Is Mental Illness a Valid Excuse for Jury Duty?

Request Jury Duty Exemption Is Mental Illness a Valid Excuse for Jury Duty?

Is Mental Illness a Valid Excuse for Jury Duty?

Did you know that valid medical excuses can get you out of jury duty? Having a mental illness can be difficult, but it doesn't automatically excuse you from jury duty. You need a properly written mental illness excuse for jury duty, with evidence to prove your condition.

Unfortunately, many people don't know how jury duty works, including the penalties you can receive for ignoring your summons. However, if jury duty is proven to trigger extreme mental distress, you're probably eligible for an exemption. Get out of jury duty fast and legally with DoNotPay!

What You Need to Know About Jury Duty

Barring certain circumstances, all U.S. citizens are obligated to appear with a group of jurors once summoned. Jury duty is considered one of the most important civic duties because jurors directly contribute to upholding the justice system.

When you are summoned for jury duty, you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire to rule out any biases. Jury duty usually takes two or three days, which can last seven hours (or more) with only a few breaks in between.

Depending on where you live, you will either be paid a small nominal or daily fee for your services on jury duty. Your employer cannot penalize you for not showing up to work while you're on jury duty. However, employers are not obligated to provide paid jury duty leave.

If you have other obligations but still want to serve as a juror, you can request a postponement. In many states, you may be completely excused from jury duty if you meet the following criteria:

Excuse:Valid Excuse:
PregnancyYou are currently pregnant or breastfeeding
AgeYou're above a certain age (70-75)
Caregiver StatusYou're currently a caretaker for another individual

Additional excuses include:

  • You're on active military duty
  • You're a student
  • You're experiencing financial hardship
  • You're an essential worker, such as a firefighter or police officer
  • You lack proficiency in written or spoken English
  • You've been convicted of a crime
  • You have a mental or physical disability

You still have to notify the court if you fall into any of these categories. If you don't, you will likely receive a daily fine and eventually be held in contempt of court.

Mental Illness Excuse For Jury Duty Letter Example

If you need to be excused from jury duty due to a mental illness, you must:

1. Respond to your jury duty summons with a letter explaining your mental illness. Feel free to use this script: "I have received your request for me to be present for jury duty on [date]. While I would love to serve my community with this great honor, I must respectfully decline the invitation. I am diagnosed with [mental illness], which affects my ability to concentrate and make rational decisions. Please respond if you would like me to provide additional documentation about my condition".

2. We recommend faxing your response to the courthouse in order to receive a prompt response. The fax number should be on your court summons letter.

3. You'll receive another form or correspondence stating if you've been excused from jury duty. If more documentation is needed, you may need a note from your doctor.

What Mental Illnesses Can Excuse You From Jury Duty?

Usually, a mental illness must prevent you from doing the following as juror:

  • Sitting quietly during the proceedings
  • Appearing at the courthouse in a timely manner and in compliance with the dress code
  • Being able to think clearly and process the events at the proceedings

There are many situations where a person with a mental illness can't fulfill these demands. Some citizens with social anxiety obviously can't appear in a room with strangers without extreme emotional distress. Some mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder, might cause you to have a lack of empathy and negatively impact your judgment.

Jury Duty Laws by State 

In some states, a mental illness letter isn't always immediately accepted. It may have to be signed off by additional authorities, such as a doctor. Some states use an honor system, meaning you don't need to hunt for proof of your condition!

To learn more about jury duty excuses in your state, you can refer to the following guides:

Get Your Mental Illness Excuse For Jury Duty Through DoNotPay!

Jury duty may be important, but citizens shouldn't be forced to attend and make their disabilities worse. Fortunately, DoNotPay can help you get excused.

How to file a jury duty excuse request using DoNotPay:

If you want to file a jury duty excuse request but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in easy steps:

  1. Search Jury Duty Excuse on DoNotPay, and enter your jury duty summons information, including the assigned date, court name, juror number, and more.


  2. Select your reason for excusal, and provide a few more details regarding your situation and upload evidence to prove your point.


  3. Enter the fax number or mailing address for the courtroom as displayed on your jury summons letter.


DoNotPay Can Help You Find Other Exemptions For Jury Duty

Do you need to be excused from jury duty for other reasons, like a physical disability or a sick family member? DoNotPay can file your excusal request for any eligible reason in all U.S. states!

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