Length of Service
Jury service in this county operates on the one-day / one-trial system. A new group of jurors are summoned each day of the week and, if selected to serve on a jury, a juror will serve for that day or for the length of a trial. However, if a person is not selected for a trial, their jury service will be complete after that one day. If selected to serve on a trial that is completed before the end of the day, those jurors will return to the jury assembly area and may then be selected for service on another case. If not selected again, those jurors will be allowed to go home at the end of the day, having completed their jury service. Jurors selected for a trial that takes several days will need to be present each day during the trial.
The average length of service, if selected to serve as a juror in a trial, is two days.
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
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:
Paul A. Holcombe, III
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
- Person is deceased
- Students enrolled full time in a 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, 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.