Texas - List of Jury Duty Excuses
Texas - Getting Excused From Jury Duty
While jury duty is a civic requirement for all eligible citizens in Texas, 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.
Texas has a list of specific excuses that can be used to be exempt from reporting for jury duty, including excuses for 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 TX.
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.
Texas has a statutory exemption that allows individuals over a certain age to request exemption from jury duty. Citizens over the age of 70 can be exempt from jury service under this age exception.
In Texas, if the prospective juror is a member of the United States Military Forces serving on active duty and deployed to a location away from your home station and out of the county of residence, they may claim to be excused from jury service.
A prospective juror in Texas who is an officer or an employee of the senate, house of representatives, or any department, commission, board, office, or other agency in the legislative branch of government; may claim to be excused from jury service.
In Texas, if the prospective juror is a student of a public or private secondary school; or enrolled and in actual attendance at an institution of higher education they may claim to be excused from jury service.
A prospective juror in Texas with a physical or mental impairment or with an inability to comprehend or communicate in the English language may be permanently or temporarily exempt from jury service by contacting the judge or the court to be exempted on this basis.
A prospective juror must contact the summoning court or judge directly, in order to request excuse. The excuse will be reasonable and sworn in front of the judge, and at the discretion of the courts, the juror will be granted release or rescheduling for another day.
Other statutory exemptions include:
-If you have legal custody of a child younger than 12 years of age and your service on the jury requires leaving the child without adequate supervision; or
-Are the primary caretaker of a person who is unable to care of themself.
A juror for cannot be excused for an economic reason unless each party of record is present and approves the release.
A prospective juror will be released entirely or rescheduled if the summoning date falls on a religious holy day that is observed by the juror.
Can I Get Excused From Jury Duty Because I Work?
In Texas, 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 Texas 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.