Burke County Jury Service

Find information for jurors in this county.

Length of Service

Jurors are typically summoned for a one-week session. Occasionally, jurors may be summoned for multi-week sessions when complex and/or lengthy matters are to be tried. Jurors can and often do serve on more than one trial. Jurors are obligated to the court for the entire week’s session of court until excused by the presiding judge.

Hours of Service

The Burke County Courthouse hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for all Judicial Branch holidays.

When and Where to Report

Each juror receives a jury summons by U.S. mail. On that summons is information as to the date and place to report for jury.

The Friday before jury service week, jurors are asked to call the jury information line at (828) 433-3205 after 5:30 p.m. for a recorded message that will inform jurors if/or when their appearance will be required. This message will remain until further instructions are given and a new message will be recorded.

Included in the message will be specific instructions for the specific location and time to report. The message could also release the jury as all matters for the jury have been resolved. In that case, you DO NOT need to report at all! Otherwise, follow instructions to report to the specified location at the specified time for jury orientation. You will watch a video that explains what to expect as a juror. Court staff will also give jurors additional information. Once orientation is completed, oaths will be administered and the jury will be escorted to the courtroom. Jurors selected to serve on a trial will be given a juror badge to wear until they are released form jury service by the judge. Once a trial begins, the presiding judge will instruct jurors on their duties.

Additional Information

Jurors should dress professionally and comfortably, but not too casually. Many judges do no allow anyone to come to court wearing halter or tank tops, cut-off jeans, or shirts with offensive wording. Jurors will be acting as part of the court while serving, so dress appropriately. Layered clothing is recommended since courtroom temperatures may vary considerably, requiring the removal or addition of a sweater of jacket.

Also, cell phones are allowed in the courtroom. However, they must be completely powered off while the juror is in trial.

For questions, please contact the Jury Clerk at (828) 433-3235 or Burke.Jury@nccourts.org.

Request for Jury Service Excuse or Deferral

General Information

Deferral/Excusal: To request an excuse or postponement from jury service, please submit the information via Electronic Form located below or Mail. Your request must be received no later than seven (7) days prior to your service date. A decision regarding your request will be returned via email or phone call. Requests sent by Mail must include the Application for Excuse, Deferral, Exemption and Disqualification From Jury Service form you received with your summons along with the supporting documentation. Mail requests can be submitted to:

Burke County Jury Clerk
PO Box 796
Morganton, NC 28680

The ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION FORM (see below) may be completed in lieu of the mail option. The electronic request must be submitted a minimum of seven (7) days prior to your appearance date. (Requirements and instructions are listed below.)

Reasons for Excusal, Postponement or Deferment

Jury service is the solemn obligation of all qualified citizens. For more information, view G.S. 9.6 about jury service and G.S. 9.6.1 about requests to be excused. Excuses from the discharge of this responsibility may be granted only for reasons of compelling personal hardship. Persons qualified to serve must:

  • Reside in Burke County
  • Be at least 18 years of age or older
  • Understand the English language
  • Have not served as a juror during the preceding two (2) years or as a grand juror in the past six (6) years
  • Be physically and mentally competent

Exemptions, Excuses and Postponements may be granted for the following reasons:

  • People 72 years of age or older
  • NOT a Burke County, North Carolina Resident
  • Person is deceased
  • Students enrolled in a full-time learning institution
  • Health/Medical reasons
  • Convicted of a felony and voting rights have NOT been restored
  • Not a United States Citizen
  • On assignment with the military

Excuses will be granted ONLY for reasons of compelling personal hardship. Requests for excuses and postponements for jury duty must be made by electronically using the requested online form, email, or by mail. Your request CANNOT be handled by telephone. All requests must be submitted a minimum of seven (7) days prior to your jury service date.

NOTE: All decisions are made by the District Court Judge. All communication about these decisions will come from the Clerk of Superior Court Jury Clerk.

Until you have received a response from the Clerk of Superior Court’s Office, you are still required to appear at the county courthouse for jury duty on the specified summons date if your juror number is called.

  • If you do not receive a phone call or email indicating the status of your request at least 24 hours prior to your assigned jury date, you must comply with all the instructions indicated on your jury summons.
  • Users will receive a response via phone call OR via email regardless of the method you choose to send in your request.
  • It is YOUR responsibility to monitor your phone messages and email for a CONFIRMATION letter from the Clerk of Superior Court's Office to determine if your request has been approved or denied.
  • For questions, please contact the Jury Clerk at (828) 433-3235 or Burke.Jury@nccourts.org.

If you DO NOT receive a response to an excusal request, you are still required to appear for jury service if your juror number is called.

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