Missouri - List of Jury Duty Excuses
Missouri - Getting Excused From Jury Duty
While jury duty is a civic requirement for all eligible citizens in Missouri, 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.
Missouri has a list of specific excuses that can be used to be exempt from reporting for jury duty, including excuses for elected official, age, police and firefighter. You can also be excused if you don't meet the basic eligibility requirements for jury duty in MO.
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, Missouri 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 the state of Missouri, any person on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States or any member of the organized militia on active duty under order of the governor shall be excused from jury duty.
A full-time student of any accredited institution summoned shall receive a new date on which court is in session, that is not more than 12 months from the original.
Any nursing mother may be exempt upon request supplemented with a completed written statement from her physician.
A prospective juror actively providing health care services to patients, and that the person's service as a juror would be detrimental to the health of their patients may get excused upon written request.
Provide the court with documentation from a physician licensed to practice medicine verifying that a mental or physical condition renders the person unfit for jury service for a period of up to two years.
Judges of a court of record are exempt.
Prospective jurors have the right to postpone once for up to 6 months to a future date on which court is in sessions, for reasons other than undue influence or extreme physical or financial hardship. Postponement will be granted if not previously granted.
A second postponement may be granted for extreme circumstances such as a death in the family, sudden grave illness, or a natural disaster or national emergency. Date will be postponed not more than 6 months and when court is in session.
Any person whose absence from regular employment would endanger public safety, health, welfare or interest could be excused by the court. Firefighters and law enforcement usually not eligible.
A prospective juror asking an excuse based on undue or extreme physical or financial hardship shall provide the judge with documentation as required by the judge, such as, but not limited to, federal and state income tax returns, medical statements from licensed physicians, proof of dependency or guardianship, and any other similar documents. Excusal granted for 2 years, after which the name is reinstated to the jury pool.
Can I Get Excused From Jury Duty Because I Work?
In Missouri, 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 Missouri 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.