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I've just received my summons. What do I do next?
In order to comply with your summons, you must go to the Juror Portal to complete and submit your online Juror Questionnaire and Qualification form by the date indicated on your summons.
If you do not have internet access, you must call our office at (505) 841-7507 immediately and request the forms be mailed to you.
IMPORTANT! Keep your summons. It contains information essential for you to accomplish your jury service!
How do I go about performing my Jury Service? What can I expect?
Petit Jury Service (3 week term of service)
After completing the required forms (see above question), petit jurors begin their service by receiving reporting instructions via email or phone to attend jury selection. Jury selection or “Voir Dire” in legal terminology, is the act of selecting a jury panel consisting of 12 jurors and 2-6 alternates from a larger group of usually 50-100 potential jurors. During voir dire, the assigned judge of a case and attorneys for each of the parties will ask you questions pertaining to the nature of the case. Your responses to these questions are what the attorneys and judge will use to pick the panel. The jurors selected for the jury panel will hear the evidence, testimony and arguments of the plaintiff(s) and defendant(s) in a particular case and return a verdict. The jurors that are unpicked will be placed back on call for the rest of their term of service to be potentially be brought back in for a different case.
If you have been summoned for a 3 week term of service click here for more information on petit jury service.
Grand Jury Service (3 month term of service)
After completing the required forms (see above question), grand jurors begin their service by attending grand jury orientation 1-3 weeks before the start of their service. Reporting instructions for grand jury orientation will be sent out 1 week before orientation via email or mail. Grand jury orientation will go over how grand jury works, how often it convenes and a primary grand jury panel will be selected. Those selected for the primary panel (Panel A) will convene 1-2 times a week to hear grand jury presentations from various agencies. Those not selected for Panel A will be alternates (or Panel B) that cover times when parts of Panel A are missing. Grand jury is very flexible in terms of scheduling as long as your scheduling needs are communicated to the court ahead of time.
If you have been summoned for a 3 month term of service click here for more information on grand jury service.
I've misplaced my summons. What should I do?
Jury summons can be reprinted up to 30 days from the date of their creation. Please contact the jury division at 505-841-7508 to see if your summons can be reprinted.
Where do I park for Jury Service?
Jurors reporting for jury duty may park free of charge at the MetroPark parking structure. It is located just north of Metropolitan Court, and may be accessed by going north on 5th street from Lomas Blvd. The entrance to the structure is on the right immediately north of Slate Street. Look for the yellow sign that says “Juror and Public Parking.” Bring your parking ticket with you and we will validate your parking. If you have an oversize vehicle, please contact our office for instructions.
Handicap parking is located at 500 4th street NW Albuquerque NM 87102 with entries from 3rd and 4th street.
Please note that we cannot validate your parking if you choose to park at any other facility, nor can we reimburse you for any fees that you have paid for parking.
Can I bring my cell-phone, laptop, tablet, or other portable electronic devices?
Jurors coming in for jury selection or grand jury orientation MAY NOT bring their cell phones or other electronic devices into the court. However, if you are selected to serve on a jury panel, you will be given a voucher that will allow you to bring in your electronic devices until your service ends.
Why are you asking all these questions on the juror Questionnaire?
The questions asked on the Qualification form are accessed only by jury division staff, and are not shared with any other party, including judges and attorneys. The questions on the Questionnaire are asked in order to provide the judges and attorneys with some basic information regarding your suitability to serve as a juror on the specific trial for which you are summoned. Answering these questions in written format will shorten the jury selection process, and also limit the need to ask you personal or potentially embarrassing questions in open court. Please note that, pursuant to New Mexico Supreme Court Order 00-8500, all such Questionnaires in the possession of the Court or any other party, must be destroyed 90 days after the juror’s term of service ends. We rigorously adhere to that directive.
I've received a summons for a family member who is deceased. What should I do?
