Family friendly jury duty legislation is not for the benefit of caregivers themselves, but for those for whom they provide care.

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What is Family Friendly Jury Duty?

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What is Family Friendly Jury Duty?


Jury duty is a serious responsibility of citizenship, but it places an unfair burden for some in our society who are relied upon to care for others.  Family Friendly Jury Duty legislation would require that our Courts allow parents who care for a young child full-time, and caretakers of an elderly or disabled relative the OPTION to DEFER their jury service assignment, UPON REQUEST.

Why do we need to legislate what is already left to the Courts’ discretion?

  • Family Friendly Jury Duty legislation is needed because policies of deferral differ from one court jurisdiction to another.

  • Many courts do not consider family caregiving a “legitimate” reason for jury duty postponement and abuses continue to occur!

The intent of this legislation is NOT to give every family caretaker a “blanket” excuse to “get out” of jury duty. Rather, it addresses how we can revise our courts’ juror selection process to consider the needs of family caregivers and those who depend upon them.
Family Friendly Jury Duty legislation would give family caretakers the OPTION to DEFER (not permanently excuse or exempt - merely postpone) their jury service until (in the case of parents) their children are older; or (in the case of a family caregiver) they are no longer the sole caregiver for a dependent relative. The request must be made in writing, subject to severe penalties for perjury

Enacting this legislation would provide a win-win situation for all:

  • Parents and Family Caregivers WIN:

    • They would not endanger their children's or relative’s well-being due to last-minute, untested, costly, substitute care arrangements.  (Jury service assignments are notoriously unpredictable).

    • They would not suffer the financial hardship imposed by expensive, on-demand, substitute care arrangements.

    • The Parents and Caregivers could choose to serve if they wish; (no one is denied the opportunity to be on a jury).

  • The Court WINS:

    • Jurors would be focused on Court proceedings instead of being distracted worrying about a child or family member.

    • Jurors would serve at another time when their family obligations have changed.

  • The Child/Dependent Family Member WINS:

    • They would not endangered by last-minute, untested substitute care arrangements

    • The child/parent bond would not be disrupted.

    • The child or dependent family member would not be deprived of their mother or family caretaker.

    Click here for MORE information about Family Friendly Jury Duty



Copyright ©2002-2008 Last updated Tuesday March 25, 2008