California - List of Jury Duty Excuses
California - Getting Excused From Jury Duty
While jury duty is a civic requirement for all eligible citizens in California, 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.
California has a list of specific excuses that can be used to be exempt from reporting for jury duty, including excuses for military, elected official, age, police, medical worker, firefighter and disability. You can also be excused if you don't meet the basic eligibility requirements for jury duty in CA.
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.
California has a statutory exemption that allows individuals over a certain age to request exemption from jury duty. A juror over the age of 70, may be excused from duty due to physical or mental reasons.
Most counties require medical note from physician for deferral or postponement.
Students in California can reschedule their jury duty to the next school break
In the state of California, breastfeeding mothers may postpone jury duty for up to a year.
Hardship excuses may be granted for:
- having no reasonable transportation
- excessive travel to attend
- extreme financial burden
- undue risk to physical property
- mental or physical impairment for those over 70
- no alternate care for another
Postponement may be available for health problems, pre-existing personal commitments that cannot be rescheduled, or scheduled paid vacation.
Request for postponement may be filed on the Response Form (usually back of summons) by mail or submitted online. Online submission only valid for postponement of up to 90 days. Procedure varies by county.
Can I Get Excused From Jury Duty Because I Work?
In California, 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 California 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.