You have to report for jury duty

You Have to Report For Jury Duty … Or Do You?

It’s every citizen’s duty – and privilege – to serve as a juror when summoned.  When the summons arrives at first it feels like a nuisance, something that interferes with the daily flow of life that should be avoided.  Then, after some consideration, you realize that it’s a civic responsibility to participate in the same way that it is to vote.  So you mentally commit to serve if called.

Phoning To See If You Have to Report For Jury Duty

Then comes the real nuisance part: Calling in every night to see if you have to report for jury duty the next day.  You know the drill – carry that wretched letter with the phone number and the codes you have to enter, remember to call, find a quiet spot where you can hear the voice prompts on the other end, enter an interminable number of digits to get to the point where you can actually enter yet another code that represents your juror number and then wait.  And, of course, if you do something wrong, you have to start from scratch.  Finally, you receive the information… you do, or do not, have to report for jury duty the next day.

For jurors summoned to serve for the State of New Jersey Courts, however, that’s ancient history.  For the past couple of years NJ Courts has been using a simple, effective and cost-efficient system that:

  • Eliminates the need for jurors to call in every day
  • Provides a trackable log of who has received notification and responded
  • Reduces costs for the court
  • Increases summoned juror likelihood of responding and reporting to jury notices

What’s the magic system?

It’s simple – they get a standard text message at about 5:00 PM telling them that they do or do not have to report for jury duty the next day.  If they have not been called at the end of their standby term they receive a message thanking them for their service and confirming that they are no longer needed and will not receive any more messages.  These messages can be received by any cell phone; smartphones are not required because every cell phone manufactured today is SMS-enabled.

In fact, roughly 85% of all summoned jurors who are offered the option of receiving a text message instead of having to call in every night take that option.  It’s simple, easy to sign up and requires on a one-time effort instead of having to call in every night.

So the next time you’re told to report to jury duty think about this: Would you want to be obligated to call in every night for a week and go through the entire process over the phone or just get a text?

85% of the jurors summoned for State of New Jersey Courts think the decision was easy.