Article 2.

Petit Jurors.

9-10. Summons to jurors.

(a) The clerk of court shall serve the summons by first-class mail, or shall deliver either printed summonses or the list of the panel of prospective jurors to the sheriff of the county, who shall summon the persons named therein. The summons shall be served personally, or by leaving a copy thereof at the place of residence of the juror, or by telephone or first-class mail, at least 15 days before the session of court for which the juror is summoned. Service by telephone, or by first-class mail if mailed to the correct current address of the juror on or before the fifteenth day before the day the court convenes, shall be valid and binding on the person served, and he shall be bound to appear in the same manner as if personally served. The summons shall contain information as to the time, place, and authority before whom applications for excuses from jury service may be heard.

(b) All summons served personally or by mail under this section or under G.S. 9-11 shall inform the prospective juror that persons 72 years of age or older are entitled to establish in writing exemption from jury service for good cause, shall contain a statement for claiming such exemption and stating the cause and a place for the prospective juror's signature, and shall state the mailing address of the clerk of superior court and the date by which such request for exemption must be received. (1779, c. 157, ss. 4, 6, P.R.; R.C., c. 31, s. 29; 1868-9, c. 9, s. 12; Code, s. 1733; Rev., s. 1976; C.S., s. 2320; 1967, c. 218, s. 1; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1207, s. 3; 1985, c. 609, s. 3; 2006-226, s. 8; 2006-264, ss. 30(a), 30(c); 2012-180, s. 9.)

 

9-11. Supplemental jurors; special venire.

(a) If necessary, the court may, without using the jury list, order the sheriff to summon from day to day additional jurors to supplement the original venire. Jurors so summoned shall have the same qualifications and be subject to the same challenges as jurors selected for the regular jury list. If the presiding judge finds that service of summons by the sheriff is not suitable because of his direct or indirect interest in the action to be tried, the judge may appoint some suitable person in place of the sheriff to summon supplemental jurors. The clerk of superior court shall keep a record of the names of those additional jurors who are so summoned and who report for jury service.

(b) The presiding judge may, in his discretion, at any time before or during a session direct that supplemental jurors or a special venire be selected from the jury list in the same manner as is provided for the selection of regular jurors. Jurors summoned under this subsection may be discharged by the court at any time during the session and are subject to the same challenges as regular jurors, and to no other challenges. (1779, c. 156, s. 69, P.R.; 1830, c. 27; R.C., c. 31, s. 29; c. 35, ss. 30, 31; Code, ss. 1733, 1738, 1739, 1740; 1887, c. 53; 1889, c. 441; 1897, c. 364; Rev., ss. 1967, 1968, 1973, 1974, 1975, 3265, 3602; 1911, c. 15; 1913, c. 31, ss. 1, 2; 1915, c. 210; C.S., ss. 2321, 2322, 2338, 2339, 2340, 4635; 1967, c. 218, s. 1; 1969, c. 205, s. 6; 2012-180, s. 11.)

 

9-12. Supplemental jurors from other counties.

(a) On motion of any party or the State, or on his own motion, any judge of the superior court, if he is of the opinion that it is necessary in order to provide a fair trial in any case, and regardless of whether he will preside over the trial of that case, may order as many jurors as he deems necessary to be summoned from any county or counties in the district or set of districts as defined in G.S. 7A-41.1(a) in which the county of trial is located or in any adjoining district or set of districts. These jurors shall be selected and shall serve in the manner provided for selection and service of supplemental jurors selected from the jury list. These jurors shall be subject to the same challenges as other jurors, except challenges for nonresidence in the county of trial.

(b) Transportation may be furnished in lieu of mileage.

(c) Repealed by Session Laws 1971, c. 377, s. 32. (1913, c. 4, ss. 1, 2; C.S., s. 473; 1931, c. 308; 1933, c. 248; 1961, c. 110; 1967, c. 218, s. 1; 1971, c. 377, s. 32; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1037, s. 48.)

 

9-13. Penalty for disobeying summons.

Every person summoned to appear as a juror who has not been excused, and who fails to appear and attend until duly discharged, shall be subject to a fine of not more than fifty dollars ($50.00), to be imposed by the court, unless he renders an excuse deemed sufficient. The forfeiture so imposed if not paid forthwith shall be entered as a judgment against the defaulting juror, and the clerk of superior court shall issue an execution against his estate. (1779, c. 157, s. 4, P.R.; 1783, c. 189, P.R.; 1806, c. 694, P.R.; R.C., c. 31, s. 30; Code, ss. 405, 1734; Rev., s. 1977; C.S., s. 2323; 1967, c. 218, s. 1.)

 

9-14. Jury sworn; judge decides competency.

