Courts in the United States convene juries during trials. A jury in court proceedings is composed of several people who deliberate on a specific case. Its members discuss among themselves whether the accused should be convicted of the crime filed against him. Jury members also decide if the accused should be absolved from a crime. When you are called to be a juror, you are required to attend the hearings. There are stringent penalties imposed if you neglect your jury service.
Work is not really a valid excuse for your non-attendance in court proceedings. Employers who will not allow their staff to attend to their jury duty can be summoned to court. Companies cannot just fire any personnel who are called to serve as jury in any court. If you are called to be a jury member and there will be some instances when you cannot fulfill your duties due to more urgent activities, you must write an excuse letter. You should state your reasons for not being able to attend a court hearing. An excuse letter for your jury duty should be clear, concise, and formal.
Here are the steps in effectively writing your excuse letter as a jury member:
- Coordinate with the court clerk. First, you should know how to get in touch with the court clerk assigned in your community. Inquire with him whether your reason for non-attendance in the court hearing is valid or not. It would certainly be a waste of time drafting an excuse letter when the excuse that you will state will not be accepted by the court. Make sure that your excuse is valid. Examples are as follow: caregiving responsibilities to senior citizens or children, medical emergencies, or fulfillment of an important job like being a firefighter or doctor.
- Write your opening statement. Now you have to start writing your excuse letter. You should begin your letter by informing the court that you cannot fulfill your jury duty because of a more urgent circumstance that you must attend to. Be sure that your letter has a formal tone and format. Put also at the top of your letter your address.
- Include details of your excuse. The next thing that you should do is elaborate on the details of your excuse. You must also indicate when you will be free to continue your duty as a jury member, given that the special circumstances of your excuse are just temporary.
- Attach relevant documents. It is important that you secure the necessary supporting documents that will attest to the validity of your excuse. This may include a medical certificate from your doctor for medical reasons or a specific affidavit coming from your company for more urgent business reasons.
Remember that when you are called to be a member of a jury, you have an obligation to the court. You cannot ignore this call of duty and not attend a hearing without any valid excuse. Be sure that you know the proper way of writing an excuse letter for being absent during a court proceeding.