Washington - List of Jury Duty Excuses
Washington - Getting Excused From Jury Duty
While jury duty is a civic requirement for all eligible citizens in Washington, 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.
Washington has a list of specific excuses that can be used to be exempt from reporting for jury duty, including excuses for military, elected official, breastfeeding, 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 WA.
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.
Washington has a statutory exemption that allows individuals over a certain age to request exemption from jury duty. In Washington, a physician's letter may confirm that an older age person is physically unable to perform the duties of a juror, but there is no statutory age exemption.
Students in Washington are not automatically exempt by legislature. Prospective jurors who are full-time or out of state students still have the obligation to jury duty. Postponement is usually granted until the next term.
Washington courts will make the best accommodations possible for disability. No statutory provisions for the mentally or physically infirm, however physician's letter may provide postponement.
A prospective juror may be excused from jury service by the court, for a period of time the court deems necessary only upon a showing of undue hardship, extreme inconvenience, public necessity, or any reason deemed sufficient.
Jury duty can be postponed one or two times for up to one year each time.
No exemptions from service due to profession, age, motherhood, or student status-- only postponement.
Can I Get Excused From Jury Duty Because I Work?
In Washington, 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 Washington 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.