Jury Service Guide
Your summons is a court order to appear for jury duty. Jury Service is an on-call status, which the Court can call upon you to appear at any point during this 75 or 90 day term of service. Please keep an eye on your EMAIL, and PHONES for notifications from the Court on when you are to appear for selection; which will go out every Thursday or Friday of each week. You will only be required to appear to the court when notified to. For general information on Jury Service visit https://jurorportal.nmcourts.gov/.
- EVERY SUMMONS must have a response to it in the form of a Qualification submission –ideally online to the Jury System (at: https://Jurorportal.nmcourts.gov/)…
- You MUST be a RESIDENT of the County for which you are summoned in order to serve; if you DO NOT LIVE in the County for which you were summoned, please request Excusal immediately. Thank you!
- ALL EXCUSAL REQUESTS must have appropriate supporting documentation: If requesting excusal as a non-resident, please provide proof of residency in the form of a copy of your driver’s license or voter registration for your current physical address… If requesting excusal for medical reasons, please provide a doctor’s letter –currently dated, signed and on healthcare-provider letterhead– or a completed Request for Medical Excuse Form, etc. For medical excusal, your doctor must indicate: 1) how your condition prevents service and 2) a prognosis, i.e. when you could serve.
- Postponements may be available: Think in terms of two, four or six months maximum from your starting date. If granted postponement, when you receive your new summons you will need to again respond by updating your Qualification submission and will be expected to serve at that time.
- Please do NOT wait until your group is scheduled to appear to request needed time off; please communicate with our office in advance, in writing, to request “excusal dates” during your jury service term: Please include your name, Juror ID#, generally for what you need the time off (like for a doctor’s appointment or work conflict) and the exact dates. All our contact information is at bottom of this webpage and, of course, on your Summons. Thank you!
- Late Arrivals are considered a Failure to Appear: If ordered to appear for jury selection, please be on time.
- You will not be allowed to pass through security if you have weapons of any kind or any items that could be used as a weapon –including sharp objects like knitting needles, forks, knives, objects made of glass (bottles or lunch containers), lighters or matches– which are all prohibited from the courthouse.
- Please note: a Jury Trial, for which you may be selected, may be held after the end of your jury service term. (The Judge, at every selection, will announce the anticipated trial dates…)
See the Below List of Contraband Items NOT Allowed in the Court Building:
Knives / Leather man Tools
Mace / Pepper Spray / Aerosol Sprays
Brass Knuckles / Kubatons (Self Defense Key Chains)
Lighters / Matches / Torches
All Glass (to include Nail Polish / Make Up / Small Containers / etc.)
Hand Cuff Keys
Nail Clippers with File
Metal Silverware (plastic is ok)
Drug Paraphernalia (Pipes)
Daggers / Swords
All Items the Deputies believe could be used as a Weapon.
If you are instructed to report, you will receive e-notifications informing you the selection time and date on when you must report for jury selection or jury trial. The Courthouse opens at 8:00 a.m. You will not be allowed in until 8:00 a.m., regardless of the weather. Therefore, please dress appropriately for the weather.
If you are instructed to report, you must plan to stay until at least 5:00 p.m., and possibly later. You should make arrangements for child care, driving at night, and other evening issues and obligations you may have accordingly.
Weather Delays and Closures
In the event of inclement weather:
- Santa Fe Jurors: Follow the delay or closure, if any, of the Santa Fe Public Schools, as announced in the media;
- Rio Arriba Jurors: Follow the delay or closure, if any, of the Chama Independent Schools, as announced in the media;
- Los Alamos Jurors: Follow the delay or closure, if any, of the Los Alamos Public Schools, as announced in the media;
- Two-hour Delays: If the applicable schools are on a two-hour delay, you must report to the jury selection room or courtroom no later than 10:00 a.m.
- Closures: If the applicable schools are not in session, look for First Judicial District Court courthouse announcements in the media.
- If any questions regarding the above, call 505-455-8225.
See “Parking Instructions” on this site for information regarding parking.
Plan Ample Time
Please plan at least twenty (20) minutes to walk from the off-site parking structures to the courthouse and to go through security when you arrive.
