Service on an Ontario jury
If you have been called for jury duty, this is the information you need to prepare for your service.
In a legal proceeding, decisions are made by a jury, which consists of twelve citizens who are selected at random. A judge leads a jury through a trial by defining key concepts and providing context for the evidence. In order to serve on a jury, you need no prior knowledge of the law. Inquests by the coroner also involve juries.
All citizens of Canada over the age of 18 living in Ontario have a civic obligation to serve as a juror if called upon to do so.
The Process of Going to Court Find out more about the safety measures
Contact the location listed on your summons if you have questions
An explanation of how the jury system operates
- Approximately 800,000 Ontario residents receive jury duty eligibility questionnaires annually.
- Anyone who meets the requirements to serve on a jury in Ontario may be summoned via mail (a summons) to report to a courthouse or other specified location for jury duty. Getting a jury duty summons is not a guarantee that you will actually serve on a jury.
- After you are called to serve on a jury, you can stay informed by signing up for electronic notifications. A member of the court staff will call or write you with this information if you don't sign up for electronic notification.
- People are chosen at random to serve on a jury at the specified location on your summons. It's possible you won't be chosen. Research the procedures for health and safety in courts and other settings where jury selection may take place.
- A judge will explain the next steps if you are selected to serve as a juror. If you aren't chosen, you may have to try again the following day.
In the event that you are summoned to fill out a jury questionnaire,
Use the jury questionnaire to find out if you've been summoned for jury duty.
The receipt of a jury questionnaire does not constitute or guarantee selection for jury duty. Within 30 days of receiving a questionnaire in the mail, please return it using the pre-paid, self-addressed envelope provided. In case you misplace the accompanying envelope, here is the proper mailing address:
The Provincial Courthouse
P O Postal Stop AOshawa 666, Ontario
Never mail in a survey; we need to see it filled out. Sending anything besides the questionnaire is not permitted.
The Provincial Jury Centre can be reached at if an alternate format of the questionnaire is needed. 1-800-498-8016 [email protected], or by phone at All requests are reviewed individually.
You may have another person fill out and sign the questionnaire on your behalf if you are unable to do so. The person filling out the questionnaire on your behalf must indicate their relationship to you at the very bottom of the form.
In the event that your mailing address has moved,
If you have moved and been forwarded a questionnaire, please update your contact information at the top of the form, fill it out, and return it in the pre-paid, self-addressed envelope provided.
The Ministry of Health in Ontario obtains names and addresses of prospective jurors from the OHIP registry. Your health card can be updated either online or at a local ServiceOntario location.
Please forward the jury questionnaire to the appropriate recipient if you receive one for someone who no longer resides at your address because they have moved or gone away to school. Mark "moved" on the envelope or in the blank space next to the address if you are unable to deliver the questionnaire to the intended recipient due to a change of address. You can mail back the questionnaire in its original packaging or, if the packaging has already been opened, in the prepaid envelope that was included.
When the survey's intended recipient has passed away
We regret any inconvenience this letter may cause. Sending a questionnaire to someone who has passed away is unnecessary.
Jurors in Ontario, Canada are selected at random from the rolls of the province's universal health care system, OHIP. Once a loved one passes away, their health insurance card can be cancelled.
Since such changes would violate your right to privacy, we cannot make them for you.
Assuming you are disabled,
The jury questionnaire will ask if you are unable to serve as a juror due to your physical or mental health.
No medical records or other proof of health will be required along with the completed questionnaire.
Requesting a reasonable accommodation from the court is within your rights if you are selected for jury duty and believe you will need one.
With a more serious criminal record,
The jury questionnaire includes a question about prior convictions for specific crimes.
Check the box if it applies:
If you haven't, please select "No."
- have no prior criminal record
- been convicted of a crime but received a discharge or a record suspension (traffic violations, including speeding and parking tickets, are not considered crimes under federal or provincial law).
- a "straight" summary conviction, including one of the below offenses
Violations of the Criminal Code: Simple Summary Convictions
- Subsidizing a deserter [Canadian Forces]: Article 54
- Section 463(c) deals with the attempt to commit or the complicity in the commission of an offense punishable by summary conviction.
