What Is Jury Duty?

Jury duty is a task that United States citizens can qualify for; it requires them to serve as part of the jury at a federal court. Juries are selected from eligible citizens within a local district court area, and the method follows the process outlined by the Jury Selection and Service Act. U.S. citizens who have been chosen for jury duty are required to either contact their local district court directly or fill out a Juror Qualifications Questionnaire online.

All citizens of the United States who are aged 18 or older can be selected and qualify for jury duty at their local district court. Juries are generally selected randomly by the local district court from a list that contains both people owning a driver's license and those who are registered to vote. Prior to serving as part of a jury, potential jurors must fill out a questionnaire to determine if they fit the necessary qualifications. Members of a court jury are then selected randomly again from the list of qualified candidates as determined by their questionnaires.

Juries in the United States can be summoned to listen to two types of trials: criminal or civil. In a criminal trial, 12 people sit on the jury. In a civil trial, the jury must be made up of at least six people.