed to live only in a convent, monastery or other like religious community;
- Duly qualified medical and dental practitioners;
- Members of Her Majesty's forces on active service;
- Firefighters; and
- Persons convicted of an offence under the Criminal Code the Food and Drugs Act or the Narcotic Control Act, unless they have obtained a pardon.
In addition to those who are ineligible, the following may be exempt from serving as jurors:
- A person who has served on a jury within the five years preceding the summons to serve;
- A person who is seventy years of age or over;
- A person who is unable to understand, speak or read the official language in which the proceeding is to be conducted;
- A person who suffers from a physical, mental or other infirmity that is incompatible with the discharge of the duties of a juror;
- A person for whom service of ten or more days would cause serious and irreparable financial loss; or
- A person for whom service on a jury would cause hardship because that person has the care during all or any part of the day of
- A child under fourteen years of age;
- A person who is infirm or aged; or
- A person who is mentally incompetent.
How are jurors chosen?
When a jury is required, the sheriff summons a sufficient number of persons from any of the following four lists:
- The list of beneficiaries and their dependants who are nineteen years of age or over under the Medical Services Payment Act;
What do I do with a jury summons?
In addition to receiving a notice to serve (summons), you will also receive a juror's certificate and an application to be relieved from serving as a juror. You are required to mail or deliver the juror's certificate to the sheriff within five days of receiving it. Make note of the date and time that you have to go to court and keep the phone number for jury information on hand should you have any questions.
What if I wish to be relieved from jury duty?
If you wish to be relieved from jury duty, you may fill out the "application to be relieved" and mail or deliver it to the sheriff within five days of receiving your notice. Remember that jury duty is an important civic responsibility and you must have a good reason for asking to be excused. The sheriff will review your application and may or may not grant your request.
Should your application for relief be refused by the sheriff, you must attend Court at the designated time. You may appeal the refusal for relief to any Judge of the Court before the date on which you are summoned to attend for selection or you may appeal to the presiding Judge at the time of jury selection.
What happens if I ignore a notice to serve on a jury and I do not show up without being excused?
Jury duty is a civic responsibility that should be taken seriously. Anyone who has been summoned to serve as a juror and fails to respond to the notice or fails to appear at the commencement of the jury trial can be held in contempt of Court and may be fined a maximum of one thousand dollars.
Fees paid to Jurors
Fees paid for a half-day's attendance (less than four hours) is twenty dollars, and for a full day's attendance (more than four hours), forty dollars. However, if a trial last 10 days or longer, a juror will be paid forty dollars for each half-day and eighty dollars for each full day of attendance starting on Day 10 of trial.
Jurors may also be paid compensation for meals and travel expenses.