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Sample Letter to be Excused from Jury Summons and Duty

There was a famous poster with a guy pointing and a slogan on the lower part of the ads that reads: “your country needs you.” In today’s modern society, a lot of people talk about their rights but very few worry about their duties. That is not surprising because of the “me first” attitude that now permeates the world we live in. That said, there are situations in which you cannot put the needs of others before you own. Jury summons is loved and hated. A lot of people just feel that it is a waste of time and you never know when the case will be over so that you can get back to your normal existence. There are others who will relish the opportunity to be called up for jury duty. For those who had to live through the OJ Simpsons trial, you know how the media attention can make you an unlikely celebrity. What if you got a letter inviting you for jury service and you don’t feel like going?

That is the dilemma a lot of people face and getting out of it is not like saying to the judge “I can’t be bothered to attend because I’ve got better things to do with my time” You need to state your situation and explain why you cannot attend the jury summons. If you don’t know how to go about it, here is a sample letter to be excused from jury summons.

The Letter must be addressed to the Jury Administration

Subject: Request to be disqualified from Jury Service

Content: I have received a jury summon stating that I must participate in jury service. I feel privileged and honored to serve my country in such a capacity. However, my current situation prevents me from accepting this important form of service.


I am over 70 years old and do not wish to participate

I am not a citizen of the United States

I am currently in a correctional facility.

I don’t speak or understand English (I speak better Spanish, French, Chinese, etc.)


I thank you for your understanding.


Yours Sincerely


You can choose any of the reasons above as they are valid reasons to refuse jury service. The case of those who state that they do not speak or understand English is a little peculiar. If you will be writing your letter to be excused for jury summons, make sure you state the reason why you don’t speak English properly.  You can also check out other sample letters for various uses.

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1 comment

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Written by PatriceWalker, 3 years ago
I used to get called for jury duty a lot in the late 70s through early 90s when I lived in Washington DC. I served on several juries over those years, but I soon got tired of being called every 2 years and wanted to find a way NOT to serve. In DC you serve for one day or one trial (it used to be 2 weeks when I first started serving). If you don't get selected for a jury the day of your jury duty, your service is over.

When a trial needs a jury, a good 40 to 50 people are called to go through a process called "voire dire" where the lawyers get to ask you questions and decide if they want you on the jury. At the end of this questioning, the judge typically asks if there is a reason you believe you can't render a verdict in the case. Here is your potential out. Simply tell the judge that your religion or your spiritual beliefs don't permit you to judge people. This has actually worked for people.

Or the case may be one that you have specific opinions about. I got called for a crack cocaine case once, and I told the judge that I believed the mandatory sentencing law on the books at that time unfairly discriminated against certain groups and that regardless of the person's guilt or innocence, I therefore wouldn't be able to render a judgement in the case. Needless to say, I wasn't selected for that jury and went home at the end of the day.

If none of the reasons in the article apply to you and you have to serve, it's during the voire dire process that you have your best chance of not being selected for the jury. Listen carefully to the description of the case and the questions asked, and there may very well be something you can use to get out of serving. That sounds awful doesn't it, but in the end, the choice can be yours.

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