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Getting Out Of Jury Duty

By Amy Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - One of the most common questions asked of a lawyer is: how can I get out of jury duty? So what is your responsibility to report for jury duty, and your employer’s responsibility to let you?

A Denver woman was recently arrested. After reporting for jury duty, she faked mental illness to get out of it – and would have gotten away with it except, so proud was she of her feat, that she called into a radio station to brag – a station that the judge happened to listen to.

If you can’t attend jury duty, write to the county to explain your reasons. Simply and politely explain the hardship, like a scheduled medical procedure, care for a dependent, or prepaid travel that prevents you from reporting on that day and you will likely be reassigned.

Under the law, you cannot be terminated for reporting for jury duty. In some states, employers have to pay employees for the days they spend on a jury; in others, the employers are not required to pay for the day but can’t terminate the employee for serving. Failing to show up can result in deputies showing up for you. And of course, as the Denver woman found out, you’d have to be crazy to lie to get out of it.