How to get out of jury duty

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How to Get Out of Jury Duty. Another line of reasoning: police officers are better witnesses than the average person. They’ve trained to be more observant than most people. They have a lot of experience with crime and giving testimony. In addition, they must have a high moral standard if they were hired as police officers. The defense team won’t like this.

Did this article help you? – While in many countries it is a citizen’s duty to serve occasionally on a jury, there are some ways to avoid such duty if it would prove a true hardship. Failure to respond to a summons for jury duty is not a good idea: that could result in up to two years’ incarceration or a substantial fine. However, if you have a legitimate reason for avoiding jury duty, you should go through the legal process of getting yourself excused. Courts issue summonses through random selection, so there’s nothing you can do to avoid being called for duty. Merely being called does not mean you will actually sit on a jury. This wikiHow will give you some advice on how to avoid the experience while still fulfilling your civic duty.

Video advice: Angry Judge Throws Book After Juror Tries to Get Out of Jury Duty

9 Things Lawyers Look for When Picking a Jury

Here’s what lawyers on both sides are looking out for.

Open and receptive jurors, according to the Synchronics Group Trial Consultants, will have hair that is “casual and naturally flowing, rather than highly styled or gelled or plastered to the head … Beards and mustaches will be natural looking, rather than designed and sculpted. ” The old adage says you can’t judge a book by its cover, but attorneys will certainly try.

  • YOUR LEADERSHIP SKILLS (Or lack thereof)

At some point in your adult life, chances are good you’ll be called to serve jury duty. But the odds that you’ll actually sit on a trial are much lower. What, exactly, makes an ideal juror? What are lawyers on both sides of a case looking for in a lineup of random people? The answer, of course, depends on the case itself. But there are a few general traits attorneys take into consideration when trying to decide whether you’d help or hurt their argument.

What to expect on the day of your jury service

Find out what to expect when you report to the courthouse for your jury duty. Learn how to get to your courthouse, what you can bring, and what will happen once you arrive.

On the day of your service, you’ll report to the courthouse listed on your summons. If you have misplaced your summons, you can call 1 (800) THE-JURY for assistance. (Be sure you have confirmed your jury service and reviewed the information found on the what you need to know before your jury service page. )

When you arrive at the courthouse, you’ll go through security. Once you arrive in the jury pool room, you’ll check in using your Reminder Notice or Summons, and give the jury pool officer your completed Confidential Juror Questionnaire. The court officer will give you general information about lunch breaks, restrooms, and perhaps what is going on in the courthouse that day, and you’ll also be greeted by a judge. You’ll watch a brief orientation video about the trial process and performing your duty as a juror.

9 Ways To Get Out Of Jury Duty

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While it might seem cheap to play up work responsibilities, experts said it never hurts to tell a judge you’re the only person at the office who can do your job or you don’t get paid for jury duty. If you’re a student, stress that you have classes during the day.

Mention your mental illness or other “sensitivities.”

The last people lawyers want on juries are “experts” on some issue related to the case, or people who think they’re experts, according to Amy Singer, a litigation psychologist. Prospective jurors could also play up the fact that they’ve already made up their minds about a particular issue, for example, noting they don’t believe in large damages awards in civil cases. In criminal cases, would-be jurors who have family members who work in law enforcement would also be undesirable, litigation consultants said. So don’t forget to mention that you have a brother-in-law who’s a DEA agent if that’s the case!

San Antonio Jury Instructions

Federal Law allowing the granting of excuses is very strict. Request for excuses and postponements should be mailed with the completed Juror Information Form and Supplemental Questionnaire in the return envelope provided. Enclosed with your summons mail-out you will find an excuse form that you can use to submit your excuse in writing.

View the Called to Serve video to learn why jury service is important and what it will be like. The video is introduced by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and includes interviews with Associate Justices Sandra Day O’Connor (ret. ) and Samuel A. Alito, Jr., on the history and importance of the jury system and jury service. The video also includes interviews with people who have served on juries about their experiences and explains some of the whys and wherefores and do’s and don’ts of jury duty.

Ten Ways to Get Out of Jury Duty

Act like you know it all.

If you get called to do jury duty, it’s your civic obligation to go through with it. Don’t flee the country! But there are a few loopholes you can clutch onto to get out of it, if need be (and if you’re being honest about things). Here are some handy hints as to how to duck for cover:GET A NOTE FROM A SPECIALIST. The note should say that you’re distressed or challenged and emotionally incapable of fulfilling this particular duty at this time. (And make sure it’s true!) It can also allude to physical problems that make it impossible for you to go. Make it good—not just, “I have the sniffles. “POSTPONE IT. It’s a way to buy time, and sometimes—as if by some miracle of management–they neglect to follow up. If you can postpone it to December, even better, because that’s a very slow time for trials and you might not get called in. TELL THEM YOU’RE A FULL-TIME STUDENT. But again, only if you are, of course. Some states excuse students from having to do jury duty. Maybe you can even become a full-time student in order to avoid this unwanted casting call?

