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Jury duty is a civic responsibility, but the court recognizes that it can be a hardship. People who need to postpone jury duty for any number of reasons can make arrangements to do so by returning the jury summons with documentation explaining why they need to postpone. It is also possible to request disqualification from jury duty, if a prospective juror meets certain requirements that would disqualify him from serving at all.
A typical jury summons will provide information about the date and time of service and the location of the court. On the back, information about options to postpone jury duty is available. If jury service on a given date would be a hardship, the juror can request that the jury service be rescheduled to a different date in the relatively near future. Depending on the court system, jury duty usually need to moved to a date within the next year.
There is a list of valid reasons on the back of the jury summons that people can use to indicate why they need to postpone jury duty. Some courts ask jurors to pick a different date, while others will simply reschedule the summons to a different date. Usually work is not considered a valid reason to postpone jury duty, but legitimate reasons can include medical issues such as a late-term pregnancy that could interfere with juror service or an inability to get to the court. This form is signed under penalty of perjury and people should not falsify information to try and postpone jury duty.
In disqualification, a juror indicates that she is not fit to serve as a juror at all. When a juror is disqualified, the jury duty will be canceled, not postponed or rescheduled. The juror form also includes a list of potential reasons for disqualification. Some typical reasons for disqualification include: age, as jury service is not required for underage people or people over a certain age; being a lawmaker with a legislature currently in session; being a judge; being a convicted felon or current prisoner; having a disability that would make jury service difficult or impossible; citizenship status, as only citizens are required to complete jury service; and prior service on a jury within a recent period of time, or upcoming jury service, since the number of times that people can be required to serve within a set period of time is limited.
There are some situations that will not be allowable for disqualification or postponement at the time the summons are sent, requiring the juror to attend court to explain to the judge why she cannot complete the jury service. It is important to respond to these summons because the judge can choose to issue warrants for people who do not comply with jury summons.