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Massachusetts Jury Duty/ Court Appearance: What you need to know

Term of service. The term of service has been reduced from 1 month to 1 day if the prospective juror is not chosen for a trial. The average length of a trial is 3 days. If a trial is anticipated to last longer than 3 days, the judge will inform the jurors, who can claim a hardship about the length of service at that time. Jurors receive a certificate of attendance outlining the days they served.
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Postponement. Jurors may request for postponement of jury service to a date less than 1 year from the summons date by calling 800-843-5879 or on the jury summons form. Only one postponement is permitted.
Exemption/excusal. The state has eliminated automatic exemptions for certain occupations to avoid limitation of the jury pool.
Employers must pay employees their regular pay for the first three days of jury service (MA Gen. Laws Ch. 234A Sec. 48).
Jury duty. It is unlawful for any employer to discharge, harass, threaten, or coerce any employee for serving as a juror of any kind in any court. An employer that violates this provision may be held in contempt of court and prosecuted (MA Gen. Laws Ch. 268 Sec. 14A,MA Gen. Laws Ch. 234A Sec. 61).
An employee also may not be penalized with the loss of any benefits offered by the employer because of absence due to jury duty. In addition, an employer may not impose working requirements that might impair an employee's performance as a juror. For example, employees may not be required to work each morning before reporting to jury duty. Violation of these provisions is subject to a maximum fine of $5,000. The employee may also sue the employer for triple damages and attorney's fees (MA Gen. Laws Ch. 234A Sec. 61).
Court appearance. It is unlawful for any employer ...

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