South Dakota - List of Jury Duty Excuses
South Dakota - Getting Excused From Jury Duty
While jury duty is a civic requirement for all eligible citizens in South Dakota, 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.
South Dakota 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, 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 SD.
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.
South Dakota has a statutory exemption that allows individuals over a certain age to request exemption from jury duty. Citizens over the age of 80 can be exempt from jury service under this age exception.
In South Dakota, a prospective juror who is a mother breastfeeding a baby younger than one year may submit to the clerk of court, a written request to be exempt from jury duty, within ten days of receiving the summons.
In South Dakota, there are no provisions within the statute expressly exempts or excludes a prospective juror by reason of disability. Request may be made by way of the qualification form.
Any member of a church or religious organization is exempt from jury duty if jury service conflicts with the religious belief of that church or religious organization.
Other than the above, older age, and breastfeeding mothers, there are no excuse provisions in the stature. Applications can be made on the back of the Qualification Form or the questionnaire, and any exclusions granted are wholly at the discretion of the clerk of the summoning court.
Can I Get Excused From Jury Duty Because I Work?
In South Dakota, 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 South Dakota 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.