Northern Mariana Islands Jury Selection

Jury selection is the procedure whereby persons from the community are called to court, questioned by the litigants as to their qualifications to serve as a juror and then either selected to or rejected to serve as a juror.

In Northern Mariana Islands, following are the qualifications to serve as a juror[i]:

  • S/he shall be a citizen of the U.S. who attained 18 years of age and resided for a period of one year within the judicial district;
  • S/he shall be able to read, write, speak and understand English language;
  • S/he shall be capable both mentally and physically to render satisfactory jury service;
  • There shall not be any pending charge against him/her for the commission of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year and his/her civil rights have not been restored or has been convicted in a State or Federal court of record.

The jury commission shall maintain a qualified jury wheel and shall place names of all persons drawn from the master jury wheel who are determined to be qualified as jurors.  From time to time, the jury commission or the clerk shall draw at random from the qualified jury wheel such number of names as may be required for assignment to grand and petit jury panels.  The clerk or jury commission shall post a general notice for public review in the clerk’s office and on the court’s website explaining the process by which names are periodically and randomly drawn.  The jury commission or the clerk shall prepare a separate list of names of persons assigned to each grand and petit jury panel[ii].

Any person summoned for jury service who fails to appear may be ordered by the district court to appear and show cause for failure to comply with the summons.  Any person who fails to show good cause for noncompliance with a summons may be fined not more than $ 1,000, imprisoned not more than three days, ordered to perform community service, or any combination thereof[iii].

In civil cases, each party shall be entitled to three peremptory challenges.  Several defendants or plaintiffs may be considered as a single party for the purposes of making challenges, or the court may allow additional peremptory challenges and permit them to be exercised separately or jointly.  All challenges for cause or favor shall be determined by the court[iv].

[i] 28 USCS § 1865

[ii] 28 USCS § 1866

[iii] 28 USCS § 1866

[iv] 28 USCS § 1870

Inside Northern Mariana Islands Jury Selection