New Jersey - List of Jury Duty Excuses
New Jersey - Getting Excused From Jury Duty
While jury duty is a civic requirement for all eligible citizens in New Jersey, 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.
New Jersey 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 and medical worker. You can also be excused if you don't meet the basic eligibility requirements for jury duty in NJ.
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.
New Jersey has a statutory exemption that allows individuals over a certain age to request exemption from jury duty. Citizens over the age of 75 can be exempt from jury service under this age exception.
In order to be excused, complete the Juror Qualification Form and check the box on the juror summons that reads: PLEASE EXCUSE DUE TO AGE 75 OR OLDER. Please write your age in the space provided and return the form to the Jury Management Office.
Prospective jurors summoned during active duty in the United States military or the National Guard may be excused by providing copy of the orders, or a letter from your commanding officer, or a copy of your ID card indicating an active duty assignment.
Postponement for mothers who are breastfeeding, or,alternatively provided suitable private location for their use during the day.
Police officers are disqualified from serving on a grand jury but are not exempt from petit jury.
If the prospective juror is a volunteer member of a first aid or rescue squad, then an excuse from jury service will be granted.
If the prospective juror provides highly specialized technical health care services for which replacement cannot reasonably be obtained, or if they are a healthcare worker directly personally and essentially involved in the care of a mentally or physically handicapped person; excuse from service will be granted.
If the prospective juror is a member of a volunteer fire department or fire patrol , an excuse from jury service will be granted.
Medical inability to serve must be verified by a licensed physician before a potential juror is qualified for exemption.
An excuse from jury service shall be granted only if jury service will impose a severe hardship due to circumstances which are not likely to change within the following year.
Circumstances can include:
-obligation to care for another, including a sick, aged or infirm dependent or a minor child and no alternative care is available without severe financial hardship.
-juror is full-time instructional staff of a grammar school or high school, the scheduled jury service is during the school term, and a replacement cannot reasonably be obtained.
and other occupational exemptions. If an exemption cannot be granted, the Assignment Judge may postpone jury service to a date within the following 12 months.
Can I Get Excused From Jury Duty Because I Work?
In New Jersey, 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 New Jersey 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.