Pennsylvania - List of Jury Duty Excuses
Pennsylvania - Getting Excused From Jury Duty
While jury duty is a civic requirement for all eligible citizens in Pennsylvania, 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.
Pennsylvania has a list of specific excuses that can be used to be exempt from reporting for jury duty, including excuses for elected official, student, age, police, medical worker, firefighter and disability. You can also be excused if you don't meet the basic eligibility requirements for jury duty in PA.
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.
Pennsylvania has a statutory exemption that allows individuals over a certain age to request exemption from jury duty. PA Act 54, passed in 2015, allows persons aged 75 or older to be excused from jury duty at their request.
You can request to postpone your jury service online, however requests for excusal from service must be made in writing.
Accepted excuses for being relieved of jury duty in Pennsylvania include:
- extreme hardship
- loss of wages
- Breastfeeding women
- Active duty military
- immediate family members of homicide victims
Additionally, if you are employed by a small business not required by PA state law to provide you with unpaid leave for jury duty, you may request to be excused on these grounds (PA Stat. Tit. 42 Sec. 4563).
Can I Get Excused From Jury Duty Because I Work?
In Pennsylvania, 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 Pennsylvania 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.