So, What Happens If You Miss Jury Duty?
What are the consequences if you don’t call or show up!
What’s important to know?
In this article, I will break down the question What Happens If You Miss Jury Duty so you know all there is to know about it!
Keep reading as we have gathered exactly the information that you need!
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Table of Contents
What Happens If You Miss Jury Duty
Many wonder what could be the consequence of missing jury duty.
Essentially, jury duty is one important civil responsibility Americans have which consists of serving as a juror in a legal proceeding (civil or criminal).
Every citizen of the United States is required to be available to act as a juror when called by the courthouse or the judicial system.
If you miss jury duty, you are exposed to potentially severe consequences such as having to pay a large fine or even having a warrant issued for your arrest.
If you don’t go to jury duty, don’t show up, skip it, or otherwise ignore your jury duty obligations, you may be exposed to important legal consequences.
Keep in mind that you may get called to potentially act as a juror in a legal proceeding, however you may not necessarily be selected as a juror.
The most prudent thing is to ensure that you show up at the right place, at the right time, and on the day you were called.
You should try to reschedule any other obligations that you have to ensure you can respect your jury duty obligations.
If for some reason, you are unable to attend or cannot be present on the day you were called, you are better off contacting an attorney for legal advice.
In some cases, an experienced trial attorney or a lawyer experienced with court procedures may find proper legal grounds to help you deal with your scheduling conflict.
Jury Selection Process
The jury selection process begins by the sending of a jury duty summons to a number of citizens.
Typically, a large number of candidate-jurors are called and eventually only a few are selected to act as jurors.
In other words, even if you do receive a summons to act as a possible juror, it’s very likely that you will not be selected as a jury member.
On the day you are required to show up to the courthouse for your jury duty, you will likely have to fill up a questionnaire and then answer a series of questions before the judge or lawyer present on that day.
Based on the responses you give, the lawyers and the court will determine if you are potentially eligible to act as a juror in the case at hand.
Once all the candidates are interviewed, the selected jurors will eventually need to sit and hear a legal case (or lawsuit) and the rest will be sent home.
Once the lawsuit begins and the juror is sitting, it becomes more difficult to skip your duty or not show up.
So what happens if I don’t show up for jury duty?
If you deliberately ignore your jury duty summons or fail to show up for a valid reason, you can get yourself in legal trouble.
Make sure you immediately note the jury duty date on your calendar and clear any scheduling conflicts you may have to avoid any unwanted consequences.
Legal Consequences For Missing Jury Duty
So what happens if you don’t show up to jury duty?
Although getting called to serve as a juror may not sound serious, to be clear, it can result in serious legal consequences.
Depending on your local laws, you may end up with important fines to pay or even be found in contempt of court.
To give you an idea about the possible consequences (although this list is pretty generic), here are some possible consequences if you do not report for jury duty:
- Nothing may happen
- You may get summoned for jury duty again
- You may be required to provide justification why you did not show up for your jury duty
- The court may issue a warrant for your arrest
- You may be required to appear before the judge for contempt
- You may be required to pay a fine that could range between $100 to $1,000
- You may be required to perform community service
- You may even get some jail time!
The most appropriate and prudent thing to do is to simply show up and make sure you don’t accidentally forget about your jury duty.
If you think you have a valid reason to miss jury duty, instead of ignoring your summons, you should call the court to explain the situation and in some cases you may want to consult an attorney.
For example, in Colorado, the United States District Court states the following:
What happens if I fail to report for jury service?
Failure to respond or report may lead the court to issue an order to the United States Marshal to have you brought before a judge to explain your noncompliance. Any person who fails to show good cause for noncompliance with a summons may be subject to a fine up to $1000, imprisonment up to three days, community service, or any combination thereof.
And another example in California, the County of Placer states:
What will happen to me if I don’t appear for jury duty?
When you do not appear for jury duty, you will be sent a postcard stating you failed to appear. You need to follow the instructions on the postcard. You will automatically be assigned a new date for jury duty if you do not respond. Further failure to appear could result in punishment by fine, incarceration or both. Fines can start at $250 with a maximum of $1500.
“Any prospective trial juror who has been summoned for service, and who fails to attend as directed or to respond to the court or jury commissioner and to be excused from attendance may be attached and compelled to attend. Following an order to show cause hearing, the court may find the prospective juror in contempt of court, punishable by fine, incarceration, or both, as otherwise provided by law” (Civil Code of Procedures Section 209).
We can use the state of Florida as third example of what may happen if jury duty is missed:
What happens if I fail to appear for jury service?
