If you receive a notice for jury duty, that doesn't necessarily mean that you must show up on a particular day and time. Instead, you could be placed on standby status, which means just as it sounds -- you simply have to check in to see if you are needed.
Jurors Are Not Always Needed
Standby jury service can make life easier for jurors and courts. Cases scheduled for trial are often settled, but it's impossible to predict when that will occur. Court personnel don't know how many people might be needed for jury service until the day before a trial. Keeping people on standby provides the court with sufficient jurors while not inconveniencing those who aren't needed.
Check the Summons
How standby status is determined depends on the court. Your summons for jury duty might indicate "standby jury service," assigning you a juror number. If that's the case, you'll typically have to call the courthouse on a specific date and at the specified time. That's generally after court business hours on a Friday into the weekend, if possible jury service commences on a Monday. The prerecorded message informs callers which jurors, by number, must appear in court. If your number isn't included, you don't have to attend on the appointed day, but might have to remain on standby for a certain number of days, calling back as instructed. If your summons doesn't mention standby service, you must appear at the appointed time.