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What Excuses are Acceptable for Missing Jury Duty?

Authored by R. Elizabeth C. Kitchen in Legal
Published on 08-14-2009

No one likes jury duty, but it is illegal to simply ignore it. However, there are several acceptable excuses for missing jury duty. In some cases, a person’s profession, medical status or dependents can get them excused from jury duty.

When trying to get excused from jury duty it is important to write down the reason in detail and submit it to the courts. Before submitting the reason to the courts, one should call first to see if there is anything they can do by phone. When calling, it is also important to ask about what needs to be submitted in addition to written reason. In some cases, the courts will also want proof or age, profession, dependents or medical status. Keep in mind that there is a time frame for submitting excuses and if excuses are not submitted within that time frame, then jury duty may have to be served.

Those who are over age seventy have an acceptable excuse for missing jury duty. If this applies, the person will need to send in their written reason as well as proof of age. Some states may require additional proof.

Those with dependents may have an acceptable excuse for missing jury duty. Dependents include children and the elderly. If this applies, the person will need to send in their written reason to the court and provide any necessary proof of dependents. In some cases, having dependents will not excuse a person from jury duty.

A person’s profession or volunteer work may have an acceptable excuse for missing jury duty. Those who are volunteer firefighters or are on a volunteer ambulance crew are immediately excused from jury duty. Those with important jobs and jobs that are important to society may be able to be excused from jury duty. These jobs include, but are not limited to nurses, doctors, dentists or lawyers. Business owners may also be able to be excused from jury duty, especially if they are active in their business are can prove that they are in charge. Those in other professions may also have an acceptable excuse for missing jury duty if they can prove that the company they work for could fail if they are not present. If this applies, the person will need to send in their written reason to the court and provide any necessary proof to be excused.

Those who are disabled may have an acceptable excuse for missing jury duty. Regardless of age, physical or mental disabilities can excuse a person from jury duty. The court will ultimately decide if a person’s disability qualifies them to be excused from jury duty. If this applies, the person will need to send in their written reason to the court and provide any necessary proof to be excused. This may include notes from the person’s doctors or medical records.

There are several acceptable excuses for missing jury duty. However, for a person to be excused for one of these reasons they need to alert the court on time and be able to provide the necessary proof.

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