Explained—Why Do You Have To Do Jury Duty?

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Why Do You Have To Do Jury Duty? Find Out Here!

If you have been summoned to court for jury duty for the first time, you must be brimming with questions. Why do you have to do jury duty? How long does it last? How much do you get paid for it? In this article, you will find answers to all of these questions.

We will also explain how you can apply for a jury duty leave by writing a leave request letter .

The Basics of Jury Duty

To prepare for jury duty, you need to understand how it works. Here’s what you need to know:

  • It is mandatory for all U.S. citizens between 18 and 70 years
  • Jury members are selected randomly
  • It is applicable in both civil and criminal cases
  • The purpose of a petit jury is to determine whether the accused is guilty or not
  • Grand jury decides whether there is sufficient evidence to charge a person
  • Jury members are not allowed to discuss the court proceedings with anyone

A jury comprises six or 12 members who are chosen through random selection. Once selected and summoned, you have to appear in court and answer questions to prove you are impartial and have no conflict of interest. After the jury selection process is complete, the case can go to trial.

Jury duty can last anywhere from a day to several months. In most states, jurors get paid for serving, and the fee depends on the state or county where you serve. If you get summoned as a federal juror, the court will pay you $50 per day.

Why Do We Have To Do Jury Duty?

Jury duty is crucial because every U.S. citizen has a right to a fair trial. Other reasons include:

  • Giving back to the country
  • Ensuring a fair system of law and justice
  • Preventing absolute power of the elite and the powerful
  • Providing a method of peaceful dispute resolution
  • Allowing citizens to participate in the governance process

You cannot skip jury duty without a valid reason pre-approved by the court. If you keep ignoring jury summons instead of responding promptly, you will be liable to penalties, such as fines or imprisonment.

How To Inform Your Employer You Need Time Off for Jury Duty

Although laws vary throughout the U.S., most states require employers to give their subordinates paid time off to fulfill their civic duty. When you receive the jury summons, you should do the following:

  1. Inform your employer immediately so they can make necessary arrangements and give you a paid leave of absence. If your absence can seriously impact the company, you can request a delay in your duty
  2. Submit a leave request in writing
  3. Provide evidence of the court summons for the employer to verify

Your employer is obligated to give you paid or unpaid leave for jury duty. They must not threaten to demote or fire you because of your service. In case your employer tries to obligate you to skip jury duty or fires you, you can sue them for wrongful termination.

Draft a Jury Duty Leave Request Letter With the Help of DoNotPay

Have you been summoned to jury duty but are afraid to tell your boss in person? Let DoNotPay take over! We can assist you in drafting a leave request letter and send it to your employer for you! Here is what you need to do:

  1. Choose the Request Jury Duty Leave tool
  2. Enter information about the jury duty and court
  3. Provide photographic proof of the summons

Check out the table below to understand how jury duty works in different states:

MarylandNorth CarolinaPennsylvania
New York StateNew JerseyTennessee
ColoradoWashington StateMissouri
MassachusettsUtahSouth Carolina
West VirginiaLouisianaIowa
HawaiiNew MexicoMississippi
MaineNebraskaNew Hampshire
Rhode IslandDelawareMontana
WyomingAlaskaSouth Dakota
VermontNorth DakotaDistrict of Columbia

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