Do not throw it away. Indicate on the forms DECEASED, attach a copy of the death certificate and mail the entire packet back to the Jury Management Division.
I've received a summons for a family member who no longer lives in New Mexico. What should I do with it?
Do not throw it away. Indicate on the forms the name and the new address of the individual summoned. Return the entire packet to the Jury Management Division. The individual will be contacted to provide proof of the new address.
Where did you get my name?
Your name was randomly selected from a merged database consisting of licensed drivers, registered voters and New Mexico personal income tax filers.
I've been called to serve three times in the last five years and none of my friends have ever been called. Why don't you pick some other people?
A computer program randomly selects names from the master jury database. In the same way that a tossed coin may come up “heads” several times in a row, so some people may be selected more often in the short term. This seeming imbalance will even out over time.
I served as a juror less than three years ago. Am I still obligated to serve?
New Mexico statute allows those citizens who served within the previous three years to be excused from the session for which they have been summoned, if they request it. Names of jurors who have served within this period of time are not automatically excluded, as many jurors who have recently served are interested in serving again. If you served within the three preceding years, and wish to be excused at this time, please complete and submit your juror Qualification form (making sure you answer all questions), along with the juror Questionnaire as soon as possible.
Is Jury Service mandatory?
The United States Constitution and the New Mexico State Constitution guarantee the right to trial by jury. Failure to attend as directed may subject you to penalties provided by law. All Bernalillo County residents are obligated by state law to serve as a juror unless they:
- Are not a citizen of the United States
- Are under 18 years of age
- Have been convicted of a felony and have not completed all terms of their sentence, including probation and/or parole.
I'm not a US citizen. What do I do?
As stated above, the law automatically disqualifies non-citizens from jury service. If you are not a citizen of the United States, you will need to provide a copy of your residency card or birth certificate, along with the completed Qualification form to the Jury Division.
I'm over 75 years of age. Can't you remove my name from your records?
Yes. New Mexico statutes allow for the permanent excusal of all such individuals who request it. If you fall into this category you must request an excusal because of your age and you may be asked to provide proof of your age in the form of New Mexico ID or an Affidavit of Age.
When I report for jury selection for a trial, what will happen?
Reporting instructions will be sent detailing the particular location within the court that you will be asked to report. When reporting for jury selection, you must first check in with the jury staff. The jury staff will ask you for your name and juror number upon check in. Once you have checked in, you will be seated until all of the juror scheduled to report arrive. After all jurors have arrived, the Judge before whom you have been summoned will be notified. As soon as any preliminary court matters have been dealt with, the Judge’s bailiff will take all the jurors to the courtroom for a process called “voir dire.” This is a procedure during which the attorneys for the parties will ask questions to determine the suitability of each juror to serve on the particular case. In addition, the Judge may tell you something about the case, as well as how long it is expected to last. This process may last from 1 to 5 hours, (in rare cases, longer) depending on the case.
Once this step is over, you will be asked to either wait in the courtroom or be released for a recess in which the judge and attorneys will select the jury panel for the case.
After the jury has been selected, the bailiff or judge will announce the selected jury. The chosen jurors will be taken to the courtroom to be sworn in. In most cases the trial will begin immediately. Those jurors who were not selected will be released at this time, with an instruction to continue to check their emails, phones calls or the juror portal each day until the end of their service term.
Note: A complaint sometimes expressed by jurors concerns the unexplained time seemingly wasted during jury selection and trials. What might appear to be wasted time is actually being used by the judge and attorneys working on matters that must be done outside the presence of the jury. These events often arise unexpectedly and cannot be planned for. A case may settle just before a trial, thereby eliminating the need for your services that day as a juror. In fact, the presence of a waiting jury panel often accelerates this result. So your presence that day will have played a vital role in our legal system. Please be aware of these possibilities, and bear with us as we all work to accomplish our goal of achieving justice for all.
What do I do if I'm asked to report and there are unsafe weather conditions?
