How to Compose a Jury Duty Excuse Letter

When extenuating circumstances prevent you from attending jury duty, you’ll need to compose a jury duty excuse letter that states why you can’t be present. This letter is a way of asking for exemption and describing why your situation requires special consideration. This letter should be organized logically and get straight to the point. You must also have a valid excuse for missing jury duty, as many excuses are not seen as valid by the court system.


1. Look on your jury duty summons letter for a phone number where you can call to speak to someone about your situation. It should be near the end of the letter, and is usually printed in a bold font.

2. Call this number and ask to speak with someone who is in charge of jury duty scheduling. Once they are on the phone, explain your reason for being unable to attend. They will tell you whether or not it’s a valid reason and if it is, you’ll need to write a jury duty excuse letter explaining your situation and mail it to the court. Assuming your reason is valid, obtain the mailing mailing address from the jury duty scheduler and continue on to step 3.

3. Use standard business letter format to write your letter. Start your opening paragraph by stating your reason for writing this letter–to explain that you won’t be attending jury duty, and then go on to explain why you won’t be attending. Be sure to remain professional and courteous throughout the entire letter.

4. Close your letter by offering your apologies for not being able to attend, and sign your name at the bottom. Put your letter in an envelope and mail it using Certified Mail, to ensure that the courts receive it.


Make sure to check back if you you don’t receive a response within two weeks. Also, don’t wait until the last minute to take care of this. Contact the courts and write your letter as soon as you know that you won’t be able to attend.

Every state handles the process for exemption from jury duty differently. In some states you may be required to appear before a judge and state your reasons for being unable to attend jury duty. This can also vary slightly depending upon which county you live in too. Make sure that you check with your local court to find out what’s specifically required to obtain an exemption from jury dury.

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