What Happens If You Don’t Show up for Jury Duty in California?

According to California Courts, Judicial Branch of California, if a citizen fails to show up for jury duty, the juror can accrue fines up to $1,500. If service presents an “undue hardship,” a juror can request a postponement or to be excused. Otherwise, citizens are not exempt from jury duty.

Employers are required by law to allow employees time off for jury duty. Employees should notify employers upon receipt of a summons. The California Labor Code states, it is illegal to fire or harass an employee for jury service obligations. Jurors should contact the court if an issue arises with an employer regarding jury service.

Jurors who require special accommodations should contact the court immediately. These accommodations include requests for special seating, wheelchair or hearing amplification aides. If accommodations are not available, a juror make a request to be excused from service.

Information on legitimate reasons to be excused from service appears on the summons. Caregivers for a child or adult can request an excuse or a postponement from service. Breastfeeding mothers can request a one-year postponement by filling out the summons response form. If a juror is over the age of 70 and has a serious health problem, a juror can request to be excused from jury duty. The court can require a letter from a physician regarding an illness or disability.