Virginia - List of Jury Duty Excuses
Virginia - Getting Excused From Jury Duty
While jury duty is a civic requirement for all eligible citizens in Virginia, 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.
Virginia has a list of specific excuses that can be used to be exempt from reporting for jury duty, including excuses for student, age and medical worker. You can also be excused if you don't meet the basic eligibility requirements for jury duty in VA.
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.
Virginia 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.
A prospective juror may check the box on the Juror Questionnaire indicating that they are more than 70 years of age and do not wish to serve.
Military personnel of the United States Army, Air Force or Navy shall not be considered residents of the State of Virginia by reason of their being stationed within the state.
Any member of the armed or diplomatic services of the United States appointed under the Foreign Service Act who will be serving outside of the United States at the time of such jury service will be excused from jury service upon request.
Any prospective juror employed as members of the General Assembly, Office of the Clerk of the House of Delegates, the Office of the Clerk of the Senate, the Division of Legislative Services, or the Division of Legislative Automated Systems, may be exempt during regular session, and the period beginning 60 days prior and 30 days after.
Any general registrar, member of a local electoral board or their employees may be exempt during regular session, and the period beginning 90 and 10 days after
Legislators also excused 7 days before and after any reconvened or special session.
President and Vice President of the United States, The Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General of the Commonwealth, or members of both houses of Congress are automatically exempt.
In the state of Virginia, sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, state police, police in counties, cities and towns, the superintendent of the penitentiary and his assistants and persons composing the guard, and jail officers are all exempt from serving on a jury.
A firefighter, as defined in § 65.2-102 may be excused upon request.
A doctor's statement should be attached to the juror questionnaire/ summons and mailed back in order to request excuse due to medical or physical disability.
A prospective juror who is personally responsible for a person with a physical or mental impairment requiring continuous care during normal court hours; or one who has legal custody of and is personally responsible for a child or children 16 years of age or younger requiring continuous care during normal court hours, may be exempt from jury service.
Any person whose spouse is summoned to serve on the same jury panel, is exempt.
A prospective juror who is performing services for a business, commercial or agricultural enterprise and the operations of the business would cease if that person attended jury duty, may ask for exemption.
A mariner actually employed in maritime service is exempt.
Prospective jurors who may exhibit an occupational inconvenience may request to defer service until the term of court.
Can I Get Excused From Jury Duty Because I Work?
In Virginia, 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 Virginia 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.