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  • PART III COURTS, JUDICIAL OFFICERS AND PROCEEDINGS IN CIVIL CASES
  • TITLE II ACTIONS AND PROCEEDINGS THEREIN
  • CHAPTER 234 JURIES
  • Section 4 Preparation of lists; number on lists; decisions in disputes; failure of registrar to comply

Section 4. The board of election commissioners in cities having such boards, the board of registrars of voters in other cities and the board of selectmen in towns shall annually before July first prepare a list of such inhabitants of the city or town, qualified as provided in section one, of good moral character, of sound judgment and free from all legal exceptions, not exempt from jury service under section one or two, as they think qualified to serve as jurors. The board shall place on said list only the names of persons determined to be qualified as aforesaid upon the knowledge of one of its members, or after personal appearance and examination under oath, or after examination in the form of a questionnaire, approved by the state secretary, to be answered under oath. No person shall be disqualified from appearing on said list solely because such person is blind. No person shall be disqualified from appearing on said list solely because such person is physically handicapped. The board may summon persons to appear before it for examinations as to their qualifications for jury service and may compel their attendance before it and the giving of testimony in the same manner and to the same extent as may magistrates authorized to summon and compel the attendance of witnesses. Each summons issued by the board shall be served by mailing an attested copy to the last known address of such person, or by an officer qualified to serve criminal process giving such a copy in hand to such person or leaving the same at his last and usual place of abode, such mailing or such service being made at least fourteen days before the day such person is required to appear. Such examinations may be held before a single member of the board and for the aforesaid purpose each member may administer oaths. The board may further investigate by inquiries at such person’s place of residence and of business or employment, or by other means, his reputation, character and fitness for such service. The chief of police or the police commissioner or the official having charge of the police shall upon request give the board all possible assistance in making such investigation. Upon the request of the board or any member thereof, any person shall answer all questions and give such information as he may have relating to the character or fitness for jury service of any person concerning whom such request is made, which information shall be confidential. To the name of each juror on said list shall be appended his place of residence, an exact description of his business or occupation, and the name and address of his employer or of his business. In the event that the person listed is married, there shall be appended in addition an exact description of the business or occupation of his or her spouse, and the name and address of his or her employer or of his or her business; and in the event that the person listed is unemployed or retired, there shall be appended an exact description of his or her last business or occupation, and the name and address of his or her last employer or of his or her last business.

Such lists shall include not less than one juror for every hundred inhabitants nor more than one for every sixty according to the latest federal census, but in Nantucket or Dukes county it may include one for every thirty inhabitants. In no event shall a person’s name appear on the jury lists of more than three successive years or on more than three jury lists in any six year period.

If any question concerning the preparation of such list arises, as to which the board of election commissioners, registrars or selectmen are equally divided, it shall be referred, if arising in Boston, to the chief justice of the municipal court of the city of Boston, or, in case of his absence or disability, to the senior justice thereof, and, if arising in any other city or in any town, to the justice of the district court within whose jurisdiction such city or town lies, or in case of his absence or disability to the senior special justice thereof, and his decision on the question shall be final.

Failure by a registrar of voters or election commissioner to comply with the requirements of this section shall be sufficient ground for his removal from office.