15+ Free Jury Duty Excuse Letters & Templates (Word / PDF)

jury excuse letter

If you aren’t able to continue jury duty due to some reason, write a jury duty excuse letter to get out of it. To find guidelines for writing the letter, you should do some research regarding the rules of exemption in your state. Every state has its guidelines about the legitimate excuse for getting out of this responsibility.

What is jury duty?

Jury duty is a responsibility assigned to someone to serve on a jury when they get summoned to local, state, or federal court. Questionnaires are provided to the individuals by the court so they find out more about them and their qualifications. Then, they select individuals randomly for different cases. You must meet the following requirements if you want to qualify for jury duty;

  • At least 18 years of age
  • A citizen of the United States of America
  • Lived in the judicial district for a year
  • Understand the English language

In addition, you shouldn’t have any disqualifying physical or mental conditions as well as have no experienced conviction from any felony charge.

What is a Jury Duty Excuse Letter?

When some people are finding a way out of jury duty, the only way to be excused from jury duty is to write an excuse letter to the court. For this, you have to write a good jury duty excuse letter which is not as difficult as you think.

Your business letter follows the standard business letter format. In the first paragraph, you have to explain who you are, your name, summons number, and case number from the summons. The second paragraph precisely explains the reason why you need to be excused from jury duty. In the last paragraph, you should officially ask to be excused from jury duty. And at the end provide your contact information.

Some common reasons for writing a jury duty excuse letter:

There’s no standard format for a jury duty excuse letter because courts usually make their decisions on a case-to-case basis. Every court accepts different excuses for those who want to get out of jury duty. However, some common reasons for being excused from jury duty are;

  • Medical reasons
  • Public necessity
  • Undue hardship
  • Dependent care
  • Student Status
  • Military conflict

You can write a letter to avoid jury duty if any of these situations apply to you. Along with the excuse letter, you also have to attach some supporting documents.

How do you write a letter of excuse for jury duty?

Writing an excuse letter for jury duty is not a difficult task as you think. Here are some tips to write a good jury duty excuse letter;

  • At first, think of excuses for skipping jury duty. Generally, the summons will come with guidelines on how can you write the letter and what reasons will be considered legitimate.
  • Next, note the rules of exemption.
  • Pay special attention to the location where you have to send the letter as well as the deadline. This is because if you miss these then there is a risk of missing your chance.
  • If you want to follow a template for the letter then select the standard template and use it. If not, you can also use the jury duty excuse template.
  • However, you can also use your own format if you are good at writing letters. You just need to follow the set of guidelines. All these guidelines can easily be available on summons or online.
  • At the end, provide your contact details so that they contact you in case they accept or reject your excuse.
  • Then, proofread the letter before printing it. You may also ask someone to proofread it in case you miss anything. And also keep one copy of the letter for yourself.

Jury duty excuse letter write by an employer:

Sometimes an employer would have to write the getting out of jury duty letter, particularly in case it is in conflict with the business. This is specifically true for small businesses when their employees have to miss various days of work since they have to serve jury duty.

The employer may have to write the letter on their employee’s behalf when they receive summon from the court and they don’t have a legitimate excuse to shirk this responsibility. Do some research on the guidelines before writing the letter and check whether or not there’s an opportunity that your excuse would get a positive response.

Furthermore, when absolutely necessary, employers can write the letter and address it to the court. Most of the time, if the summons comes at a bad time such as the business is in the middle of a large project then they would have to do this. In such a case, the employer would have to provide a description in the letter of how the absence of the employee would significantly affect the business. This, in turn, may, lead to negative cash flow.

How do you get out of jury duty?

The citizens have a responsibility to serve jury duty occasionally in various countries including the US. But, in case someone found this responsibility very hard then by writing a jury duty excuse letter they may try to get out of it. You should do this rather than indicating up to scheduled jury duty as would prove to be more of an issue. You should know the proper way to do so in case you know that you have a valid excuse for getting out of jury duty.

