Will You Get Excused From Jury Duty If You Are a Sole Caregiver?

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A prospective juror may be released from jury duty if she is a sole caregiver, but there is no guarantee since exemptions are given on a case-by-case basis. In Illinois, for example, jury duty exemptions are allowed in cases where a person is a sole caregiver of a child under 12, a disabled person or a person who has a medically diagnosed behavioral condition.

California grants jury duty exemptions for those who have an obligation to care for a child or a sick or elderly dependent. The exemption is not automatic. Prospective jurors must provide valid proof that jury duty poses an undue economic hardship on the person being cared for and on the caregiver. California also requires validation that there is no one else who can take over care-giving duties.

The federal court system functions the same way as state courts in regard to jury duty exemptions. Being excused from serving on a federal jury involves making a formal request, which is granted at the sole discretion of individual courts.

In many jurisdictions, a prospective juror seeking an exemption from jury duty must submit a written request explaining why she cannot serve. For instance, prospective jurors in Franklin County, Ohio, who request exemptions must submit a detailed letter that includes facts and documentation.