As a non-US citizen, do I have to keep the paper record of a US "official jury summons" I received? Is a scan of it enough? I am currently a green card holder and might apply for US citizenship one day.

I'm asking as the paper I received says "detach this tab and keep this portion for your records" but it doesn't say why or for how long:

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2 Answers 2


Remember most of the paperwork is based on the assumption that the recipient is eligible for jury duty. The main thing is to promptly inform the court, presumably through the web site, that you are not eligible. Keep a record of when and how you informed them, in case that gets lost, but I have never had a problem and I've lived in the US, as an alien, since 1975.

My usual policy is to keep paperwork and evidence that I responded until at least a month after the last day on which a US citizen could have reported for jury duty or requested an extension etc. That seems to me to be the time window in which one might be questioned about non-response.

  • Thanks, do you know whether there is any point in keeping this piece of paper after the jury duty is done or after information the court one isn't eligible? Mar 6, 2019 at 9:03
  • @FranckDernoncourt Once jury duty is served, no, you don't need to keep the paperwork (although it can be useful to prove when service was, in case one is summoned again but it's too soon after the last service). But, since only US citizens can be jurors, I would keep it, as there has been some sort of error in the system if you were summoned. Courts can issue a bench warrant for those who don't appear and, although the court may not do this, it's one of the joys that come with US citizenship.
    – Giorgio
    Mar 6, 2019 at 13:22
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    @Giorgio it's not an error. To find jurors, they summon everyone from a few lists (driver licensing records and property ownership records, for example) and then expect those who are not qualified to say so.
    – phoog
    Mar 6, 2019 at 14:21
  • @phoog is right. For example, I got a jury duty summons soon after setting up a revocable living trust. The update to the county records for ownership of my house probably triggered it. Mar 6, 2019 at 17:20

I emailed the courthouse where I was invited and got the following reply:

You don't have to keep the [jury summons], if you don't want. This just shows all your information.

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    I suspect that the intention of "keep this portion for your records" is for the summoned juror to have a record of the summons as a reminder of the date and time for which he or she is summoned. A summoned juror who does not need to appear (for example, if not qualified) wouldn't need it, nor perhaps would one who can remember to show up without it.
    – phoog
    Mar 11, 2019 at 21:11
  • @phoog Probably. It would be nice if they state it explicitly on their invite though. Mar 11, 2019 at 21:12
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    That's true. The number of official forms and the like that fail to take into account less-common cases is so large, however, that I no longer find them surprising or even more than moderately irritating.
    – phoog
    Mar 11, 2019 at 21:13
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    I don't think there's any need to keep it after jury service is complete, because the court will provide a certificate of service (I suppose some systems may create that certificate by validating some part of the summons, but that hasn't been my experience in the state or federal system in New York City). The certificate is mostly useful if the juror is summoned before the minimum waiting period expires, so I don't think it needs to be retained longer than that. Even then, I was once summoned before the period had expired, having lost my certificate, and I called the court for a replacement.
    – phoog
    Mar 11, 2019 at 21:22
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    @phoog Yeah, the fraud angle could explain it but it should have been obvious that she wasn't understanding what was being asked, yet every time it was like they were reading a script and didn't get it that someone who learned their first word of English at 43 is not likely to ever have the comprehension needed to serve on a jury. (She's far weaker in a non-interactive situation where misunderstandings won't be discovered and correted.) Mar 13, 2019 at 4:52

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