Can I serve on a Maine trial jury and if I am unable to serve, how can I be excused?
With much attention on the national news to the trial of former President Donald Trump and the selection of jurors, one may be wondering how juries are selected in Maine. First off, to qualify to serve as a juror you must be 18 years of age or older; a United States Citizen, a resident of the State of Maine and the county where you received the summons. You must be able to read, speak and understand the English language.

The clerk in every Maine Superior Court maintains a list of potential jurors for each county in Maine. The list is compiled from licensed drivers, and individuals who have been issued a State of Maine id card. This information is supplied by the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Those who do not drive but wish to be included on the Juror Source list, may fill out a one-page form requesting to be included on the Juror Source list and return it to the Superior Court in the county where they reside.

Who is exempt from serving on a Maine jury?
The Governor; and members of the armed forces on active duty.

Can I be excused from jury duty?
Yes, if you are 80 years or older and do not wish to serve; also you are not required to serve more than once in a 5-year period, or 3 times in total. Other reasons that you may request to be excused include undue hardship; extreme inconvenience; public necessity; or an inability to render satisfactory jury service because of a physical or mental disability.

How long does jury selection take?
It depends. The length of jury selection will depend on the type of issues involved. For instance, in a criminal case, jury selection for a murder trial will likely take longer than a less serious charge.

How many jurors will be selected?
In a Maine Civil trial there will be eight or nine jurors unless the parties stipulate that the jury may consist of less than eight. At least two-thirds of the total number of jurors serving on a civil jury may agree to a verdict or any finding submitted to the jury unless otherwise agreed to by the parties. In a Maine Criminal case juries shall consist of 12, but at any time prior to the verdict the parties may stipulate in writing with approval of the court that the jury shall consist of a number fewer than 12.
Jurors are examined to determine that they “are qualified and willing to sit”; that they “have not formed any preconceptions about a case that they cannot set aside or that would otherwise interfere with their ability to be fair and impartial”; and “are prepared to hear and decide any case for which they are selected without bias; prejudice or interest accepting the law as instructed by the court.” (Maine Rules of Civil Procedure 47)