Video advice: How to Get Out of Jury Duty (Things Not To Say)

While jury duty is a civic requirement for all eligible citizens in North Carolina, there are a number of excuses that can be used to legally get out of being required to report for jury selection or jury duty, or receive a deferral.

North Carolina has a list of specific excuses that can be used to be exempt from reporting for jury duty, including excuses for elected official, breastfeeding, age, police, medical worker and firefighter. You can also be excused if you don’t meet the basic eligibility requirements for jury duty in NC.

Generally, if you qualify for one of the statutory excuses, you can respond to your jury duty summons letter with an excuse note containing proof of your excuse, and you will not have to report for jury selection.

| North Carolina Jury Duty Age Limit Excuse

North Carolina has a statutory exemption that allows individuals over a certain age to request exemption from jury duty. Citizens over the age of 72 can be exempt from jury service under this age exception.

A prospective juror 72 years of age or older may request to be excused, deferred, or exempt by completing and mailing back the summons and supporting age documentation.

| North Carolina Military Jury Duty Excuse

A prospective juror on active military duty must send in valid proof of military orders to be excused.

| North Carolina Student Jury Duty Excuse

If the prospective juror is taking classes or exams as a full-time student at any out of state institution, they shall be excused from jury service upon request supported by documentation showing enrollment.

| North Carolina Disablity Jury Duty Excuse

In North Carolina, a prospective juror with a disability that could interfere with their ability to serve may ask to be excused, deferred, or exempted by mailing back the completed summons with a brief explanation of the condition. The court may or may not subsequently request for supporting physician’s letter.

| Other Jury Duty Excuses in North Carolina

A prospective juror applying for excuse will granted only for reasons of compelling personal hardship or because requiring jury service would be contrary to the public welfare, health, or safety.

There are otherwise no automatic exemptions based on occupation.

Can I Get Excused From Jury Duty Because I Work?

In North Carolina, your employer is not allowed to penalize you for missing work for jury duty. Therefore, simply having a job isn’t in itself enough to be excused from jury duty. However, some courts may excuse you if serving on a jury and missing work would cause undue hardship to either yourself or your employer.

Submitting A Jury Duty Excuse Letter

If you do not qualify for any of the North Carolina statutory exemptions listed above but seriously think that attending jury selection would cause you undue hardship, you can always submit a jury duty excuse letter with your response to the summons, and ask to be excused. It will be at the discretion of the court that summoned you whether to accept or deny your excuse.

Remember – A Jury Selection Summons Doesn’t Mean You’ll Be On A Jury

Keep in mind that your initial jury duty summons is only for attending jury selection day, where it will be decided if you are to actually serve on a jury during the “Voir Dire” process. If you can’t get out of attending jury selection, there are many ways to raise the odds that you will be excused after jury selection without being selected to serve on a jury.

How to get out of jury duty

You know how there are certain phrases that just instinctively send chills down your spine? Bad haircut. IRS audit. Assembly required. See? But perhaps the worst of these terrifying terms is the one that has the power to strike fear into the hearts of even the strongest humans: jury duty.

If you’ve ever gotten a jury duty summons and immediately been tortured with visions of sitting for hours listening to boring strangers argue, then you’ve come to the right place. Because thanks to these jury duty excuses, you’ll never have to waste your time doing your civic duty ever again. Here, you can find the cleverest, craziest, and wildest ideas about how to get out of jury duty.

A quick warning: you may want to research the following tactics before using them as reasons to get out of jury duty. Just to make sure they’re totally legal. While we’re fairly certain that making yourself appear as sleazy, unintelligent, or undesirable as possible during jury selection isn’t against the law, it’s better to be safe than sorry! Otherwise, you might find yourself on the wrong end of that courtroom.

That said, here you’ll find a list of everything from valid excuses, such as financial hardship, to outrageous ideas like soaking your clothes in vodka to make them think you’re an alcoholic.

Keep in mind that during jury selection, lawyers can request that you be booted from the jury box before the trial ever begins, so scroll on down and check out some creative ways to up your odds. Jury duty exemptions are hard to come by, but there’s no way to win if you don’t try! Don’t see some of your favorite ways to get out of jury duty listed here? Add those bad boys to the list! You fellow lazy citizens will thank you.