- Section 201(2) makes it illegal to maintain, operate, or be the owner, landlord, lessor, tenant, occupier, or agent of a place that is used as a common gaming house or betting house.
- The violation of a court order prohibiting bestiality (Section 160(5))
- Animal ownership infractions — Section 447 1(2)
- Except in the case of authorized research, it is illegal to breed cetaceans under Section 445 of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. 2(2)(b)
- Purchasing, obtaining, or accepting any lot, ticket, or other device relating to lotteries or games of chance 206(4)
- Section 89: Armed Attendance at a Public Assembly
- Inciting a riot, exposing oneself indecently, loitering, or making it impossible for people inside a home to get some peace and quiet — Section 175
- To engage in sexually explicit communication with a minor within 1,000 feet of a school or daycare, or in plain view of a school or playground, in violation of Section 213(1 1)
- A violation of Section 465(1)(d) is a conspiracy to commit an offense punishable by summary conviction.
- Section 464(b) prohibits giving advice in order to prevent the commission of a crime punishable by summary conviction.
- Section 339(2): Purchasing or selling another person's marked timber or lumbering equipment
- Modifying a current coin — Section 456
- Disclosure of Jury Proceedings Information — Section 649
- Disturbing or interfering with a group of people who have gathered for a religious, moral, social, or charitable purpose is a crime under section 176(2) and (3) of the penal code.
- To participate in a prize fight — Article 83
- Disobeying a court order prohibiting publication — Section 517
- Infraction of a Section 539(3) order prohibiting the publication of certain evidence obtained during a preliminary inquiry
- Breach of Section 672 Order Prohibiting Publication of Identifying Information relating to Victim or Witness 501(11)
- Refusal to comply with a preservation demand made under Section 487 To the 12th Section 487 0197
- The violation of a section 487 preservation or production order 013 to 487 0018: Chapter 487 0198
- Disobedience to a publication restraint order — Section 486 6
- Section 353(4) — Failing to maintain required records for automobile master keys
- Refusal to comply with sections 490 02911(1) or (2) - i e Criminal record (NCR) not reported to Canadian authorities upon entry to the country or, if already in Canada, upon a change of address (Section 490) 0312
- Data destruction violations under Section 487 Title 0194: Chapter 487 0199
- Failing to secure an opening in frozen water or a land excavation where no one is killed or seriously injured is a violation of Section 263(3).
- Section 398: Falsifying Employment Documents
- Acquiring a meal or a place to stay by deception — Section 364
- Transportation fraud, Section 393(3)
- Misuse of warrant-requested biometric evidence — Section 487 08(3)
- Section 732: Unlawful disclosure or use of bodily substance or test results obtained pursuant to a probation order 11(4)
- Violation of Section 742: Unlawful use or disclosure of bodily substance or test results provided pursuant to a conditional sentence order 31(4)
- Recognizance violations related to the improper use or disclosure of a bodily substance or test results under sections 810 through 810 Two, Article 810 4(4)
- Land boundary interference — Section 442
- Disruption of a maritime signal — Section 439
- To prevent the rescue of a shipwreck is a violation of Section 438(2).
- Punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine for those who knowingly import, export, manufacture, or sell instruments or literature for illicit drug use 2
- Provide false information in an affidavit under penalty of perjury (Section 134)
- Section 457 prohibits the manufacture, publication, printing, execution, issuance, distribution, or circulation of counterfeits of legal tender banknotes or government or bank obligations or securities.
- Tokens or slugs made, produced, sold, or possessed with the intent to defraud a token-operated device — Section 454.
- Acted as a member of a criminal gang without trying to hide it, in violation of Section 66(1)
- Public nudity, as defined by Section 174:
- Section 401: False billing for carriage.
