Respond to a jury summons
Recently received a jury summons? By doing jury service, you’re serving the community and making Aotearoa New Zealand’s justice system work for everyone. Your time and contribution are greatly appreciated.
Find out what you need to do.
On this page:
You must respond to your jury summons even if you don’t think you can attend jury service. It’s important that you respond as soon as you can. It’s not an option to simply ignore the summons or not turn up to court.
You can respond in one of the following ways:
- Filling in the form you were sent with your jury summons letter
- Filling in an electronic copy of the form
- Replying by email to the court email address on your jury summons form
- Confirming your attendance by calling 0800 268 787
Step 1: Can I attend jury service?
When you get your jury summons, you’ll need to:
- make sure you can do jury service. Some people can’t serve on a jury, for example, if you work for New Zealand Police or the Ministry of Justice. A full list of people who can’t serve on a jury is available here:
Who can't be a juror
- talk with your employer about getting time off work and your workplace’s policies around jury service
- organise childcare if needed with a childcare organisation, family/whānau member, friend or neighbour
- work out how you’ll get to court (for example, public transport, car). If you’re driving, plan where you’ll park.
If you can’t attend jury service, you can:
- apply for a deferral (to temporarily put off your jury service). You can apply for a deferral if you’re not able to do jury service on the date you’re summoned. For example, you might have a medical appointment or work commitments. You can ask the court to put off your jury service to a date when you can attend, but the date must be within the following 12 months, or 24 months if applying for COVID-19 reasons which are as follows:
Your financial circumstances have been significantly adversely affected by the effects of COVID-19.
You, or a member of your family, or a member of your household, is particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.
You’ll need to give the court new dates you’ll be able to attend. The dates must be in a continuous four-week block, for example, 1 March to 31 March.
Only the court can agree to defer your jury service and you can only be deferred once.
- apply for an excusal. You may not be able to do jury service at all. This may be because you work in the justice sector (for example, New Zealand Police or Ministry of Justice), or have family/whānau or work commitments that mean you can’t make it to court.
If this is the case, explain this on your summons form. You’ll also need to send the court some proof that you can’t attend, like a letter from your employer. Send the completed form and the proof to the court address on the form.
Only the court can excuse you from jury service. The court will decide whether to accept the particular explanation or proof you’ve given them.
You must attend the court unless the court:
- agrees to defer (put off) your jury service, or
- excuses you.
If you don’t attend, you could be fined up to $1,000.
Download the Response to jury summons [PDF, 1.4 MB] form
Step 2: Fill out and send back the response form to the court
You can fill out and send the response form in one of three ways:
1. Fill in the online form
Accept your summons by filling in the jury service form online. If applying for an excusal or deferral from jury service, you’ll need to fill in a form using step 2 or 3 below.
2. Fill in a PDF form and email it to the court
Fill in one of these forms:
Email the relevant completed form to the email address on the form.
3. Fill in the paper form
- Fill in the paper form you received with your jury summons, put it in the prepaid envelope you were sent with your jury summons letter and post it back.