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How Do I Get Out Of Jury Duty?

Public servants, such as police officers, do not have to serve on juries.
Those without a car might show that jury duty would be an extreme inconvenience.
A student might be able to avoid jury duty in some places.
A courthouse.
Lying to get out of jury duty is often considered fraud, and may result in heavy fines.
Volunteer firefighters might be able to get out of serving on a jury.
Jail time is one possible consequence for lying to get out of jury duty.
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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 17 September 2014
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There are a number of different legitimate ways to get out of jury duty, and if you fall into one of several categories, you might easily be able to avoid the job. The acceptable reasons depend on your location, however, and you should consider that your state or country may have somewhat different laws regarding jury duty. The most common ways to avoid jury duty typically include financial hardship or extreme inconvenience, working in a field that already acts as a civic duty, being a public official, and in some regions, age and educational obligations.

One of the first things you should consider is the fact that lying to get out of jury duty is often considered fraud and may result in heavy fines or even jail time. You should be honest in dealing with the courts, especially once you are sworn to honesty. Avoiding an inconvenience like jury duty is no reason to end up in jail or pay a fine.

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The most common ways to get out of serving on a jury are to make a claim of financial hardship or extreme inconvenience. Financial hardship can often be used as an excuse by someone whose employer will not pay him or her to serve on a jury, and who is financially responsible for other people. The sole financial provider for a household, for example, may be able to use hardship as a way to avoid serving. Similarly, extreme inconvenience often refers to a situation where getting to the courthouse to serve on a jury would be very difficult, such as if you did not have a car and would have to travel several hours to reach the court.

If you are a public official, such as a politician or sitting judge, then you will likely not be called to serve on a jury. Many public officials cannot perform jury duty even if they wanted to, as dictated by law. Members of the armed forces on active duty can also use that as a way to get out of jury duty, as well as people like police officers and members of fire departments. If you are a volunteer firefighter, you may also be able to avoid jury duty, as may people over a certain age.

Some states and areas will also excuse a person from jury duty if he or she is a student and the time lost would severely disrupt his or her studies. This is not true of all areas, so you should look for specific information about your region. The court clerk is well within his or her rights to deny your request and require that you come to jury duty, but you can make any honest attempt to avoid the process.

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Discuss this Article

anon946225
Post 15

If you tell them you already know everything about the case, the court will not call you since they want an unbiased opinion.

anon930188
Post 13

Just say that the entire process is about spinning wrong into right is corrupt and that you will convict regardless.

Wear slovenly clothing, do not brush your teeth and do not comb your hair.

Make sure you have a scowl on your face along with an attitude that the system is flawed therefore all are guilty

You have this right as it is your opinion that they wish. Lawyers hate this process as much as you do but they get paid hundreds per hour while you do not. So of course we do. Plus the hassle.

The reason we have so many idiots walking the streets and in trouble in the first place is that system makes people stand in judgement of others and that they should outsource juries so they would get more of a fair trial as many see the person as guilty to begin with.

kylee07drg
Post 12

My mother has gotten out of jury duty many times. Ever since she turned sixty-five, her age has been a way out for her.

She is perfectly healthy, but the court says that people over sixty-five don't have to serve on a jury. She takes advantage of this every time her name rolls around.

healthy4life
Post 11

I can tell you how to get out of jury duty legally. My method involves making sure you never get selected, though.

My state pulls names for jury duty from the list of registered voters. So, I never registered to vote. I never kept up with politics, anyway, and I really didn't want the stress of being forced to judge someone.

I'm thirty-four, and I've never been selected for jury duty. I can't vote, but for me, it's worth it.

StarJo
Post 10

@LoriCharlie – In my state, you can get out of jury duty if you are of a religion that believes that judging others is wrong. I guess there's really no way for a judge to prove if someone lies on this one.

I think that judges are there for a reason, and sometimes, people have to be locked up to prevent danger to others. However, I would hate to be on a jury that had to decide whether someone was going to be put away for life or not. What if the person were really innocent, but the evidence showed otherwise?

I don't think I could live with this kind of responsibility. The knowledge that I had sent someone away forever and the possibility that they might not be guilty of the crime would be too much for me.

KaBoom
Post 9

@LoriCharlie - I've heard that too. But as the article said, if you say you're a victim of a crime, it has to actually be the truth! You can't just say it to get out of being on a jury. So I guess the best jury selection tips are really just tell the truth and hope you don't get picked!

LoriCharlie
Post 8

From what I understand, you will get eliminated from the jury pool by the lawyers during voir dire for a lot of arbitrary reasons. They might eliminate you for holding certain views, for example, if you believe in the death penalty and it's a murder case.

I've also heard that many lawyers eliminate you from the jury pool if you've ever been the victim of a crime. I think this makes sense, because a crime victim might be a little harder on a criminal than your average person.

strawCake
Post 7

@sunnySkys - I agree with you on the financial hardship thing. However, I think they should also let college students out of the jury pool as a rule. When I was in college, most of my classes had attendance policies, and if you missed more than a few classes, you automatically failed.

So serving on a jury could actually cause a student to flunk out of a semester of college! That's not good for anyone (especially the student), especially if the student has financial aid from the government for school.

sunnySkys
Post 6

I think, as the article said, the best way to get out of jury duty is to have a legitimate reason for wanting to get out of it. I'm glad the main reason they let people out of jury duty for financial hardship. Everyone should do their civic duty, but not if it's going to result in them being unable to pay their bills.

honeybees
Post 5

@myharley-- I recently had jury duty and the whole process took almost 2 weeks. We were paid around $30 per day plus mileage. This sure isn't going to pay the bills for most families.

My son was able to get out of jury duty because he works in sales and his wife doesn't work. They have three little ones at home, and if he were to go for 2 weeks without working, it really would be a financial hardship for them.

I don't think getting out of jury duty is as easy as some people think it might be though. You truly need to have an honest, legitimate reason to do so.

When we were going through the screening process, you could tell which people were really looking for a way to get out of it.

myharley
Post 4

How much does someone get paid for jury duty? I have never had to do this, but it sounds like there isn't much compensation for it.

I can understand how someone who is the sole support for their family might have a hard time going several days to weeks without working if their employer wasn't paying them for the time served. I wonder how often something like financial hardship is granted to get out of jury duty.

LisaLou
Post 3

I have always wondered about the process they go through to find people for jury duty. I have never been asked to serve on a jury, but my mom has at least twice.

She has always been able to get out of jury duty because she is the full time care giver for my mentally handicapped sister. All she had to do was submit a letter explaining her circumstances and she did not have to report for jury duty.

sunshined
Post 2

My husband runs a crew for a construction company and works out of town most of the time. In the last few years his name has come up for jury duty more than once.

Because his work is seasonal, he was able to get the jury duty deferred to a later date. Sure enough, during the middle of winter when he wasn't working, they contacted him again for jury duty.

He was able to get out of jury duty for awhile, but eventually served when the time was more convenient for him.

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