General Information about Jury Duty

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If you have received a Summons to attend for jury duty:

Based on the responses you provided on your Juror Questionnaire, you have received a Summons to attend for jury duty. As a Canadian citizen, it is your civic duty to attend at the court location noted on your Summons at the specified date and time. The location of the courthouse at which you are required to attend is indicated in the shaded box of the Summons.

You will be a member of a "jury panel". The "jury panel" is not a jury. Rather, it is a large group of people from whom one or more juries will be selected. You may or may not be selected from this jury panel to sit as a juror on a civil or criminal trial. As a member of the jury panel, you are only a potential juror.

If you are selected as a juror, then with the guidance of a judge, you will be responsible for determining questions of fact in a civil trial or one or more verdicts in a criminal trial.

Planning For Jury Duty

  • The date, time and location that you are to attend are shown on the Summons in the shaded box.
  • Court usually starts at 9:00 or 10:00 a.m. and ends at 4:00 or 5:00 p.m.
  • Be sure to bring your Summons with you the day you are scheduled to attend the courthouse.
  • If you are summoned to attend at a location outside of Toronto, you are required to attend for the date shown in your Summons and usually one or two days after that, and perhaps one or two days of the following week.
  • If you live in, and are summoned to attend court in the City of Toronto, you are required to attend as a prospective juror for a minimum of one week.
  • Jury panel members may be on call for two or three weeks. This varies for each court. You may be asked to attend on consecutive days, or in many locations, on consecutive Mondays. This depends on the number of trials for which juries must be selected during that time frame.
  • Jury panel members go home at the end of each day.
  • Jurors sitting on a trial usually go home each day and would only stay in a hotel if during a criminal trial, they had begun their deliberations but have not reached their decision by late in the evening.
  • If you are selected to sit on a jury trial, you will be advised of the estimated length of the trial as part of the selection process.
  • Parking facilities vary from courthouse to courthouse, and public transportation is strongly recommended if available. If you attend the courthouse as a member of the jury panel, you will be responsible for paying your own parking fees.

Juror Payments-Jury Panel Members

  • Jury panel members who reside more than 40 kms from the courthouse, and who live outside the city limits, will receive a travel allowance.
    • Panel members are not paid for attending the courthouse in response to their Summons (unless selected as a juror). Please see the Juror Payments section below.
    • Panel members in the City of Toronto are not paid a travel or parking allowance and are strongly encouraged to use public transportation.

Juror Payments-Jurors

  • Those persons selected from the jury panel to serve as jurors will receive the following payment:
    • From day 1 to 10: No fee
    • From day 11 to 49: $40.00 per day
    • From day 50 to the last day of trial: $100.00 per day. Trials of this length are rare.
  • Jurors who live outside the city in which the courthouse is located will be paid a daily travel expense once serving as a juror. Jurors residing in the same city as the courthouse are not paid a travel allowance.
  • Employers are required by law to allow employees time off for jury duty.
  • The law does not require employers to pay salary for employees summoned for jury duty, although some employers do. Speak with your employer to determine if they have a policy to pay people absent from work for jury duty.
  • As a member of a jury panel or as a selected juror there is no allowance for childcare expenses.

Disabilities and Accommodations

  • If you need accommodation for a disability, contact the court office immediately to discuss your needs. The court address and phone number are on the upper left corner of the Summons.
  • Every effort will be made to provide necessary accommodations for people with disabilities to participate in the jury process. For example: a judge may allow you to use technical, personal, interpretive or other support services to enable you to serve on a jury.
  • Courtroom accommodation requests will require the approval of a judge.

Hardships in Attending Jury Duty

  • If this is a difficult time for you to attend at the courthouse because of your employment, business, schooling, vacation, or personal circumstances, you may ask to be excused from jury duty, or to have your jury duty deferred to a later date. You must immediately make this request in writing to the court office and explain the nature of your difficulty. You must provide any available documentation that supports your request. Your request will be considered by a judge.
  • The court office will advise you of an alternate date to attend if your request is approved by a judge.
  • If you are on Employment Insurance benefits (E.I.), you can attend jury duty and continue to receive benefits. You may contact the nearest E.I. centre for information.

Court Security

  • Some court facilities require that all persons are searched on entering the courthouse for security purposes.
  • If you have any questions, you may contact the court office to which you have been summoned.

Qualifications for Jury Duty

Persons in the following professions do not qualify to serve as jurors:

  • A legally qualified medical practitioner, coroner or veterinary surgeon who is actively engaged in practice
  • A police officer
  • A firefighter regularly employed by a fire department
  • A superintendent, jailer or keeper of a prison, correctional institution or lockup
  • The warden of a penitentiary
  • A sheriff or a sheriff's officer
  • Armed forces personnel of the regular and special forces and members of the reserve forces on active service
  • A barrister and/or solicitor or a student-at-law
  • An officer of a court of justice
  • A judge or a justice of the peace
  • A member of the Privy Council of Canada, the Executive Council of Ontario, the Senate, the House of Commons or the Assembly

For further information about Jury Duty

If you have questions about attending for jury duty, contact the court office. The address and phone number for the court office are on the upper left corner of the Summons.

You can also find a listing of court addresses at the following site:
www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/courts/Court_Addresses/

For information about the Juror Questionnaire