New Jury Duty Reforms Now Allows Potential Jurors To Provide Demographic Information, Eases The Process For Exemption Requests

New Jersey courts have begun to collect juror demographic information at the initial stage of the selection process, giving attorneys the information necessary to assess the composition of a jury pool in advance of a trial.

The collection of juror demographic information is part of statewide reforms authorized by the Supreme Court in July to improve the jury selection process.

Under the new process, eligible jurors in New Jersey are given the option to respond to questions about their race, ethnicity, and gender on the qualification questionnaire.

So far, in all 21 counties, the vast majority of potential jurors have voluntary provided demographic information, the court said.

New Jersey is the first state court system to collect juror demographic information on the qualification questionnaire.

“By collecting juror information at the earliest possible stage, New Jersey will for the first time have a clear picture of the degree to which our jury pools align with their communities, administrative director of the courts Glenn Grant, said in a statement.

“Attorneys and parties in a trial will be able to obtain demographic data in advance of a trial to determine if there is an underrepresentation of a particular race, ethnicity, or gender in a jury pool, and the Court will be able to use the information to assess the effectiveness of the jury selection process and identify any areas in need of reform,” Grant added.

The new jury management system also:

• provides a straightforward process for jurors to make requests to be excused, rescheduled, or disqualified.

• makes court staff regularly available to assist jurors with technical issues through the MyJuryService portal.

• maintains the use of paper questionnaires for jurors who prefer to respond by mail.

• continues to provide jurors with e-mail and text messages with the most upto-date information about their service.

• enhances security for juror information.

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