Johnston County Jury Service

Find information about jury service in this county.

Length of Service

Jury service in Johnston County generally is for one day or one trial, whichever is longer. A new group of jurors is summoned for each day of the week. If selected to serve on a jury, a juror will serve until the end of the trial and must attend each day until the trial is over. If a juror is excused during the jury selection process, that juror generally will be released for the week unless needed that day for a trial in another courtroom. Once a jury is selected in a particular case, the remaining jurors not selected generally will be released for the week unless needed that day for a trial in another courtroom. If jury selection in a particular case is not completed before the end of the day (usually 5:00 p.m.), all jurors in the panel for that case must return the next day and attend until jury selection for the case is completed; thereafter, all jurors not selected generally will be released for the week.

Most jury trials last less than a week. However, please be aware that a few cases take more than a week to try. In such cases, the court will do everything possible to minimize the inconvenience of jury service. Please remember that jury service is an obligation of citizenship, and moreover should be viewed as a privilege.

Hours of Service

Jurors are expected to be available from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for the length of the trial for which they have been selected.

When and Where to Report

Jurors are required to call (919) 209-5402 after 5:30 p.m. on the evening before their date of service to receive instructions on if and when they are to report. Jurors required to report will assemble in the Jury Pool Room on the second floor of the annex where an orientation will occur.

QuestionsQuestions regarding jury service in Johnston County may be directed to the jury clerk at (919) 209-5400.

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, Mail, OR Fax. Your request must be received no later than seven days prior to your service date. A decision regarding your request will be returned via mail or email. Requests sent by MAIL or FAX must include the completed bottom portion of summons and supporting documentation (instructions are included on the summons document). Mail or fax requests can be submitted to:

J. Frank Wood
Chief District Court Judge
PO Box 2341
Smithfield, NC 27577
Fax: (919) 209-5401

The ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION FORM (see below) may be completed in lieu of the mail or fax 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. Excuses from the discharge of this responsibility may be granted only for reasons of compelling personal hardship. Persons qualified to serve must:

  • Reside in Johnston 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 Johnston County, North Carolina Resident – proof of address is required (i.e., government issued photo ID, property tax statement or utility bill)
  • Person is deceased
  • Students enrolled in a full-time learning institution – proof is required (i.e., copy of current class schedule)
  • Health/Medical reasons – a statement from your physician is required
  • Convicted of a felony and voting rights have NOT been restored – date and county of conviction must be provided
  • Not a United States Citizen – a copy of your visa or green card must be provided
  • On assignment with the military – please provide a copy of your orders

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, or by mail or fax. Your request CANNOT be handled by telephone. All requests must be submitted a minimum of seven (7) days prior to your jury service date.

Until you have received a response from the District Court Judge’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 letter in the mail 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.
  • It is your responsibility to monitor your mail and email for a CONFIRMATION letter from the Clerk of Superior Court's Office to determine if your request has been approved or denied.

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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