Each court is different and the excuses that are acceptable for federal and state courts vary, but may include financial issues, medical issues, active military duty and age-related issues. Each request is considered on a case-by-case basis.
How a prospective juror words an excuse letter will depend on the circumstances. For example, if a person is the sole caretaker for a terminally ill person, he or she may need to provide proof from a doctor that the absence will be detrimental to the person's health. If a work-related request is required, a solid explanation as to how a jury-related absence disrupts that person's workplace may be in order.
If a person is required to serve on a federal jury, there may be fewer excuses the court will accept. Public officials and those employed as firefighters or police officers may be excused and those people on active military duty may not have to serve.
A jury excuse letter should be short, professionally written and to the point. Any proof that the excuse is valid will help, so providing documentation of the excuse is recommended. Once the letter has been received and a decision has been made, the court will usually notify the juror by mail or telephone.