If you’re new to Queens and you haven’t yet done jury duty, you may be wondering where you’ll be sent when you are called. If your permanent address is in Queens and you are called by New York State – unless you can postpone or prove you’re incapable of serving – you’ll be reporting to a court house located in Queens.
There are many kinds of courts dealing with different categories of legal issues – family, housing, small claims, wills and estates, etc. For the purposes of jury duty, there are basically two courts – Civil Court and Criminal Court. Civil Court deals with parties seeking injunctions or damages, and Criminal Court addresses crimes such as theft and assault.
The Supreme Court exists within the Court System as a venue for trying civil and criminal cases of severity. Civil cases are brought to the Supreme Court because the damages being sued for are greater than $25,000. Criminal cases are brought to the Supreme Court because punishment for the crime would entail imprisonment exceeding one year.
You will get called for one of two kinds of jury duty – trial jury or grand jury. Trial jurors (or petit jurors) are brought in to hear one trial, deciding in a group of 6-12 individuals upon the guilt or innocence of the defendant. This could take a day or could go on for much longer.
Grand juries serve the criminal courts with a preliminary step to decide whether a prosecution has “probable cause” to move forward with an indictment and a trial. This is a month-long commitment. Grand jury duty is that long because a number of potential cases are brought in during that period, and some take multiple, non-consecutive days to present.
So, whether your jury duty is civil or criminal, lesser or Supreme, petit or grand, you’ll be reporting at one of these four locations:
Queens Civil Courthouse, 89-17 Sutphin Boulevard, Jamaica 11435 (GMAP)
Queens Supreme Courthouse, 88-11 Sutphin Boulevard, Jamaica, NY 11435 (GMAP)
Long Island City Courthouse, 25-10 Court Square, Long Island City, NY 11101 (GMAP – this courthouse was previously criminal, no longer)
Kew Gardens Courthouse, 125-01 Queens Boulevard, Kew Gardens, NY 11415 (GMAP)
By the way, as the New York State courts see it, if you’ve served at either the State or Federal level in the past six years, you’re exempt. And if that service lasted for more than ten days, you don’t have to return for eight years. But from the Federal standpoint, you’re only good for two years from your last service. Luckily, Federal summonses don’t come around that often, but if they do call you, you will be heading to Lower Manhattan (multiple locations), Brooklyn (Cadman Plaza) or Central Islip, Long Island.