According to the Office of the Jury Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, there are no student exemptions from jury duty. Like all jurors, students may defer their service up to one year from the original date. College students may be called to serve in several different circumstances:
- Massachusetts residents who study out of state and who are summonsed from Massachusetts must serve. Again, the postponement option is available so that a student may report during the summer or vacation breaks.
- Massachusetts residents who study in a different county in Massachusetts may receive a summons from the county where their school is located. For example, a Boston resident (from Suffolk County) who enrolls at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (in Hampshire County), may be summonsed to appear for jury duty in Hampshire County. It is possible for students to receive two summonses, one from the home county, and the other from the school county. They must serve in response to only one summons, whichever one was issued first.
- Out-of-state students who study in Massachusetts and live here for six months of the year or more are eligible to serve in Massachusetts. This often comes as a surprise to out-of-state students, who may come from jurisdiction where only permanent residents of that state are eligible to serve.
What do I do if I receive a jury summons?
Jury service, on a short-term basis, can provide students with a good opportunity to fulfill one of their important responsibilities as members of the community. Wentworth Institute of Technology supports students in their fulfillment of this civic duty. Students should carefully read all materials they receive with their summons to service, which contain helpful information about confirming, postponing, rescheduling, or relocating service, and address many of the most frequently asked questions. Jury duty is an important legal obligation, and those who fail to respond are subject to criminal charges.
Students who must miss class to fulfill their jury service requirement should notify each of their instructors of the summons and make arrangements to complete any missed work. Students may also visit or contact the Dean of Students Office- Rubenstein 003, (617) 989-4702, DOS@wit.edu to request an absence notification be sent to their instructors. Please be advised, students may be required to provide their summons notice or the certificate of service when making these arrangements.
If you have any questions about jury duty, including confirming, postponing, rescheduling, or limiting your service, please contacts the Office of the Jury Commissioner (1-800-THE-JURY/1-800-843-5879). Further information can be found on the Massachusetts Jury System website.