Accommodations During Jury Duty

Once we turn 18 years old we’re eligible to be selected as a juror for either a civil trial, criminal trial or a grand jury. When you’re first summoned its not guaranteed that you’ll be on the jury for the trial; instead you and those selected will show up to the courthouse and be asked questions by both the attorneys and the judge who then decide if your suitable for the intended trial.

To help you with participating in your civic duty accommodations can be provided for those with disabilities. In the summons – the letter you receive in the mail – there should be a section asking if you have special needs and provides both a phone and TTY number for you to call.

What accommodations are available for jurors with disabilities?

  • Reasonable modifications in practices and procedures, such as taking extra breaks to stand up to alleviate back pain
  • Furnishing auxiliary aids, services, equipment, devices, or materials such as assistive listening devices
  • Qualified American Sign Language (ASL) or other types of interpreters
  • Real time computer-aided transcription services (CART)
  • Qualified readers, in large print, Braille, electronic, or audio format

Types of accommodation that must be decided by the judge or judicial officer presiding over the specific case, rather than the court administrator include:

  • Requests for extension of time
  • A change of venue
  • To participation in court proceedings by telephone or video conferencing

What accommodations are not available for jurors with disabilities?

According to NYCourts.gov the types of accommodations the court cannot provide as an ADA accommodation  include:

  • Legal counsel or legal advice
  • Transportation to or from the courthouse
  • An official transcript of a court proceeding
  • Personal devices (such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, or prescription glasses)
  • Personal services (such as medical or attendant care).

How do I make accommodation requests?

You will want to contact the court about your accommodations as early as you can. Each court system has an ADA Liaison who can be contacted in person; in writing via mail, fax, or email; or over the phone.

For accessibility information for your local courthouse, as well as how to contact the ADA Liaison for your County’s court system, find your country in the list below, and then click on the address for your courthouse to view their accessibility information on NYCourts.gov:

What can I do if my request for accommodations have been denied?

If your denial was issued by a chief clerk or district executive you can request a review by submitting a “request for reconsideration” no later than ten (10) days after the date of the written denial. The form can be found here and should be emailed to ada@nycourts.gov or mailed to:

New York State Office of Court Administration
Statewide ADA Coordinator
25 Beaver Street, Suite 809
New York, NY 10004

If your denial was issued by a judge or judicial officer in a pending proceeding, then review of that decision must be made through the regular process of judicial review.


References:
NYCourts.gov – Court Users Guidelines – website
Working with Jurors with Disabilities – PDF
NYCourts.gov – Local ADA Information by County – website