Sample Letter to your U.S. Representative
(Last updated January 8, 2006)
The United States District Courts
The Honorable (name of your Senator or Congressman)
(Address of your Senator or Congressman)
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Sen. ___________,
Would you propose
legislation to amend Title 28, Part V, Chapter 121, Section 1863, Paragraph
(5) of the United States Code,
attachment (a) to include “Family
Friendly Jury Duty” language?
· Courts have required jury service from breastfeeding mothers for the sake of fulfilling “civic duty”!
· Courts have required jury service from mothers of special-needs children!
· Courts have required jury service from sole caregivers of young children and disabled or elderly relatives!
(These are only a few of the horror stories I’ve come across. There are several more listed on attachment (b) from http://www.familyfriendlyjuryduty.org/HallOfShame/HallOfShame.htm)
Although over 94 State and Federal courts already have similar legislation, it’s not consistent across the board. (See attachment (c) from http://www.familyfriendlyjuryduty.org/JuryStates/JuryStates.htm)
I would like to see language similar to that already used by 72 out of 94 U.S. District Courts’ Jury Plans (approximately 76%):
“…such persons shall be granted an excuse or deferment of service upon individual request…Persons having active care and custody of a child or children under 10 years of age whose health and/or safety would be jeopardized by their absence for jury service, or a person who is essential to the care of an aged or infirm person.”
(Note that this is not a blanket exemption…it is a deferment that must be requested in writing.)
Please work to enact this compassionate legislation that protects our most vulnerable citizens…babies and small children, the disabled and elderly.
After their children are older or family caregiving responsibilities have changed, most individuals would be more than happy to fulfill their obligations as good citizens.
Jury duty is an important civic responsibility, but can’t it wait?