Well, in case you were wondering, why defer jury duty, can it not be avoided? Well, the simple answer to that question is NO. One cannot avoid jury duty, it is very nearly impossible, since the law requires you to serve your civic duty when called upon. Only in certain cases and for certain reasons can you defer it. So, let us find out how to defer jury duty.
Laws in the United States that deal with jury duty vary from state to state and there are these nuances in the variations of the law that sometimes help in avoiding jury duty. For example, in some states if you were to attend it for just a day and not be selected you would be handed a slip confirming that you attended. Now, this means no more jury duty and all it cost you was one day. Wonderful, isn't it?
Courts and the law function on basis of reason, fair justice and good conscience. Likewise, when summoned for jury duty and if you are unable to make it for a really good and strong reason, you should be able to establish that with sufficient proof. State it with a very strong conviction and the judge should be convinced of it. Though, be warned that there are some judges who are really not willing to be easily convinced.
Some of the good reasons that would work or have been working for some time now would be if you were a mother of a small child, particularly if you were breast-feeding.
Financial distress would serve as a good reason. You should be able to establish that attending jury duty could jeopardize your financial situation, cost you a job that is your life-giver and that should help keep you away from jury duty. Carry sufficient documentation like employment proof; copy of wage slip or certificate and your tax filings for the previous years. If you are the sole caretaker for a sick or disabled person, that should work as well.
When you receive a summons for jury duty, do not neglect it, there are laws that compel you to attend and could cost you imprisonment to ignore. If you really are unable to attend, call the number provided on the summons and request for a change in date. Give good reasons and this is most often obliged. Some reasons for changing your date for jury duty can be if you are going on an all-expenses paid holiday which is not refundable; if you were to be getting married; if you were attending some really crucial examinations.
When you call in for change in date, try asking to move the date closer to today and this works a lot of times since jury lists closer to the day are most often prepared and ready.
Go ahead and attend jury duty if you really do not have a good reason. Chances are that you may not be selected, particularly if you appear to be a stubborn person having strong opinions on questions asked by counsel.