Mississippi - List of Jury Duty Excuses
Mississippi - Getting Excused From Jury Duty
While jury duty is a civic requirement for all eligible citizens in Mississippi, 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.
Mississippi 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 MS.
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.
Mississippi has a statutory exemption that allows individuals over a certain age to request exemption from jury duty. Any citizen over 65 years of age may claim this personal privilege and be exempt from serving on a jury.
For breastfeeding mothers, the procedure to be exempt from jury duty differs by county.
A person claiming disability may be required to submit a physician's note as to why the disability does not let them render satisfactory jury service. May be excused for a period of up to twenty-four months, or permanently depending on the condition.
A prospective juror may be excused if they are ill and provide a physician's note.
Excuse may be granted if attendance would cause undue or extreme physical or financial hardship to the prospective juror; or a person under their care; or it is not feasible to find an appropriate substitute caregiver; or if service would have substantial negative impact on the juror's daily living expenses or that of someone in their care.
A prospective juror may be granted 1 postponement of up to 6 months for an agreed upon date that court will be in session, provided they have not been granted a postponement within the last 2 years. A second postponement may be granted in extreme cases such as a death in the family, sudden illness, or a natural disaster or a national emergency. Again, postponement of up to 6 months will be for a date agreed upon on which the court will be in session.
An employee working for a company with 5 or fewer employees shall be excused or postponed if a colleague is already serving on a jury.
Can I Get Excused From Jury Duty Because I Work?
In Mississippi, 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 Mississippi 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.