- Violations of law by companies with regards to labor unions — Section 425
- Crimes committed by R members C M P Chapter 56
- Hypovolemic hypotension: 320 14(4)
- Owning a cetacean in captivity, unless for one of the specified reasons such as care, rehabilitation, or licensed scientific research - Section 445 2(2)(a)
- Assisting in the operation of a lottery that is prohibited by Section 207(3)(b)
- Being a part of a sham international cruise ship lottery — Section 207 1(3)(b)
- Section 445 prohibits the possession of cetacean reproductive materials except for authorized scientific research. 2(2)(c)
- Acting as an organizer or participant in an event that features the illegal use of captive cetaceans for entertainment purposes - Section 445 2(4)
- Document related to an application for "production of a record" made public — Section 278 9
- Hearings under Section 276 to be published after they are completed. 1 and 276 2-276 3
- Without the permission of the individuals named in the search warrant, it is a violation of Section 487 to make public a document containing information related to the warrant. 2
- Section 648 prohibits publishing or airing any portion of a trial in which the jury was not present before the jury retired to consider a verdict.
- Section 542(2) makes it illegal to publish or report on an admission or confession presented as evidence at a preliminary inquiry.
- Documents related to a hearing on the admissibility of evidence in a criminal trial, published, broadcast, or transmitted in accordance with Section 278. 95(2)
- Acts of obstructing or stopping traffic with the intent to offer, provide, or obtain sexual services for compensation — Section 213(1)
- Forcible taking of a motor vehicle or vessel, or occupancy in either, without permission, as defined by Section 335
- Nighttime Trespass — Article 177
- Using another person's body without permission - 320 36(1)
- Unauthorized use or disclosure of results – 320 36(2)
- Section 419: Fraudulent use of a military ID or uniform
- Making or permitting the use of a federal employment application that contains false information in violation of section 672 37(2) by adding Section672, which mandates the release of NCR content. 37(3)
Consider yourself excused from jury duty if you
You owe it to society to serve as a juror, but you might not be able to if any of the following apply to you:
- Being a juror could potentially ruin your life or the lives of those around you.
- The act of serving on a jury would be contrary to your religious beliefs.
- You are too far away from the courthouse to commute (e. g as a result of relocation)
You have the option of asking for a deferral, which would postpone your jury duty until a later date, or an excusal, which would release you from serving on a jury this year altogether.
Visit Ontario.ca/juryduty-summoned to apply for a postponement or excuse.
A judge or, in the case of some deferral requests, the local sheriff will evaluate each petition individually. Supporting documentation (ticket confirmations, driver's license, utility bills, purchase or lease agreement with new address, etc.) may be requested and should be sent via email.
In some cases, the judge might:
- excuse you
- inquire about your involvement at a later time
- demand your presence at jury duty
Categories of people who are ineligible to serve on juries
If you are currently employed by or hold a license to practice as a
- A doctor who is currently active in their field of medicine and a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons
- veterinarian who is currently working in the field
- Officer of the law
- employed by a fire department on a regular basis
- a person who oversees a prison, jail, or other detention facility
- a prison's head administrator
- deputy sheriff or sheriff
- people serving in the active military, including those in the regular and special armed forces and the reserve forces
- one who studies law and practices it, such as a barrister, solicitor, or articling or Law Practice Program student.
- a member of the judiciary
- justice of the peace or judge
- Legislator in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, the Senate of Canada, the House of Commons, or the Privy Council of Canada
You must still complete the survey and submit it if you work in one of the aforementioned occupations.
A juror summons
For up to three years after filling out the juror questionnaire, you may be selected for jury duty if you meet the requirements.
If you have been called to serve on a jury, you must report for service at the specified location and time.
Your court appearance's date, time, and place could change. You will be informed of any modifications by the court.
Sign up for digital notifications now and choose your preferred method of notification (email or text message) to receive important updates about your jury duty:
Just because you've been called to serve on a jury doesn't make you a juror. Everyone who responds to a jury summons becomes a member of a group known as a jury panel, from which a jury will be chosen. A few things you should know if you get a jury duty call:
- Bring your summons and a government-issued form of identification (a health card is not acceptable).
- At the end of each day, the jury members disband and return home.
- Individuals who have been summoned for jury duty must serve on a jury for at least one day and no more than seven days.
