Individuals can be excused from federal jury duty if they are members of state and local fire and police departments or public officers of local, state or federal governments, according to the United States Courts. Members of the armed forces on active duty are also excused from jury duty.
Although individual state and local courts have varying policies regarding excuses from jury duty, if a person can prove that serving on a jury can cause extreme inconvenience or undue hardship, an excuse may be granted, according to the U.S. Courts. Summoned jurors should submit an excuse in writing to the clerk of the court explaining the hardship, such as lost wages, inability to obtain childcare or workplace travel arrangements, although courts do not guarantee that an excuse is granted. In some cases, courts may reschedule the juror to another available date to reduce the risk of hardship.
Some courts offer excuses to people working in designated occupations. People who have served on a jury within the past two years, residents over the age of 70, and members of rescue squads or volunteer firefighters may also be granted an excuse from jury duty, according to the U.S. Courts. The decision to excuse an individual from jury duty is at the discretion of each court, and it cannot be appealed to another entity or Congress.