Laws Affecting Jurors
The rights and responsibilities of jurors are governed by Maine law. You should be aware of the following provisions:
- Penalties for failure to perform
A person summoned for jury service who fails to appear or fails to complete jury service will be ordered by the court to appear and to show cause for his or her failure to comply with the summons. A prospective juror who fails to show good cause for not complying with the summons is guilty of contempt and may be punished by a fine of not more than $100 or by imprisonment for not more than 3 days, or both.
(14 M.R.S. § 1217)
- Length of service by jurors
No juror is required to serve more than once in a five-year period. A juror may be required to serve, or to attend court for prospective service, for up to fifteen court business days, depending on the court’s calendar. Such service could be longer if necessary to complete a particular case.
Service will be extended if necessary to complete service in a particular case. A person will also not be required to serve on more than one grand jury or to serve as both a grand and a traverse juror. (14 M.R.S. § 1216)
- Protection of jurors’ employment and health insurance
The clerk’s office will prepare a juror service confirmation letter upon request. An employer may not deprive an employee of employment or health insurance coverage because the employee receives or responds to a summons for jury service or serves as a juror. An employer is also prohibited from threatening or coercing an employee with respect to loss of employment or health insurance coverage. Employers who violate this law are guilty of criminal contempt and upon conviction may be punished by a fine of not more than $500 or by imprisonment for not more than six months or both. The affected employee may bring a civil action for recovery of wages or health insurance benefits. (14 M.R.S § 218)