Request deferral
Check your state laws
How to speak to the Judge
Sample Letter
You've got nothing to lose
Contact the Media
My state has Family Friendly jury duty laws, and I wasn't excused!
Substitute care problems
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Important! If the court requires you to report to the courthouse in person, YOU MUST SHOW UP, or else you may face severe consequences!


Click here if your state already has Family Friendly Jury Duty and you were NOT excused. (believe it or not, it happens!)

Request your Jury Duty be Deferred

If you are a breastfeeding mother, full-time parent, or family caregiver called for jury duty and are unable to serve:
First:  Check your jury summons notification to see:

  • If the Court will allow you to be excused. Many do, as shown on this sample juror form’s side one and side two. (Requires Adobe Acrobat to view*)

  • If you have been called by a State or U.S. District (Federal) court.
    This is very important — their jury procedures are completely different!

Second:  Check the applicable laws to find out whether your State or U.S. District (Federal) Court already has Family Friendly Jury Duty laws.
Regardless of what your jury summons, court clerks, or anyone else says, You must check the applicable Laws because:

  • You may already be eligible to be excused or deferred from jury service!

  • Some courts do NOT inform the general public about laws which excuse/defer prospective jurors.

  • Some courts’ information is out-of-date.

  • For State courts, click here to retrieve the information for your state’s statute. Use it when accessing your state legislature’s website to retrieve a copy of the actual statute.

  • For U.S. District Federal Courts, a copy of their Jury Plan is often available on their website.

  • By law, a copy is available for review in the clerk’s office.

Third:  Write the Court a letter stating your situation (click here for sample letter)
If you are an at-home parent of a young child or family caretaker of an elderly or disabled relative:

  • You should request to be deferred until your child is older and better able to handle your absence OR you are no longer the sole caregiver of a dependent family member.

  • In the letter, explain that there is no one available to take care of your young child/or dependent family member during your time in Court.

If you are breastfeeding, include a letter from your doctor:

For all letters to the court:

  • Make sure you send your letter “return receipt” and keep a copy of it for your own records.

  • If you found out that your state already has a Family Friendly Jury Duty law, be sure to attach an official copy of the latest statute or rule.

If the Court notifies you that you’ve NOT been excused:
Your next step is to request to speak to the Judge or Jury Commissioner. Speaking to these court authorities might be intimidating, but remember it’s your job to stand up for your family’s welfare!

Click here to find out how to speak to a judge or other court employee.

*To view Adobe Acrobat (pdf) documents, click the icon below to download the free Acrobat Reader®




Disclaimer:  Legal information is not legal advice.  Only a lawyer can provide you with legal advice.


 Copyright ©2002-2008 Last updated Wednesday June 04, 2008