Ignoring your summons for jury duty isn’t recommended. Simply ignoring jury duty can lead to up to two years in jail. There is no way to avoid being summoned for jury duty either. The selection is completely random. If you want to be excused from the civic duty, you will have to go through a legal process.
How to Get Out of Jury Duty
As previously stated, there are a number of ways you can legally get out of jury duty. Here are a few of the sure-fire ways to get out of jury duty:
- Prove economic hardship. If you really need to get out of jury duty you can claim financial hardship. Jury duty, in most cases, will cause you to miss work which, if you are going through a tough time financially, may not be an option for you.
- Request a change of date. The dates, times and names for jury duty are all selected at random. If you can prove that you have another obligation on that day or that time you can request a change of date. Most of the time this will simply lead to you being dismissed from jury duty.
- Use your student status. If you are a student you can use your student status to get out of jury duty. Just like work, missing school can cause some significant problems for you. It is a sure-fire way to get out of jury duty.
- Provide a medical reason. Get a note from your doctor about your anxiety or another medical reason to be dismissed from jury duty. If your health is a concern they cannot keep you on the jury.
Keep in mind that if you are going to get out of jury duty in any of these ways you cannot lie about them. Lying under oath to the court (perjury) is a felony and is not taken lightly.
How to Get Dismissed From Jury Duty
- Claim that you are unable to remain objective. One of the duties of a juror is to remain objective throughout the trial. If you claim that you are unable to remain objective then you will likely get dismissed from duty.
- Act stubborn or not cooperative. This is kind of the “play dumb” approach. If you act stubborn enough you will likely be dismissed from jury duty.
- Act smart. Similarly, if you act too intelligent you can also get dismissed. They don’t want someone on the jury that acts like they know everything.
- Mention the jury’s right to veto a decision made in court. This is a fact. The jury is able to veto the court’s decision but it is not a practice that is used often or that many people know about. Imagine if every jury vetoed the court’s decision — The court would never get anything done. This will make them likely to dismiss you because you pose a problem to the court.
- Question the legitimacy of the court. If you come off as the type of person who has a lot of questions about the justice system and its legitimacy you will likely get out of jury duty. This is because they want the court proceedings to go as smoothly as possible and that won’t happen with someone questioning everything they do.
When all is said and done jury duty is a civic duty that each American in the United States is called upon to perform. Though it may not be the most exciting thing in the world, it is something everyone has to face. With any luck, however, you’ll be able to get out of jury duty using one of the above tactics.
Have you ever gotten out of jury duty? How did you do it? Join the discussion in the Saving Advice forums.