Jury Duty Excusal in California

Although jury duty is generally required of American citizens, there are ways to get out of it. Here’s how to get out of jury duty in California.

For people in certain situations, such as those who have a vacation scheduled during the time period in which they are supposed to be on jury duty, a postponement may be requested for up to 90 days. For those who want to escape jury duty altogether, a valid excuse must be provided to the court in writing or placed on the court’s record. Examples of valid excuses include not having available public or private transportation to the courthouse, having to care for another person, or having a physical or mental impairment.


Jury duty is essential to the proper functioning of our court system, and it is a responsibility of American citizenship. Sometimes, however, it is simply too inconvenient. In situations such as this, a prospective juror may request a postponement for up to 90 days. For example, an individual may have an important business trip during the week that they are supposed to report for their jury summons. Or, someone may have a surgery scheduled during this time period. These individuals may postpone their jury duty until any time in the following 90 days, but it is preferable that they choose the soonest available period of time. The jury summons will generally have information regarding how to request a postponement.

Additionally, a student or teacher may request a postponement for their jury duty until the next school break, even if it is more than 90 days away. This means that being a student or a teacher is not a valid excuse in itself to completely get out of jury duty.


However, there are a number of valid reasons to be completely excused from jury duty. According to the 2021 California Rules of Court, there are two categories of excusal: excusal due to previous jury duty service and excusal due to undue hardship. In either case, in order to be excused, the prospective juror must provide the reasoning in writing to the court or place it on the court record.

The first category (excusal due to previous jury duty service) is mostly self-explanatory. If a prospective juror has appeared for jury duty either on a grand jury or trial jury in the past 12 months, then they will be excused from their current summons if requested. 12 months is merely the minimum, however; the jury commissioner has the discretion to excuse a person for previous jury duty service even if the service was more than 12 months prior.

There are several reasons listed in the California Rules of Court for which a person may be excused from jury duty because of undue hardship. If any of the following apply, a prospective juror may request excusal:

  • They do not have reasonably available transportation to the courthouse, including both private and public transit.
  • They have to travel more than one and a half hours to the courthouse (unless stated otherwise in a local statute).
  • Jury duty will cause them an extreme financial burden. In determining this, the court will consider their income, the availability of income reimbursement, the length of service, and whether or not jury duty would compromise their ability to support themselves or their dependents.
  • They will face a risk of damage to their property.
  • They have a physical or mental impairment that would cause them to face undue risk of harm.
    • If they are below the age of 70, they may have to prove their impairment and why it might cause them to be harmed.
  • They protect public health and safety, and their serving on jury duty would reduce essential public services (for example, being the only doctor in a small town).
  • They have an obligation to provide necessary care to another (such as an elderly person or child) and providing alternative care would impose an undue economic burden.

As such, there are many reasons that a person could use to get out of jury duty, but it is generally more difficult than simply stating that one is busy or needs to work. If merely having a job was a valid reason by itself to get out of jury duty, then nobody would do jury duty. It is important to remember that prospective jurors should never lie in order to be excused from jury duty; they could easily be found in contempt and placed in jail.

Getting Out of Jury Duty During Jury Selection

A jury duty summons is merely a summons to attend selection day, where prospective jurors will be interviewed in order to determine whether or not they would be a good fit for the jury. If a prospective juror was unable to escape jury duty by providing an excuse, then they may be able to escape jury duty during this questioning. However, the only way that they can legally escape jury duty at this point is by answering the questions truthfully and hoping that it in some way disqualifies them. For example, they may ask the prospective juror if they could be impartial in a certain case. The juror may then state that they would always vote either guilty or not guilty in that case based on their convictions (if that is true). Their bias may then disqualify them from participating on the jury.

FAQs About Escaping Jury Duty in California

Is jury duty required?

Jury duty is a responsibility of American citizenship, and it is required unless the prospective juror provides a valid excuse.

Can jury duty be postponed?

Yes. A prospective juror can request a postponement if jury duty at that particular time would greatly inconvenience them. They can postpone for up to 90 days, and students and teachers can postpone until the next school break.

Can a person be excused from jury duty?

Yes. There are several valid reasons for being excused from jury duty, including not having reasonable transportation or extreme financial hardship.

Is having a job a valid reason to get out of jury duty?

It depends. The prospective jury must show that jury duty would cause them an extreme financial burden or perhaps unduly burden the company that they work for.

Can I be excused from jury duty if I have already done jury duty?

If you have done jury duty in the last 12 months, you will be excused from jury duty if requested.