Section 40.23 of the Florida Statutes states that “failure to attend as a juror upon being duly summoned may result in a fine not to exceed $100.” In addition to the fine, you may also face contempt proceedings which could result in the imposition of community service or other sanctions, including jail time.
If you failed to report for juror service, you will receive a failure to appear letter instructing you to contact the jury department. As long as you reschedule your service and report on that date, you will not receive a fine or other sanctions.
Valid Reasons For Now Showing Up For Jury Duty
Based on what reason can you be excused from serving as a juror?
There are cases when you receive a notice to appear for jury selection, you may ask the court to be excused from serving.
If you have a valid reason, the court can effectively release you from your obligations to serve as a juror.
Although every person’s case may be different, the most common reason when the courts accept to get out of their jury duty service are:
- Will will suffer financial hardship if you are required to serve as a juror
- You have medical reasons preventing you to serve
- You are a student and cannot miss class
- You have dependents that you take care of
There may be other reasons as well.
As an example, the Texas Judicial Branch states the following reasons that may lead to a person being excused to act as a juror:
– Are over 70 years of age (You may also request a permanent age 70 exemption.);
– Have legal custody of a child younger than 12 years of age and your service on the jury requires leaving the child without adequate supervision;
– Are a student of a public or private secondary school;
– Are a person enrolled and in actual attendance at an institution of higher education;
– Are an officer or an employee of the senate, house of representatives, or any department, commission, board, office, or other agency in the legislative branch of government;
– Have served as a petit juror in the county during the 24-month period preceding the date you are required to appear for this summons. (Applies only to counties with a population of at least 200,000 unless the county uses a jury plan under § 62.011, Gov’t Code, and the period authorized under § 62.011(b) exceeds two years.);
– Are the primary caretaker of a person who is unable to care for himself or herself (This exemption does not apply to health care workers.);
Have been summoned for service in a county with a population of at least 250,000 and you have served as a petit juror in the county during the three year period preceding the date you are to appear for jury service. (This does not apply if the jury wheel has been reconstituted since your service as a petit juror.); or
– You are a member of the United States Military Forces serving on active duty and deployed to a location away from your home station and out of your county of residence.
If you do have a valid reason why you cannot serve as a juror or even show up on the date you have been called, the most appropriate thing to do is to contact the court as soon as you become aware that you can’t make it.
If you are not sure how to do it by yourself, you may also retain the services of an attorney who can handle it for you.
What To Do If You Missed Your Jury Duty Date
If you accidentally missed your jury duty date, you may want to call the court by dialing the phone number appearing on your summons.
You may not be the only person who may have missed his or her date.
It does happen that a person may misplace the jury summons or unintentionally forget about it.
If that happens to you, contact the courthouse and advise them of the situation.
It’s possible that the court clerk schedules you for a new jury duty date or gives you further instructions.
Get Legal Advice If You Can’t Make It
There are situations when you are required to show up for jury duty but you have a valid reason why you can’t make it.
Instead of assuming that since you have a valid reason you can just ignore your summons and, if they contact you, you’ll give your explanations, you should contact a qualified attorney for legal advice.
Just because you have a valid reason does not mean that you can ignore or fail to respect your summons.
Failing to respect the summons of the court can get you in legal trouble.
You may find yourself having to pay hefty fines or in extreme cases be found in contempt of court.
To avoid any further legal hassle, you should take some time and deal with your jury duty summons properly
What Happens If You Don’t Go To Jury Duty Takeaways
So, What Happens If You Miss Jury Duty?
What happens if you don’t show up to jury?
Let’s face it, many of you will not be terribly excited to get a jury duty summons!
A jury duty summons is usually sent out when a criminal court or a civil court requires a number of jurors to hear a legal matter and render a verdict.
Jury duty is one of the most important civic duties that should not be ignored, missed, skipped, or taken lightly.
Anyone over the age of 18 may receive a jury duty summons at some point in their lives (in some cases never and other cases a few times).
When you do get one however, you will need to ensure that you respect the summons, otherwise, you may find yourself in contempt of court.
What happens if you don’t report for jury duty?
In a nutshell, not reporting for jury duty, missing the date, skipping it, ignoring it, or otherwise not showing up can result in legal fines and, in the worst cases, the court may issue a bench warrant for your arrest or you may be found in contempt of court.
You really don’t want to be put in that situation!
The simplest thing to do is to respect your jury summons or contact a legal professional for advice if you’re not sure what to do.
Let’s look at a summary of our findings.
What Happens If I Miss Jury Duty
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