In such a circumstance, this Court follows the “closure” guidelines of Albuquerque Public Schools. Please check your local television or radio station to find out if inclement weather has closed (or delayed the opening) of the Albuquerque Public Schools. Note: We do not follow the “East Mountain” school closure guidelines.
How long will I serve as a juror?
A petit juror “session” typically lasts 3 weeks in Bernalillo County. However, during this time, our experience is that a juror may report for jury selection 2-3 times on average. You will be sent reporting instructions usually 2 days before you are needed and you will be checking the on-line juror portal to see if you are needed to report.
Are there ever any instances when I may have to serve longer?
In rare instances, a jury panel may be selected toward the end of a session, for a trial which lasts beyond the announced session end date. If that happens, those selected jurors are obligated to serve for the length of the trial. Though rare, it does happen.
How long does an average trial last?
The average length, from jury selection through verdict, is slightly over two days; however, occasionally a trial will last a week or longer.
What happens if I don't show up when my number is called?
Jury service is the bedrock of our judicial system and is an essential civic obligation to which all citizens are subject. It depends on the participation of those chosen to serve. If one or more jurors don’t appear as directed, it may cause a delay in the trial. Such delays are very expensive to the taxpayers of Bernalillo County. In addition, jurors who did show up as instructed are inconvenienced. Because of this, only the most urgent, unexpected and unavoidable emergencies can be considered as a valid reason for your absence. At the very least, those jurors who do not appear as instructed may expect their service will be re-scheduled to another session. In some instances, jurors who fail to appear have been brought before a judge to explain their absence. And in rare instances, a judge may direct that a warrant be issued for the juror’s arrest. If you find yourself in a situation where it is impossible to appear as instructed, you must call our office at 505-841-7507 as soon as possible after 8 A.M. on the morning you are expected to report. The judge will be informed of your absence and the reason for it.
Will I be compensated for my jury service?
The Court is authorized to pay $12 per hour for service. In addition, jurors will receive 50 cents for each mile greater than a 40-mile round trip from their residence to the courthouse. For example, someone traveling 50 miles round trip would be reimbursed for ten miles. Anyone traveling 40 miles or less will receive no mileage reimbursement. Checks will be mailed to your home address. On average, you should expect to receive payment for your jury service three to six weeks after the end of your session. If payment is not received within eight weeks of your jury service, please contact our office at 841-7507. Your payment cannot be split between hourly and mileage reimbursement. Please note: If you wish, you may waive your hourly pay or your mileage reimbursement. Simply indicate your wish to do so on the Qualification form.
I am a government employee. Will I still be compensated?
If you are employed by the city of Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, UNM, UNMH, CNM, APS, or the State of New Mexico, you will not be compensated by the court for your jury service, as it is the court’s understanding that you will continue to receive your hourly pay while on jury duty. If, however, you report for jury service on your own time, instead of your regular working hours, it is your responsibility to inform us so that you can be personally credited and paid. If you do not inform us of this before the end of your session, it will be too late.
If you are a federal employee, payment for your service will be issued to you. Please check with your Human Resources department to determine how they would like to have your pay processed.
Can my employer penalize me for having to participate in jury service?
No. New Mexico statute §38-5-18 states “An employer shall not deprive an employee of employment or threaten or otherwise coerce the employee because the employee receives a summons for jury service, responds to the summons, serves as a juror or attends court for perspective jury service. An employer shall not require or request an employee to use annual, vacation or sick leave for time spent responding to a summons for jury service, participating in the jury selection process or serving on a jury.”
I do not have transportation and/or a driver's license. Am I still expected to report for jury duty?
Yes. A lack of transportation or not having a valid driver’s license does NOT excuse you from jury service. The summons was mailed to you with sufficient notice to arrange transportation. Information regarding the City of Albuquerque bus routes can be found here. Information regarding the NM Rail Runner can be found here.
What should I wear when reporting for Jury Service?
