Is It Possible To Get Out of Jury Duty In Florida?
Jury duty is a civic duty that requires eligible citizens to participate in the legal system by serving as jurors in trials. While jury duty is an essential aspect of the legal system, it can also be an inconvenience for many people. If you live in Florida and have received a jury duty notice, you may be wondering if there is a way to get out of serving.
The State of Florida recognizes that not all individuals are able to serve on a jury due to certain circumstances. That is why the state provides exemptions and excuses for individuals who cannot serve on a jury. The exemptions are for individuals who are automatically disqualified from serving on a jury, while excuses are for individuals who may have a valid reason for not being able to serve on a jury.
How Are Jurors Selected For Jury Duty In Florida?
Exemptions To Get Out of Jury Duty
Florida law provides for several exemptions from jury duty. These exemptions include:
- Law Enforcement: Law enforcement officers, including police officers and firefighters, are exempt from jury duty in Florida.
- Military: Members of the military on active duty are exempt from jury duty in Florida.
- Elected Officials: Elected officials, including members of the Florida Legislature, are exempt from jury duty in Florida.
- Clergy: Members of the clergy are exempt from jury duty in Florida.
These exemptions generally remain in effect indefinitely, so long as the exemption reason remains in effect.
Excuses from Jury Duty in Florida
In addition to the exemptions listed above, Florida law also allows individuals to be excused from jury duty for certain reasons. These excuses include:
- Financial Hardship: If serving on a jury would cause undue financial hardship, you may be excused. To be excused on financial hardship grounds, you must provide documentation to the court, such as pay stubs, tax returns, or a letter from your employer.
- Child Care: If you are the primary caregiver for a child under the age of 6 and have no other childcare options, you may be excused from jury duty.
- Full-Time Student: If you are a full-time student enrolled in a college or university, especially one that is out-of-state, you may be excused from jury duty.
- Non-English Speaker: If you are not fluent in English, you may be excused from jury duty.
- Medical: Individuals who have a physical or mental disability that prevents them from serving on a jury can be excused. To be excused on medical grounds, you must provide a doctor’s note to the court.
- Age: Individuals over the age of 70 are excused from jury duty in Florida.
- Recent Jury Service: If you have recently served on certain types of federal juries, you may have a valid excuse.
This list is not necessarily exhaustive, as there may be other valid excuses in some instances.
Requesting To Be Excused From Jury Duty in Florida
If you believe that you qualify for an exemption or excuse from jury duty in Florida, you must request to be excused. The process for requesting to be excused varies by county, but generally, you must contact the court clerk’s office and provide documentation to support your request. In some cases, you may need to appear in person before a judge to request to be excused.
It is important to note that simply ignoring a jury duty notice is not a valid way to be excused from jury duty. Failing to respond to a jury duty notice can result in fines or even jail time.
Contact Our Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorneys for Help With Jury Duty
Jury duty is a civic responsibility that all citizens are required to fulfill, there may be certain circumstances in which an individual is unable to fulfill their duty as a juror. If you have a legitimate reason for being excused or deferred from jury duty, you should follow the process in your jurisdiction to request an exemption or deferral.
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