Illinois - List of Jury Duty Excuses
Illinois - Getting Excused From Jury Duty
While jury duty is a civic requirement for all eligible citizens in Illinois, 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.
Illinois has a list of specific excuses that can be used to be exempt from reporting for jury duty, including excuses for military, elected official, student, age, police, medical worker and firefighter. You can also be excused if you don't meet the basic eligibility requirements for jury duty in IL.
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.
While many states allow individuals over a certain age to request exemption from jury duty on account of their age, Illinois has no such statutory exemption. Elderly individuals may still be able to request exemption from jury duty on account of health, mobility, or other factors.
In Illinois, there is no state-wide age excusal program in place. Certain counties in Illinois have a senior opt-out program for age 70, while other counties have no upper age limits.
In the state of Illinois, members of the Illinois National Guard are the only military members exempt from jury duty service.
In the state of Illinois, any mother nursing her child, or any primary caregiver to a child under the age of 12 can be excused from service on request.
Persons may request to be exempt from serving on jury due to a disability for which a licensed physician has submitted a letter stating the physician's opinion that the disability permanently renders the unsatisfactory performance of jury service.
Jurors who document that service would impose an undue hardship on account of the following may be excused or postponed from service:
- the nature of their occupation
- business affairs
- physical health
- family situation
- active duty in the Illinois National Guard or Illinois Naval Militia
- other personal affairs
Can I Get Excused From Jury Duty Because I Work?
In Illinois, 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 Illinois 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.