Stephen J. Adler, editor-in-chief of "BusinessWeek," notes that the American system of jury duty places a great responsibility on ordinary Americans. "Ideally, Americans take their participation seriously lest they someday stand before their peers seeking justice," he writes. When an American citizen receives a summons to report for jury duty, the law demands that he or she report as directed. Yet many people request and receive dispensations from jury duty service due to medical, financial or other difficulties. If you need to request an exemption from jury duty, phrase your request to the judge carefully.
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Ascertain your state's laws regarding jury duty. Find out who is eligible to receive an excuse from serving on jury duty based on hardship. In general, judges provide excuses for individuals who have illnesses that may interfere with their ability to do a good job on the jury. Other reasons include financial or personal hardship, including individuals who care for young children or aged or infirm relatives.
Write a letter to the judge stating your reasons for requesting an excuse from jury duty. Write your letter concisely and respectfully, including the reasons you believe that jury duty would create a difficult situation for you.
Attach documentation to your letter. Include documents to demonstrate that your workplace's policy indicates that the employer won't pay for days lost because of jury duty or that doing so will count against your vacation or personal days. Show proof that you care for a young child or older or disabled individual and no one else can replace you; that days lost to jury duty will impact negatively on your job search; or that the compensation for jury duty, often £6 per day, will place a financial strain on you.
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