Gloucester, Morris and Union counties will join 11 others in a new system to streamline jury service and make it more interactive for prospective jurors.

State Jury Program Manager Brian McLaughlin said there are two pieces to the new program — the first is an initial summons via postcard, encouraging prospective jurors to go online to complete a questionnaire and interact with jury management."

From there, "with a smartphone or a laptop or desktop computer, jurors can send requests regarding their service to the jury management office," he said.

The simple postcard replaces the previous letter-sized paper summons. If a prospective juror does not complete the online qualification within three weeks, he or she will receive a full letter-sized questionnaire to fill out and mail back to a local jury management office.

Prospective jurors can also work out a date for service that works best for them, "to focus on the customer service component and (facilitate) a more interactive and efficient juror experience with the way the judiciary interacts with the jurors," McLaughlin said.

All 21 New Jersey counties could start to use the system in the next three months.

"Jury service is held in high regard by the judiciary," McLaughlin said. "We appreciate everyone that serves and part of our appreciation for doing this is to implement a new system that makes the juror's life easier."

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5

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