Consider the following tips as a guide;

  • First, you must prove that you’re undergoing economic hardship and you would face financial problems by serving jury duty. However, if there’s a truth behind it, make use of this excuse only. The reason behind is that exemptions depend on financial issues are very rare. This means that you’d have to give convincing evidence when you use such an excuse.
  • You can make a request for a change of date if you can’t make it on the date you’re given. Include with your request an excuse for why you require a change of date or schedule.
  • If you want your schedule delayed further, then it is suggested to request for a date sometime in December. In this way, there’s a bigger opportunity of the trial getting moved or delayed due to holidays. In the end, may be you even get overlooked and never called in.
  • You may also ask to them to move your date up rather than back. This is considered as another trick to use since here may not be a place for you at the jury. Then, at the end of their list, they will place your name and thus, you might not have to serve jury duty at all.
  • You can use this as your excuse in case you are a student. This is specifically true in case you’re a full-time student and you also have a job. Before you write your letter, check if your state excuses students or not.
  • You may find some loopholes after doing a lot of research. These loopholes can be used as excuses in your getting out of jury excuse letter. But, always remain truthful when using such excuses. This is because you will get charged with perjury if you lie.

To avoid serving jury duty, you can’t consider the only way is writing an excuse letter. In some cases, you would get dismissed from a jury. Definitely, this isn’t considered as an ideal solution. You might even get other penalties along with the dismissal. Following are some situations in which you might get dismissed;

  • In case you claim that you aren’t able to maintain objectivity due to your principles and beliefs.
  • Throughout the whole process, if you act stubborn and even before you hear everything about the case, you act like you know everything.
  • You might become a less desirable member of the jury in case you act smart, intelligent, and logical, particularly in the eyes of the court.
  • In case, you state the responsibility of a jury to “veto.” If you have jury duty and on the basis of the information presented in court, the judge asks you to swear to search for the verdict, you may refuse to swear depending on the right of a jury to “veto,” which is also referred as “jury nullification.” Judges and prosecutors usually don’t like it even though you have this right. If there is any opportunity that you would use this right at any time, it may reject you.
  • Ask about the legitimacy of the grand jury proceedings in case you’re summoned to serve jury duty.

Why does jury duty essential?

To avoid tyranny is the main reason why the Founding Fathers insisted on jury trials. No single judge can make a decision on their own with a jury. Jury duty is also important aside from providing a fair trial because it;

  • Is an important section of the U.S. system of checks and balances
  • Makes the citizen able to participate in the governing process
  • Gives voice of the people to the justice system
  • Offers peaceful dispute resolution
  • The judicial system, educates jurors.

How does the jury work?

It is commendable wanting to be a jury but keep in mind that you can’t volunteer for it. State and federal laws randomly choose 12 people. They select the following;

  • Whose age is between 18 and 70
  • Having US citizenship
  • Speak and read English
  • Eligible to vote
  • They haven’t convicted of theft, felony, or misdemeanor
  • Employed caregiver
  • No physical or mental disabilities
  • Have no employment in fire or police departments

Faqs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Which excuses are effective to get out of jury duty?

Here are some effective excuses to get out from jury duty;

1- Financial hardship you and your family are facing.
2- A full-time student.
3- Due to some medical reasons.
4- You are facing mental and emotional instability.
5- Conflict of interest.
6- You have already completed the jury service.
7- I am also doing another line of work.
8- You have migrated to another country.
9- You have your own small business.
10- You have to take care of your children.

Do I have to pay my employee for jury service?

No, you don’t have to pay your employee for jury service, and the court will cover the specific costs to a degree. However, if you are paying your employee then must include the tax and national insurance.

What basic information included in the jury duty excuse letter?

You have to include the basic information while writing the jury duty excuse letter such as junior name, date, your mailing address, and clerk’s information.

What are the best reasons for being excused from Jury service?

These are as follows;

1- Medical reasons
2- Undue hardship
3- Dependent care
4- Student Status
5- Military conflict

In Nevada, on what account the court may temporarily excuse any juror?

The court may excuse any juror temporarily on account of the following;

1- Sickness
2- Physical disability
3- Serious illness
4- Death of a member of the juror’s family
5- Undue hardship
6- Extreme inconvenience

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