juror talking judge in courtroom

6 Jury Duty Excuses That Will Make You Laugh

Is there any reason you could not serve as a juror in this case?

I don’t want to be away from my job that long.

Can’t they do without you at work?

Yes, but I don’t want them to know it.

Other failed excuses

Several valid reasons exist as jury duty excuses such as financial hardship, medical condition, student status, or conflict of interest. Some people try to be clever and fail as we see below.

  • Claiming to be a psychic. A woman in Florida claimed that she was a psychic and could not serve on a jury because she already knew the verdict. The judge did not accept her excuse and ordered her to report for jury duty.
  • Pretending to be racist. A man in New York pretended to be a racist and said he hated all races and religions. He hoped that this would make him ineligible for jury duty, but instead, he was charged with perjury and contempt of court.
  • Faking a pregnancy. A woman in Texas faked a pregnancy and said she was having complications that prevented her from serving on a jury. She even brought a fake ultrasound picture to court. However, the judge discovered her lie and sentenced her to two days in jail.
  • Saying you are too busy. A woman in California said she was too busy to serve on a jury because she had a lot of work and personal obligations. She also said she had no interest in the case and did not want to waste her time. The judge did not buy her excuse and fined her $250 for failing to appear for jury duty.
  • Being too honest. A man in Colorado said he could not serve on a jury because he had smoked marijuana before coming to court. He also said he had friends who were convicted felons and that he did not trust the legal system. The judge thanked him for his honesty but dismissed him from the jury pool.

5 Creative Ways to Avoid Jury Duty

Have you ever been summoned for jury duty and felt like you just couldn’t do it? Maybe you have a busy schedule, or you’re caring for someone who needs your attention. Whatever the reason, there are ways to get out of jury duty without resorting to lying. Here are five possibilities to consider:

  1. Ask for a deferment
    If you can’t serve on the date you’ve been summoned, ask for a deferment. This could allow you to serve at a later date when it’s more convenient for you.
  2. Request a hardship exemption
    If serving on a jury would cause financial hardship or other hardship, you may be able to request an exemption. Check your local court’s website for more information.
  3. Claim a medical exemption
    If you have a medical condition that makes it difficult or impossible to serve on a jury, you may be able to claim a medical exemption. Talk to your doctor to see if this is an option for you.
  4. Show up, but dress inappropriately
    This one is a bit risky, but some people have had success by showing up for jury duty in inappropriate clothing. Just be sure to check your local court’s dress code policy before attempting this.
  5. Volunteer for another civic duty
    If you really can’t serve on a jury, consider volunteering for another civic duty instead. There are plenty of other ways to contribute to your community, from volunteering at a local shelter to donating blood.

Remember, getting out of jury duty should never involve lying. But if you have a legitimate reason for not being able to serve, there are options available to you.

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