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Can I be excused from jury duty if I am unemployed?

San Diego, CA |


I just received a jury summons letter requesting me to do jury duty for March 18th. My current job will end March 7th.
During that time, it is very important that I search for jobs, and I need to be available for interviews of course.

Can I be excused from jury duty if I send them a letter from my employer explaining all of this, and I write a cover letter explaining that I need that time to look for a job and interview. The timing is just really bad.

Thank you

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Attorney answers 3


Financial hardship is sometimes an excuse to get out of jury duty, but I'm guessing that NO ONE thinks any time is good to perform this civic duty, and I know that many, many people claim this hardship and still have to show extenuating circumstances. Courts are too busy and need too many jurors to just use those who are independently wealthy or retired or whose employers pay for them while they're on jury duty.

Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.


A jury summons can be postponed. Call the jury commissioner or go online and request to move jury duty. However, I think your logic is wrong. Jury duty is best now rather than after you start a new job. You even get some money for serving. I do not think a judge will excuse you from serving because you may have an interview.

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.


No, being unemployed is probably not sufficient to be excused from jury duty. I often have unemployed persons serving as jurors in my jury trials.

However, if the timing is bad, you have the right to seek a postponement of your jury service.

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