Children are not allowed
Children are not allowed to be present during jury selection or jury trials. Please make arrangements, as well as back-up arrangements, in advance for child care during your jury service.
No weapons of any kind
When you report for jury duty, you must first pass through security screening. You will not be allowed to pass through if you have weapons of any kind or any items that could be used as a weapon, including sharp objects like knitting needles, utensils, objects made of glass (bottles or lunch containers), and –as of January 1, 2017– lighters or matches. Please be sure not to have any such items in your possession, as you will either have to return them to your vehicle, or security personnel will confiscate and discard them. Security will not hold items for safekeeping. If you are uncertain about an item, you should err on the side of caution and not bring it.
Newspapers are not allowed
Any newspapers will be confiscated by security, and you are prohibited from reading newspapers online or through other media. This rule is in place so as to prevent the possibility of jurors being tainted with information about cases from external sources.
Wear proper attire
Please dress comfortably but wear attire appropriate for conducting your role as a juror and befitting the dignity of the Court, that is, no shorts, sweat pants, tank tops, bare midriffs, or clothing with written messages. Hats cannot be worn in the courthouse. You may wish to dress in layers so as to be comfortable in fluctuating room temperatures.
Jurors will be given approximately an hour break for lunch and smaller breaks throughout the day. There are several eating establishments within walking distance from the courthouse, or you may bring your lunch (so long as you do not bring glass containers). You will not be allowed to eat or drink in the selection room or courtroom unless you need to do so for health reasons. Breaks will be announced by the judge. If you need a break to use the restroom, please raise your hand to ask the judge or the bailiff. There may be periods of delay as part of the process. Therefore, you may want to bring reading materials to occupy yourself during such periods, although you may not bring newspapers nor read them online.
All restrooms in the courthouse are accessible to individuals with physical needs, and ramps are located at the court entrance and exit.
The courthouse is a non-smoking environment. You may exit and smoke away from the building during designated breaks. However, you will be required to go through security screening again upon re-entry; please remember that, as of Jan. 1st, 2017, lighters and matches are prohibited. Please be sensitive to others, in that individuals must sit in close proximity to one another during selection and the actual trial and odors may adversely affect your neighbors.
Juror Exit Survey
Please take the time to fill out the Juror Exit Survey by clicking on the link below, or by filling out the form provided by the court after you serve on a jury. Your Feedback is greatly appreciated. Juror Exit Survey
The Juror’s Creed
I am a juror. It is a position of honor that I accept as my solemn duty.
The right to trial by jury is an inalienable right granted to all citizens by both the United States and New Mexico Constitutions. The success of the jury system depends upon my accepting this solemn duty and acting with integrity in discharging this responsibility.
I will listen attentively to the evidence presented, the argument of counsel, and the judge’s instructions. I will thoughtfully and impartially weigh the issues and render my decision based on the rule of law as given by the judge. I will not allow friendship, sympathy, bias, or prejudice to enter my decision.
I am aware that my decision is based upon the evidence and testimony that are presented in court and the rule of law as presented by the court. I will not allow outside influences to color my judgment. Such outside influences include discussion of the case with anyone who is not on my jury panel; reading or hearing about the case, including but not limited to the newspaper, internet news reports or blogs, radio or television broadcasts, and other people discussing the case within my hearing; or conduct my own research or experiments.
I realize that the legal procedures that I witness in court were developed over a long period of time to be as fair, equitable, and efficient as possible. I understand that these procedures help jurors in keeping an open mind and avoiding outside influences.
Toward this end, I will work with my fellow jurors in a spirit of tolerance, understanding, and good will to bring the deliberations of the entire jury to a true and honest verdict.
Santa Fe: 225 Montezuma Avenue, Santa Fe, NM 87501
Rio Arriba: 7 Main Street, Tierra Amarilla, NM 87575
Los Alamos: 2500 Trinity Drive, Suite D, Los Alamos, NM 87544
PO Box 2268
Santa Fe, NM 87504
Direct Line: 505-455-8225
Jury Information Line: 505-455-8306