How to Escape Jury Duty Requests & Get Back to Work!

By Andrew Davidson
on July 23, 2010

Above, the image of the quickie postcard I'd received from the Philadelphia Jury Selection Committee excusing me from appearing at my most recent requested day of service. How did I get this golden ticket to escape civil service? Read on...

Philadelphia Jury selection is especially easy, as they make it very clear all over the initial communication that they're pushing the 'one day one trial' commitment to jurors. Arriving at the courthouse on the day requested, after you check in, even if you do not get selected to appear on a jury, you'll be awarded the whopping $8 paycheck for doing your part in the American Legal system. This tiny check will hardly cover the cost of parking in that same neighborhood.

Above, my initial call to be part of the system. Not that I object to the idea of serving on a jury, I simply don't have the luxury of an employer paying for my day off, even as a sick day. Therefore, anytime I get a jury request in my mailbox (about once every 2 years or so) I simply write on the response postcard in clear english:

Serving on a jury would be a financial hardship, as I'm self-employed and cannot afford to commit the time requested.

And sure enough, before my allotted day of appearance, I get my excuse note in the mail! Saved from a potentially boring civil trial! Obviously, this trick only works if you are self-employed. You shouldn't lie on the response postcard, as it's a legal document. Avoiding jury duty because you don't feel like it is not a valid excuse. If you can afford to go, I suggest you do participate in the system, if nothing else for the vast learning experience.