Massachusetts - List of Jury Duty Excuses
Massachusetts - Getting Excused From Jury Duty
While jury duty is a civic requirement for all eligible citizens in Massachusetts, 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.
Massachusetts 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, breastfeeding, age, police, medical worker and firefighter. You can also be excused if you don't meet the basic eligibility requirements for jury duty in MA.
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.
Massachusetts has a statutory exemption that allows individuals over a certain age to request exemption from jury duty. Persons 70 years of age or older can indicate on the juror confirmation form that they wish to be exempt from performing juror service.
Students in Massachusetts who are not regularly employed are entitled up to $50 per day as reimbursement for serving.
Prospective jurors in Massachusetts may be exempt if they have a disability that, as documented by a health care provider’s certification, prevents the individual from providing satisfactory jury service.
A summons contains the juror confirmation form, which has a place where the juror may indicate a date, and an alternate date of up to one year ahead, to which they prefer to postpone the juror service. Same form also used to ask for excusal due to hardship.
Persons wholly responsible for the daily care of a permanently disabled person living in the same household may be exempt from service by providing physician's note detailing the nature of care they provide.
Persons convicted of a felony within the past seven years will not serve.
Can I Get Excused From Jury Duty Because I Work?
In Massachusetts, 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 Massachusetts 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.