Can’t Miss Work? 15 Legitimate Ways To Get Out of Jury Duty

Jury duty is the civic obligation of every US citizen who receives a summons in the mail from a court to appear on a particular date and time to serve on a jury potentially.

Here Are 15 Legitimate Ways To Get Out of Jury Duty

1. Financial Hardship This excuse is problematic because many people cite financial difficulties, suddenly preferring their jobs over jury duty. Judges hold the line on excusing potential jurors, fearing a mass exodus.

2. Primary Caregiver

If you are the sole caregiver for your children aged five years or less, you may ask the court to excuse you from jury service, but it is not automatically granted, at least in certain jurisdictions.

3. High-Risk Pregnancy or Breastfeeding

If you are experiencing a high-risk pregnancy requiring bed rest and not working, you are likely to be excused from jury duty with a letter of instructions from the ob-gyn doctor.  I recall a Judge jokingly asking a woman for a birth announcement as proof for his file.

4. Full-Time Student When you are a full-time student, you mustn’t miss classes or exams, particularly when close to graduation.

5. Belong To A Group Exempt From Federal Jury Service Three groups get automatic exemption from federal jury duty: – Members of the armed forces on active duty; – Members of a professional fire and police department; and – “Public Officers” of federal, state, or local governments who are actively engaged full-time in the performance of public duties.

7. Small Business Owner When running your own business and you are the only source of income for your family, serving on a jury poses a financial hardship. The courts are often amenable to granting an excuse or a postponement so you can get some help.

8. Don’t Live In The Jurisdiction This excuse should be relatively straightforward. If you moved over the past year, you may still be on the roster and receive a summons from your previous location.  You can usually call the court and explain that you are no longer living in the same area.

9. You Are Opinionated or Biased Being an expert is usually valuable at your work or in your career. It is not a good trait to be opinionated as a juror. The judges will want potential jurors to be open, unbiased, and not share their opinions, at least not until you are in the deliberation room.

10. Peremptory Challenges Each lawyer has a specific number of peremptory challenges during voir dire. These challenges permit a lawyer to excuse a potential juror without stating a cause.

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