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Jury Duty for Immigrants

Jury duty is a very important aspect of the American legal system that all citizens, including immigrants, should understand. 

Jury duty plays a significant role in the American democratic system, ensuring justice and fairness for all.As an immigration lawyer, it’s crucial to inform new immigrants about this civic responsibility.

Jurors are an essential part of our justice system. The right to trial by jury in the United States dates from Colonial times. It is deep-rooted in English history. It is guaranteed by the Sixth and Seventh Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America and each state’s constitution. 

People have a right to have matters determined by a jury of their peers.

Participating in our judicial system is not only an honor, but is also one of our civic duties, even for immigrants.

Juror service may be inconvenient. However, citizens must participate in the jury process in order for it to work. Cases that go to trial need resolution by citizens who hear the evidence, determine the facts, and render a verdict. It is impossible to get a fair cross-section of the community to participate in the jury system if people don’t report for service. If you ever found yourself or a loved one involved in a civil or criminal trial, it’s likely that you would want a jury of fellow citizens who will be fair and impartial.

To serve on a jury you must be qualified to be a juror. 

  • You must be over 18 years old
  • In NJ, and most states, you have to be a US citizen to serve on a jury. You also cannot serve if you have a criminal conviction. 
  • You must be a resident of the county and state where you serve.
  • You must understand and read the English language.  
  • Some disabilities disqualify individuals from being on a jury. In some states, being a sole caretaker of minor children also excuses from serving. 

When immigrants become U.S. citizens, they gain the right and responsibility to participate in jury duty. Serving on a jury involves random selection to listen to evidence and decide the outcome of a trial. It’s an opportunity for citizens to actively participate in the legal process and uphold the principles of fairness and justice.

Understanding the history and importance of jury duty is essential for immigrants as they integrate into American society. 

By participating in jury duty, naturalized immigrants not only fulfill their civic duty but also contribute to the functioning of the justice system. It’s a way to protect individual rights, ensure a fair trial for all, and uphold the principles of democracy that make America unique.

As immigrants navigate the complexities of their new life in the U.S., knowing about jury duty empowers them to engage meaningfully in their communities and contribute to the country’s legal system. It demonstrates a commitment to upholding the American founding values of equality and justice.

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