Have you had the Government of Alberta or your province send you an OFFICIAL request for Jury duty? I have, it’s scary at first until you realize the following:
- First of all a jury is group of citizens, usually twelve people, chosen by the provincial court to give a final decision or “verdict” on a legal (criminal or civil) case that is presented before them in a court of law, for example the Alberta Provincial Court.
- A Jury Summons is a written order to a citizen to serve as a witness or juror to appear in court.
- You MUST respond (by mail) either agreeing to attend, explaining you are not a citizen (and therefore cannot serve), or you for some reason cannot give up the days-off from work.
- Every person who is a resident in Alberta, a Canadian citizen, and 18 years of age or older, qualifies to serve as a juror. The “and” word in this sentence is important– it means that ALL THREE (resident,. citizen, and 18 years or older) are necessary for you to serve. Therefore “Temporary” or “Permanent Residents” of Canada cannot serve as jurors. But you STILL need to write to the Government and tell them this.
- If you do NOT respond to the Jury Summons you could:
- Be charged a fine of $1,000 (Cdn);
- Go to jail for 1 month; or
- Both #1 AND #2 !!
So read your mail. If you want to find out more about your rights, freedoms and responsibilities as residents, AND learn more English at the same time, send me an email for a coffee, tea or Chai TODAY!