A summons for jury service is an official letter from Juries Victoria stating you are required to attend a specific court on a specific date to undertake jury service.
What you need to do
- Tell your employer the date you've been summoned for
- Confirm your requirement to attend after 4.30pm the business day prior to your summons date by calling 1300 987 917, logging in to the Juror Portal , or via SMS (requires SMS notifications to have been activated)
- Bring your summons and photo ID with you when you attend
Jury service may be longer than 1 day. You will need to be available for up to 2 weeks from your summons date.
The time, date, and court you are required to attend can be found in the blue box in the top-right corner of your summons.
Depending on the needs of the court, you may not be required to attend on your summons date. In that case, your jury service will most likely be shifted by a day or two, or deferred to another month.
If you are able to attend your summons date, and do not have a competing commitment within 2 weeks from then, you do not need to do anything until the business day prior. Remember to check your requirement to attend, either by activating SMS notifications through the Juror Portal, or by calling 1300 987 917 after 4.30pm the business day prior to your summons date.
If you cannot attend on the date listed, you need to complete the statutory declaration on the back of your summons, requesting either deferral to another month, or to be excused from jury service, and providing details as to why you cannot attend. The statutory declaration needs to be witnessed by an authorised individual, such as a police officer, pharmacist, or doctor, and returned to us via email, fax, or the Juror Portal. Further information on who is an authorised witness can be found here.
What's the best way to get to the court?
If summoned to the Melbourne County Court, we strongly recommend you take public transport. The court building is located very close to Flagstaff station and several tram stops, making this the most convenient option.
If summoned to a regional court, it's best to check what parking is available prior to your summons date. You can do so here.
It's best to avoid parking in a timed or metered spot, as you will not be allowed to exit the court building to move your car or top up a parking meter once you have been checked in.
What if I cannot attend on my summons date?
If you have a genuine and valid reason you cannot attend, you may apply to have your jury service deferred or be excused. In both cases, you need to complete the statutory declaration on the back of your summons, and submit it to us via email, fax, or the Juror Portal by 10am the business day prior to your summons date.
Work reasons are not valid reasons to be excused, unless you are self-employed or work for a small business. However, we can provide 1 deferral for work-related reasons.
What if I don't attend?
It is an offence under section 71 of the Juries Act 2000 (Vic) if you fail to attend jury service. If you fail to attend as summoned, you can be fined over $4,800 or imprisoned for 3 months.
What if I'm running late?
If you're running late for your summons date, you should call our office on 03 8636 6800 as soon as possible. While minor delays may be fine, more substantial delays may mean we have to defer your jury service to another day.
What is the dress code?
We recommend you wear neat, smart-casual clothing, in keeping with the court environment. This includes closed-toe shoes.
Do not wear clothes that are ripped or torn, dirty, or contain offensive writing or imagery.
How long will I be required?
Your summons day will conclude by approximately 4.30pm. In most cases, if you were not selected as a juror on a trial, your jury service will be considered completed. However, in some cases, we may require you to return the following day. Your Jury Pool Supervisor will advise you if this is the case by the end of the day.
If you are selected as a juror on a trial, you will be required to attend court every day the trial is sitting. This is typically every weekday, excluding public holidays. Most trials are concluded within 2 weeks, however the judge will provide an estimated length at the beginning of the trial.
Will I be paid?
Jury payments are $40 per day for the first 6 days and $80 per day thereafter. This is paid to you via either direct deposit into the account nominated in the online Juror Portal, or a cheque mailed to your residential address.
Under section 52 of the Juries Act 2000 (Vic), employers must pay their employees who are on jury service the difference between what they receive in jury payments and what they would reasonably expect to earn had they not attended for jury service.
This includes any penalties, allowances, or loadings you would reasonably expect to have received.
This applies equally to full time and part time employees, as well as casual employees, in most cases. If you are a casual employee, please call Juries Victoria to discuss your circumstances.
In Victoria, your employer is required to make up the pay of their employee for the entire length of their jury service, regardless of how long it is.
The Juries Act 2000 (Vic) supersedes the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and all enterprise bargaining agreements and employment contracts, meaning it must be adhered to without exception.
You can find more information about your pay entitlements here.
My employer is demanding I apply to be excused
Your employer has no authority with regards to your jury service, and cannot prevent you from attending or demand you apply to be excused. They are legally obligated to release you to attend for jury service.
Additionally, your employer cannot dismiss, threaten, or otherwise prejudice you in any way for attending jury service.
Even if you have a valid reason to be excused, it is entirely your decision as to whether you attend or not.
If your employer is pressuring you to apply to be excused, or they are threatening not to pay you, to cut your hours, or to penalise you in any other way for attending jury service, please call Juries Victoria to discuss your circumstances.
Further information on your employer's obligations in relation to jury service can be found here.