I know there are penalties for ignoring the jury summons, but what about missing the summons letter entirely?

By missing, I mean not being present for both the initial letter and the actual date of the jury panel. Hence, it was not physically possible to appear since the person would have no knowledge of the summons.

Also, if being absent does change the legality of the matter, what would count as sufficient evidence? (If this is a separate question I will remove it)

Disclosure: This did happen to me, in Canada.

  • Jurisdiction required
    – Dale M
    Commented Aug 6, 2015 at 23:21
  • Canada in my case...
    – user960
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 3:46

1 Answer 1


This happened to me many years ago in New South Wales; I wrote a letter (see how long ago it was!) to the sheriff explaining the circumstances and they waived the fine; if this had not worked I would have had the option of paying the fine or going before a magistrate to contest it. New South Wales is not Canada; your results may differ.

No matter what the jurisdiction it is difficult to see the justice in fining someone for failing to attend a summons of which they genuinely had no knowledge.

  • I didn't get fined though, at least I don't think so. What sort of evidence did you present?
    – user960
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 5:18
  • 1
    My word of honour
    – Dale M
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 5:21
  • I was hoping to just leave it since responding might push me higher in the queue. But if I left it to the off chance when they apply the penalty I don't think my honor would be very convincing, haha :)
    – user960
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 5:31
  • Well, at least I know that I am (probably) legally innocent, just got to prove it. Is getting fined for this pretty common in New South Wales? Fines don't happen very happen here.
    – user960
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 5:35
  • Jury service in New South Wales starts with you being put on a panel for 3 years; you can expect to be called once a year. You can submit reasons why you should be excused to the sheriff after you are summoned - if you aren't excused and don't attend you will be fined.
    – Dale M
    Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 6:49

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