Though there is no specific dress code, we request that you dress in a manner befitting the dignity of the court. Jackets and ties are not required for men. Jeans are acceptable. Shorts, spaghetti straps, tank tops, bare midriffs and the like are not considered appropriate. Hats may be worn, but must be removed before entering the courtroom. We ask that police officers, firefighters, and other civil servants or law-enforcement officials refrain from reporting for jury duty in uniform.
Due to variable temperatures in the courthouse, we recommend that you dress in layers.
I'm requesting to be excused. Do I still need to submit my forms?
Yes. To request an excusal, please complete and submit all forms, in addition to the section specifically addressing your request to be excused. It is necessary that you supply the required documentation as described on your summons. After you submit your questionnaire and qualification form, provide the jury division with supporting documents via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), or fax 841-6769, or mail to: Jury Management Division, P.O. Box 488, Albuquerque, NM 87103. You will be notified of the outcome of your excusal request. You are not excused until you have been so notified by the Court.
Please note that we cannot process requests to be excused by phone.
How do I request an excusal from Jury Service?
Prospective jurors otherwise eligible to serve may be excused from jury service only for extreme hardship and severe medical issues. All requests must be submitted to the Jury Management Division in writing prior to the prospective juror’s service date as explained on the juror Questionnaire. The request for excusal, along with required documentation, may be faxed to us at 505-841-6769, e-mailed to us at email@example.com, or mailed to us at P.O. Box 488, Albuquerque, NM 87103. Until you have received notification from the Court, you are not excused. Juror also have the opportunity to request an excusal and upload supporting documentation through the juror portal.
A prospective juror may be excused if he/she:
- Has a physical or mental disability that would prevent him/her from service. The prospective juror is required to provide a doctor’s note (on the doctor’s letterhead or prescription pad) recommending excusal from jury service.
- Must provide actual and necessary care for another, and alternate arrangements are not feasible. A doctor’s note (on the doctor’s letterhead or prescription pad) is required attesting to this situation.
- Is serving on “Active Duty” with the military and is not stationed in the county. A letter from the prospective juror’s superior officer so stating is required.
- Is over the age of 75, and provides a notarized affidavit attesting to this fact. Click here for a copy of this document for you to fill out.
- Please note that we cannot process requests for excusals by phone.
My jury summons came at a very bad time. May I postpone my service?
The Court realizes that prospective jurors may be summoned at an inconvenient time. In most instances, we can defer your service to a more convenient time. Jurors may request a one-time only postponement by completing the appropriate section of the on-line juror Qualification form, along with the completed Questionnaire, and submitting it. Any supporting documents, if requested by us, may be faxed to us at (505)841-6769, or e-mailed to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or mailed to us: Jury Management Division, P.O. Box 488, Albuquerque, NM 87103.
I know that I will not be selected to be on the jury because of what I do for a living. Why not excuse me now and save time?
The Jury Management Division cannot excuse you as a potential juror because of what you do for a living. The Second Judicial District Court tries both civil and criminal cases, each of which requires juries. The random selection process prevents you from knowing in advance what trial or even what type of trial you may be selected for.
I am unable to judge anyone because of my moral or religious beliefs. May I be excused?
No. New Mexico law does not provide for an excuse from jury service for moral or religious beliefs. You are still required to appear for jury service. During the selection process, you may mention your moral and religious beliefs to the presiding judge.
I do not speak, read or write English. What do I do?
In New Mexico, there is no exemption from service if you do not speak English. We will provide an interpreter for you. If you speak another language, please complete and submit your forms, indicating which language you speak. We will make every effort to provide you with an interpreter. Again, you may not be excused from Jury Service because you do not speak English.
400 Lomas Blvd NW
Room 127, 1st Floor
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Monday – Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Petit Code-a-Phone: 505-841-7510
Grand Jury Phone: 505-841-7545
Grand Jury Code-a-Phone: 505-841-7419
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