IMPORTANT CDC: Prospective jurors summoned for jury duty are being informed via the jury information line that if they fall into a high-risk category, they should not report for jury duty. Similarly, prospective jurors who have recently traveled in Level 3 Travel Health Notice Countries should not report, unless they have been cleared by local health officials, as well as individuals experiencing symptoms should not report.
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 trial length of service varies from two days or longer until released by the court.
When and Where to Report
The night before their service date, jurors should call the jury information line at (919) 792-4040 and select option one (1). Jurors will be instructed as to whether they need to report at all or at a specific time.
If scheduled to report, all jurors report to the Jury Assembly Room on the third floor of the Wake County Justice Center.
When jurors report to the courthouse, they will be shown an orientation video that explains what to expect as a juror. Court staff will also give jurors additional information. 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.
Request for Jury Service Excuse or Deferral
General InformationDeferral/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:
Chief District Court Judge
PO Box 351
Raleigh, NC 27602
Fax: (919) 792-4801
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 DefermentJury 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 Wake 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 Wake 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 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 for a CONFIRMATION letter from the District Court Judge’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.
Jurors should dress professionally and comfortably, but not too casually. Many judges do not 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 or jacket.
Jurors may bring a book or other reading materials, needlework, crossword puzzles, stationery, or other materials to occupy their time.
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.
Jurors may bring their lunch. In addition, a café is located on the first floor of the Wake County Justice Center and the 6th floor of the Wake County Courthouse.
In an emergency, jurors may be contacted through the clerk of court's office, or at an emergency number given to them when they arrive at the courthouse. The court staff will ensure that jurors get the message.