Tennessee - List of Jury Duty Excuses
Tennessee - Getting Excused From Jury Duty
While jury duty is a civic requirement for all eligible citizens in Tennessee, 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.
Tennessee has a list of specific excuses that can be used to be exempt from reporting for jury duty, including excuses for 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 TN.
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, Tennessee 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.
Prospective jurors in Tennessee currently on active service in Armed Forces may be exempt from service.
If the prospective juror has a mental or physical condition that renders them incapable of performing jury service, they may provide documentation from a physician verifying such.
A prospective juror may be excused upon a showing that their service will constitute an undue or extreme physical or financial hardship to the prospective juror or a person under their care or supervision. They may be required to provide the judge with income tax returns, medical statements, proof of dependency or guardianship, an affidavit stating that the person is unable to obtain an appropriate substitute caregiver or any other such relevant documentation.
If granted, an excuse will be valid for a period of up to 24 months.
Postponements may be granted, provided the juror has not been granted a prior postponement, and schedules an alternate date for a date on which court will be in session and within 12 months or the original summons. Second postponement granted only in cases of an extraordinary event or emergency that the juror could now have reasonable foreseen.
A juror may not be interested in any case or be connected to either of the parties by affinity or consanguinity, within the sixth degree.
Can I Get Excused From Jury Duty Because I Work?
In Tennessee, 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 Tennessee 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.