Exemptions from jury duty are granted for a variety of reasons, including undue hardship, lack of English proficiency, or being a member of the armed forces, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. All courts operate differently, and exemptions from jury duty are granted by the summoning court.
Some individuals are not legally qualified to serve as a juror. In federal courts, an individual must be a U.S. citizen, be 18 years or older, and not have a disqualifying mental or physical condition, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Additional qualifications include residing primarily in that judicial district for one year and being adequately proficient in the English language. Those who have been convicted of a felony or are subject to felony charges are not qualified for jury duty in some situations. If an individual does not meet the qualifications, he is unable to serve as a juror in federal courts.
If an individual meets the qualifying criteria but falls into one of three categories, he is exempt from federal jury service, as noted on USCourts.gov. Members of the armed forces, members of professional police and fire departments, and public officers of federal, state and local governments are exempt from federal jury service.
Many federal courts offer excuses from jury duty for certain groups of individuals, such as volunteer police officers and firemen, persons over age 70, and individuals who have served on a federal jury within the previous two years, states the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Courts also grant excuses if performing jury duty causes undue hardship or extreme inconvenience.