Polk County Jury Service

Find information about jury service 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 typical juror's day will be from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Occasionally, other hours are required by the court during trial, but this is rare. If selected to serve as a juror, follow the instructions of the presiding judge.

When and Where to Report

The night before their service date, jurors should call the jury information line at (828) 894-4905. Jurors will be instructed as to whether they need to report at all or at a specific time.

Jurors should report to the historic Polk County Courthouse unless instructed to report elsewhere on the message on the juror information line.

When jurors report to the courthouse, they will be shown an orientation video that explains what to expect as a juror. Afterwards, all jurors present will be administered an oath. Jurors selected to serve on a trial will be given a juror badge to wear until they are released from jury service by the judge. Once a trial begins, the presiding judge will instruct jurors on their duties.

Please note that due to security reasons, cell phones and other electronic devices will NOT be allowed in the courtroom during your service.

Request for Jury Service Excuse or Deferral

To request an excuse or deferral from jury service, please submit your request via the Electronic Form located below, mail or fax. Your request must be received by the date shown on your summons.

Your request CANNOT be handled by telephone.

A decision regarding your request will be returned via USPS regular mail.

Mail or fax requests can be sent to:

District Court Judge Presiding
ATTN: Jury Clerk
PO Box 38
Columbus, NC 28722
Fax: (828) 894-4901

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 Polk 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 Polk 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

Until you receive a letter stating the judge’s decision regarding your request, you are still required to comply with the instructions as indicated on your jury summons and appear for jury service.

It is your responsibility to monitor your mail for a letter stating the judge’s decision regarding your request.

Read more and submit the online form

Additional Information

While efforts will be made by the court to reduce delays in trial starts and to avoid long waiting periods, some waiting time should be anticipated while jurors are chosen to sit on a jury.

If a work note validating your attendance is needed, please request the same from the Clerk of Superior Court’s office at the END of your service. The Clerk will ensure that the note covers all dates served.

Learn more about Jury Service