Temporary excuses can be granted for many types of temporary hardships, such as prior vacation plans, temporary medical problems and/or convalescence, students who are away at college, economic or family hardships such as you care for a child or adult in your custody whose health or safety would be jeopardized by your absence, etc. If serving as a juror at this time is an undue hardship or an extreme inconvenience for you, submit your request for a temporary excuse in writing, along with the update, in the postage-paid envelope provided by the Court. Please do not wait until the last minute to request an excuse. If you have already sent the lower portion of your summons in and you are nearing your reporting date, call the jury clerk to discuss your hardship. It is your responsibility to verify that the request has been granted.
You can request a permanent excuse in the Southern District of West Virginia for any of the following reasons, however, jury excuses based upon these categories are at the discretion of the Court.
- you are over 70 years of age;
- you are disabled with a permanent or chronic medical condition;
- you have already served as a grand or petit juror in any court within the preceding two years;
- all members of the National Guard during periods of time when they are on active duty;
- you are a police officer, firefighter, volunteer member of a rescue squad or ambulance crew, as defined in Section 1203(b) of Title 1 of the Omnibus Crime Control & Safe Streets Act of 1968; or are an appointed or elected government official;
- you have primary care and custody of a child or children under the age of six years and are not employed outside the home; you are the primary caretaker of elderly or infirm persons; or you are essential to the care of aged or infirm persons;
- your services are so essential to the operation of a business, commercial or agriculture enterprise that it must be closed or cease to function during your jury service;
- you are a spouse of any person summoned to serve on the same jury panel.
All requests for excuses and postponements are to be submitted by you in writing to the Office of the Clerk, marked to the attention of the Jury Clerk. Do not have your employer write a letter for you. If you are requesting a medical excuse, you must have a detailed note from your doctor. The Court cannot call and verify your medical condition with your doctor stating why you are unable to attend. Please do not wait until the last minute to request an excuse. Allow time for the paperwork to be received and reviewed by the court before your reporting date.
Upon receipt of these requests, the jury clerk will submit them to the Judge for a ruling. The jury clerk will notify you either by telephone and/or written notification immediately upon receipt of the Judge's reply to your request. A juror should not assume a request will be granted. An unexcused absence may result in a charge of contempt of Court and a subsequent fine and/or imprisonment.