July 12, 2002
JURY DUTY EXEMPTION FOR POSTPONEMENTS FOR STUDENTS
By: Sandra Norman-Eady, Chief Attorney
You asked if any states exempt or excuse students from jury duty.
Although one-half of all states exempt certain people from jury service, we are unaware of any state that exempts students. Typically, the people exempted are judicial and elected officials, attorneys, and active military personnel.
Georgia, Michigan, South Carolina, and Texas appear to be the only states that allow students to be excused from, or postpone, jury service. All four states limit the excusal to the school year. Table 1 shows the law in each state. (At least one county in Ohio, Franklin, provides in its court rules that students may be exempt from jury service (Ohio Franklin Cty. Gen. Div. LR § 27.11)). Students may be excused in any state if they meet any one of the many stated conditions; usually undue hardship, extreme inconvenience, or physical disability.
South Carolina also allows school employees to be excused during the same period. New Jersey allows full-time school teachers to be excused during the school year.
TABLE 1: STATES THAT EXCUSE STUDENTS FROM JURY SERVICE
OCG § 15-21-1
Full-time students enrolled and taking classes or exams at a college, university, vocational school, or other postsecondary school must be excused or deferred from jury duty upon request.
MSA § 600.1335
The presiding judge must postpone service until the end of the school year for any full-time high school student who shows up and makes his status known.
SC Code Ann. §14-7-845
Students enrolled in high school or institutions of higher learning, including technical colleges, must have their jury service postponed, upon request, to a date that does not conflict with the school term.
Tex. Code of Crim. Pro. § 19.25 and Tex. Gov. Code § 62.106
Students enrolled in and attending secondary schools or institutions of higher education may be excused from petit and grand jury service upon request.
In addition to exemptions and excusals, all states have minimum qualifications, including age, for jury service. Students, who do not meet them, cannot serve as jurors. The minimum age requirement is usually age 18.