Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How to Request a Postponement or Excuse from Jury Service

Request for Postponement

Our courts deal with issues that affect our neighborhoods, our families, the business community and quality of life in our community. Participation in the process is critical to resolving these issues. That may mean rearranging schedules, canceling appointments and missing work. Jury staff will be as flexible as possible when scheduling jurors for jury service.

If your summoned date is not convenient, you may request a postponement for a period of up to 90 days. Students and Teachers may be rescheduled to the next school break. Breastfeeding mothers may be postponed for a period of up to one year.

To request a postponement, click on the hyperlink below. Requests should be received by the jury office at least five working days prior to your service.

Request to be Disqualified

Qualifications for jury service are established by California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 203 - external link, and are as follows:

You Must

  • be a citizen of the United States
  • be at least 18 years of age
  • be a resident of Sacramento County
  • have sufficient understanding of the English language

You Must Not

If you find that you are not qualified to serve, submit a request to be disqualified by clicking on the hyperlink below. If the prospective juror is deceased, click on the hyperlink below. Requests should be received by the jury office at least five working days prior to your service.

Request for Excuse

California Rules of Court, rule 2.1008 - external link, specifies the grounds on which the Jury Commissioner's Office is allowed to excuse prospective jurors from jury service. It states, "Jury service, unless excused by law, is a responsibility of citizenship. The court and its staff shall employ all necessary and appropriate means to ensure that citizens fulfill this important civic duty." Postponing jury service is preferred to excusing a prospective juror. Inconvenience to a prospective juror or employer is not an adequate reason to be excused from jury duty. Requests must be submitted online and supported with facts and/or appropriate documentation as outlined below.

In order to be excused, jury service must represent an undue hardship as outlined in California Rules of Court, rule 2.1008, below:

Hardship Reason Definition / Documentation Required
The prospective juror has a personal obligation to provide care to another between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Comparable care is not economically practical.
The prospective juror would suffer an extreme financial burden which would compromise his/her ability to support him/herself or his/her dependents. The juror MUST BE the sole source of household income AND he/she is self-employed. The juror must describe the nature of the business, how jury service causes a loss of income and/or hinders the operation of the business and why the loss cannot be avoided by postponing jury service to a later date.

OR

The juror MUST BE the sole source of household income AND his/her employer does not pay for jury duty. The juror must provide a letter from his/her employer confirming that the juror will lose all wages, salary or commission during their jury service.
The prospective juror has a serious physical or mental condition and jury service would expose him/her to undue risk of physical or mental hardship. If the juror is under 70 years old, he/she MUST obtain a statement from a doctor that clearly states that the juror cannot serve jury duty for medical reasons.
The prospective juror has no reasonably available means of public or private transportation. The juror's ONLY means of transportation is via public transit AND the total commute time from his/her home to the courthouse exceeds one and a half hours.
The prospective juror has served jury service within the preceding 18 months.
Active Military You must indicate which branch of the military and where you are stationed

If the excuse reason requires additional information, your jury service will be postponed for an additional 30 days in order to give you sufficient time to obtain the required documentation. A postcard will be sent to you with the due date for the required documentation.

To request an excuse, click on the hyperlink below. Requests should be received by the jury office at least five working days prior to your service.

You will NOT be notified if your request is granted. You will receive a postcard if your request is denied.