Topic:
JURIES; JUVENILES;
Location:
JURIES;

OLR Research Report


October 1, 2007

 

2007-R-0535

“KID—FRIENDLY” JURY LAWS

By: Susan Price, Principal Legislative Analyst

You asked about states that allow parents to postpone jury service because they are responsible for taking care of children.

Although all states permit courts to excuse jurors when service would cause them or their families or dependents undue hardship, at least 17 have laws or court rules that explicitly permit courts to excuse parents or caregivers from jury service. Table 1 below describes their key provisions.

Table 1: Kid-Friendly Jury Laws

State

Child-Related Grounds for Excuse

California

Rule 2.1006, Cal. Rules of Court

● Breastfeeding1

Florida

Fla. Stat. Ann. 40.013(4)

● Pregnancy

● Parent not employed full time and has custody of a child under age 6

Georgia

Ga. Code Ann. 15-12-1

● Primary, active caregiver of child under age 7; no reasonably available alternative child care2

● Primary teacher in home study program; no reasonably available substitute

Table 1: -Continued-

State

Child-Related Grounds for Excuse

Idaho

Idaho Code 2-212(3)

● Breastfeeding

Illinois

706 Ill. Comp. Stat. 305/10.2 and/10.3

● Breastfeeding

● Primary caregiver of child under age 12; no reasonable alternative care

Iowa

Iowa Code 607A.5

● Breastfeeding mother with sole responsibility for the child's daily care and not employed outside the home

Kansas

Kan. Stat. Ann. 43-158

● Breastfeeding

Kentucky

Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. 29A.100(4)

● Breastfeeding or expressing breast milk

Mississippi

Miss. Code Ann. 13-5-23(d)

● Breastfeeding

Nebraska

Neb. Rev. Stat. 25-1601(4)

● Breastfeeding3

Oklahoma

Okla. Stat. 38-28D

● Breastfeeding

Oregon

Or. Rev. Stat. 10.050(4) and (5)

● Breastfeeding

● Sole caregiver of child during court's normal hours of operation; unable to afford child care or make other arrangements4

South Carolina

S.C. Code Ann. 14-7-860

● Legal custody of, and duty to care for child under age 7

Tennessee

Tenn. Code Ann. 22-1-104

● Caring for child, grandchild, or ward5

Texas

Tex. Gov't Code Ann. 62.106

● Legal custody of child under age 10; jury service will leave child without adequate supervision

Virginia

Va. Code Ann. 8.01-341.1(8)

● Breastfeeding

● Legal custody of and necessary personal responsibility for child under age 17 during normal court hours

Wyoming

Wyo. Stat. Ann. 1-11-104

● Prospective juror must provide care to his or her young child

SP:ts

1 Court may defer jury service for up to one year; prospective juror may renew request until breastfeeding ends

2 Prospective juror must submit affidavit

3 Doctor's certificate required

4 Court may refuse to excuse if public need outweighs prospective juror's hardship

5 Assertion must be made under oath