The clerk shall, at the beginning of court, swear all jurors who have not been selected as grand jurors. Each juror shall take (i) the oath required by Section 7 of Article VI of the Constitution of North Carolina, by swearing or affirming to support and maintain the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of North Carolina not inconsistent therewith and (ii) the oath required under G.S. 11-11, by swearing or affirming to truthfully and without prejudice or partiality try all issues in criminal or civil actions that come before the juror and give true verdicts according to the evidence. Nothing herein shall be construed to disallow the usual challenges in law to the whole jury so sworn or to any juror; and if by reason of such challenge any juror is withdrawn from a jury being selected to try a case, his place on that jury shall be taken by another qualified juror. The presiding judge shall decide all questions as to the competency of jurors. (1790, c. 321, P.R.; 1822, c. 1133, s. 1, P.R.; R.C., c. 31, s. 34; Code, s. 405; Rev., s. 1966; C.S., s. 2324; 1967, c. 218, s. 1; 2013-164, s. 1.)

 

9-15. Questioning jurors without challenge; challenges for cause.

(a) The court, and any party to an action, or his counsel of record shall be allowed, in selecting the jury, to make direct oral inquiry of any prospective juror as to the fitness and competency of any person to serve as a juror, without having such inquiry treated as a challenge of such person, and it shall not be considered by the court that any person is challenged as a juror until the party shall formally state that such person is so challenged.

(b) It shall not be a valid cause for challenge that any juror, regular or supplemental, is not a freeholder or has not paid the taxes assessed against him.

(c) In civil cases if any juror has a suit pending and at issue in the court in which he is serving, he may be challenged for cause, and he shall be withdrawn from the trial panel, and may be withdrawn from the venire in the discretion of the presiding judge. In criminal cases challenges are governed by Article 72, Selecting and Impaneling the Jury, of Chapter 15A of the General Statutes. (1806, c. 694, P.R.; 1868-9, c. 9, s. 7; Code, s. 1728; Rev., s. 1960; 1913, c. 31, ss. 5, 6, 7; C.S., ss. 2316, 2325, 2326; 1933, c. 130; 1967, c. 218, s. 1; 1973, c. 95; 1977, c. 711, s. 11.)

 

9-16. Exemption from civil arrest.

No sheriff or other officer shall arrest under civil process any juror during his attendance at or going to and returning from any session of the superior or district court. Any such arrest shall be invalid, and the defendant on motion shall be discharged. (1779, c. 157, s. 10, P.R.; R.C., c. 31, s. 31; Code, s. 1735; Rev., s. 1979, C.S., s. 2328; 1967, c. 218, s. 1.)

 

9-17. Jurors impaneled to try case furnished with accommodations; separation of jurors.

A jury, impaneled to try any cause, shall be put in charge of an officer of the court and shall be furnished with such accommodations as the court may order, and the accommodations shall be paid for by the parties or by the State, as ordered by the presiding judge. When sequestration of the jury is ordered in a criminal case, however, the State shall pay for all accommodations of jurors.

The presiding judge, in his discretion, may direct any jury to be sequestered while it has a case or issue under consideration. (1876-7, c. 173; Code, s. 1736; 1889, c. 44; Rev., s. 1978, C.S., s. 2327; 1947, c. 1007, s. 2; 1967, c. 218, s. 1; 1977, c. 711, s. 12.)

 

9-18. Alternate jurors.

(a) Civil Cases. Whenever the presiding judge deems it appropriate, one or more alternate jurors may be selected in the same manner as the regular trial panel of jurors in the case. Each party shall be entitled to two peremptory challenges as to each such alternate juror, in addition to any unexpended challenges the party may have after the selection of the regular trial panel. Alternate jurors shall be sworn and seated near the jury with equal opportunity to see and hear the proceedings and shall attend the trial at all times with the jury and shall obey all orders and admonitions of the court to the jury. When the jurors are ordered kept together in any case, the alternate jurors shall be kept with them. An alternate juror shall receive the same compensation as other jurors and, except as hereinafter provided, shall be discharged upon the final submission of the case to the jury. If before that time any juror dies, becomes incapacitated or disqualified, or is discharged for any reason, an alternate juror shall become a part of the jury and serve in all respects as those selected on the regular trial panel. If more than one alternate juror has been selected, they shall be available to become a part of the jury in the order in which they were selected.

(b) Criminal Cases. Procedures relating to alternate jurors in criminal cases are governed by Article 72, Selecting and Impaneling the Jury, of Chapter 15A of the General Statutes. (1931, c. 103; 1939, c. 35; 1951, cc. 82, 1043; 1967, c. 218, s. 1; 1977, c. 406, ss. 3-5; c. 711, s. 13; 1979, c. 711, s. 2.)