- In the event that you are called to serve in a jury, you are entitled to time off from work (but your employer is not obligated to pay you while you are serving).
Please use the contact information on your summons to get in touch with the court where you were issued it if you have any questions.
You may request an accommodation in order to serve on a jury if you have a disability.
You can either call the courthouse directly if you receive a summons and need an accommodation, or you can go online to ontario.ca/juryduty-summoned to make your request.
There will be made every effort to accommodate, which includes but is not limited to:
- Aids to Daily Living
- Interpreters who use sign language
- different bolsters
The Cost of Transportation
People who live more than 40 kilometers away from the courthouse and who have been summoned to serve on a jury are:
- eligible for a travel allowance (for instructions on how to request a travel allowance, see the bottom right section of your summons).
- liable for your own parking costs
An expense reimbursement is available if you are summoned as a juror:
- if you do not have a regular place of residence within the jurisdiction's boundaries (i.e., the city or town where the trial is being held),
- when the jury duty starts
Process for Choosing Jurors
People summoned to jury duty meet at the location, date and time on their summons Each juror-to-be receives a number at the venue, which corresponds with a ballot card. Employees of the court choose ballots at random.
Following your selection, you will be given further instructions.
If you don't make the cut
Any applicants who aren't chosen may be asked to come back the following day.
You will not be able to serve on a jury for the next three years, regardless of whether or not you are selected. But it's possible that you'll be sent yet another jury questionnaire. There is still a requirement to respond to a jury questionnaire if you receive one within three years of your service.
Participating in a jury trial
In the event that you are called to serve on a jury:
- The next steps will be determined by the judge's ruling.
- A trial can begin on the day a jury is selected and last anywhere from a few days to several weeks.
- The trial's expected duration will be communicated to you.
- Daily egress is estimated at 4:30 PM. m or earlier
- If the jury begins deliberations but has not reached a verdict by the evening, you will be required to spend the night in a hotel (at the court's expense).
To help ensure a level playing field, jurors must follow certain guidelines. Jurors will be provided with instructions. Jurors, for instance, are prohibited from doing things like:
- be in possession of any means of transmission or reception (a phone, computer, or tablet, for example)
- upload trial-related content to your profiles
- Check out some coverage of the trial in the media.
Compensation and vacation time
Time off for employees who are called to jury duty is mandated by law. A worker's salary is not required by law to be paid during this time.
Payment for jury service consists of:
- Absolutely no charge for the first 10 days.
- Starting on day 11: $40
- From the 50th day until the end of the trial, daily fees of $100 will be assessed. Cases lasting this long are unusual.
Payment for jury service will be arranged by the court where the trial is being held if it lasts longer than 10 days.
Parking and child care costs are not covered.
For those receiving EI, the I If you are receiving benefits, you can serve on a jury without losing them.
Counseling services for jurors are provided at no cost.
Serving on a jury can be an enriching and even life-changing experience. After a stressful trial or inquest, talking to a professional counselor can help.
Counselling services are provided at no cost to jurors in Ontario. After serving on a jury for a criminal trial, civil trial, or Coroner's inquest, jurors are welcome to take advantage of the confidential services provided by the Juror Support Program.
The following is a list of toll-free numbers that can be called anytime, day or night, to speak with a trained and compassionate counselor:
- Get in touch with us at 1-844-JURORON (5876766) (1 844 587 6766)
- TTY: 1-877-338-0275
Your LifeWorks brochure contains an access code that you can use when calling.
As many as four one-hour sessions of jury counseling are available to each juror. Counseling services are available in both English and French and can be provided either over the phone, in person, via email, or via videoconference. Preparations can be made for those with disabilities.
Presentation Jury Duty
If you have been selected to serve on a jury, you may find the following video informative.
- You and Jury Duty
- You and Jury Duty [Captioned Video]
If you have any questions about jury service, misplaced your jury questionnaire, or need assistance filling it out, you can reach the Provincial Jury Centre via email at [email protected] or by phone at 1. 1-800-498-8016
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