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Failure to Attend Jury Service

By: Dave Howell - Updated: 20 Feb 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Court County Court Magistrates’ Court

Everyone that is between the ages of 18 and 70 who appears on the electoral register is eligible for jury service. The Criminal Justice Act 2003 enshrined in law that anyone that is eligible for jury service must attend unless they can show evidence that explains why they can’t be a juror on the current case, or a juror in the future. Permanent exclusion can be applied for, but you must produce evidence to support your argument.

Failing to Attend Due to Incapacity

It is your responsibility while you are a serving jury member to make sure you are at the court on time when your jury is sitting, or so you can wait to see if you are picked for jury duty. You must also ensure you are not under the influence of drugs or drink. If you are, you could be fined up to £1,000.

When you are summoned for jury duty you may have an event or other circumstances that mean you won’t be able to serve during the dates that have been requested by the Jury Central Summoning Bureau who will have sent you the jury summons letter. You must respond to the jury-summoning letter within 7 days.

If you to have a prior commitment you can apply for your jury service to be deferred. You can only apply for this once and the deferment can only last for up to one year. You can also apply to be excluded from this current or future jury service. To do this you need to respond to the letter you were sent about your jury service from the Jury Central Summoning Bureau giving details about why you can’t be a member of a jury. If you live in Northern Ireland, you need to contact the Jury Management Team on 028 7126 1329. And in Scotland you can contact civil jurors court of session on: 0131 240 6772 or for criminal jurors at the high court of justiciary on: 0131 240 6907. You should receive a response about your request for jury deferment within 10 days.

Jury Service Exemptions

There are a number of circumstances when you will not be required to perform jury service. These include:

  • If you are suffering from, or have suffered from a mental health problem. This includes if you are in a hospital, visit a doctor for treatment regularly, or you are in guardianship under section 7 of the Mental Health Act 1983.
  • If you are on bail or have every served a prison sentence.

Coping with Jury Service

The cases that you may be asked to serve on can be quite harrowing if the crime is serious. If you feel that you cannot continue as a jury member because of the stress it is causing you, it is important that you inform the court as soon as possible. Under no circumstances simply don’t turn up for your jury service as this will cause the court delays. You could face a fine or even more serious charges if you fail to tell the court you will not be able to attend. The courts understand that jury service can be stressful, so talk to them as they can help you.

You could also talk to your GP or the Samaritans. The Samaritans are trained to support people in highly emotional situations. The courts service has discussed with the Samaritans how jurors may need supporting if they call. Remember though that you can only talk about your feelings about the case you are a juror on, or have just finished. You cannot by law discuss any details of the case with anyone including the Samaritans.

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Hi there I suffer bpd borderline personality disorder also emotionally unstable and I'm so scared I have too do jury service but I feel it's gonna affect me I'm nervous already and I don't even know how too be excused or too explain how upset I get when worried please help its today
Marie - 20-Feb-17 @ 2:38 AM
Hi, I requested my Jury service to be deferred as I just started working for a new company on the 3rd of January. I sent a couple of e-mails, I spoke to a person from the Jury Summoning Bureau and also sent back the form requesting for a deferral. I have not recieved any e-mails or letters, not even a phonecall confirming my that my request has been approved. Even the the person from the Bureau confirmed that I have a good reason to ask for another date.
Daniel - 22-Jan-17 @ 12:38 PM
Hi, I sent my forms of last Wednesday as I have now completed my jury service and need to claim back expenses. how long should I wait to receive my refund/ will I be contacted when my forms have been received and if so how long does it usually take? Thank you
alice13 - 16-Jan-17 @ 4:00 PM
Do they send notification by recorded delivery so there's proof you received your summons?
lulu - 11-Jan-17 @ 7:51 PM
Petros - Your Question:
I am 70 in March 2017 and have terminal cancer, liver, lung and kidney. Two letters have been sent requesting that I be excused from Jury Service together with a supporting letter from from my hospital doctor. I am also under Palliative Care due to my age and life-limiting expectancy. I cough up blood and was told in November that I have a life expectancy of between three months and a year.It appears that someone at the Jury Central Summoning Bureau has chosen to ignore my request to be excused by insisting that I must attend for jury service. in February 2017.

Our Response:
I am very sorry to hear this and I'm sure the last thing you need is this added stress. I suggest writing a letter of complaint and getting your local councillor/MP on side, please see link here . There is no way they JCSB will enforce this on the back of the proof of your diagnosis, there must be some oversight. I hope you manage to sort the matter out quickly.
CourtroomAdvice - 19-Dec-16 @ 2:44 PM
I am 70 in March 2017 and have terminal cancer, liver, lung and kidney. Two letters have been sent requesting that I be excused from Jury Service together with a supporting letter from from my hospital doctor. I am also under Palliative Care due to my age and life-limiting expectancy.I cough up blood and was told in November that I have a life expectancy of between three months and a year. It appears that someone at the Jury Central Summoning Bureau has chosen to ignore my request to be excused by insisting that I must attend for jury service. in February 2017.
Petros - 17-Dec-16 @ 8:37 AM
Living in the UK for past 8 years found out way past 7 days that I've been summoned for Jury duty. However I'm not in the country how do I go about getting excluded.
MiExpat - 4-Dec-16 @ 8:54 PM
I have just found out I have jury service and it's on Monday. What to do next as its says must reply in 7 days of receiving the letter?? Any help much appreciated.
Flickers33 - 27-Oct-16 @ 12:20 PM
What happens if you are late for jury service? What is the procedure to tell the court and what are the consequences?
Helen - 3-Oct-16 @ 5:27 PM
I gave my employer the employer certificate which she sent to head office along with my citation accidentally and I have not recieved it back. My date for court is tomorrow and I don't know my juror number to phone the juror line to see if I have to go. What will happen if I turn up at court tomorrow without my citation as it clearly States you have to bring it with you ?
Lisa - 2-Oct-16 @ 9:33 PM
Sk- Your Question:
I have jury service in 2 weeks. It is confirmed for me to go. My boss has now turned round and said I have to defer it. I have tried to explain that I can't as it is by law but the answer I got was so you not understand defer it. I now don't know what to do, any advice. Thanks.

Our Response:
You may be able to delay (‘defer’) jury service 'once'. If you defer you must say when you will be available for jury service over the next 12 months.Please see gov.uk link here. Your employer must let you have time off work but can ask you to delay your jury service if your absence will have a serious effect on business. If you’re unreasonably refused time off for jury service, you can complain to an employment tribunal. However, if your employer asks you to delay jury service and you refuse, you may not be able to claim unfair dismissal. I hope this helps.
CourtroomAdvice - 28-Sep-16 @ 12:11 PM
I have jury service in 2 weeks. It is confirmed for me to go. My boss has now turned round and said I have to defer it. I have tried to explain that I can't as it is by law but the answer I got was so you not understand defer it. I now don't know what to do, any advice. Thanks.
Sk - 27-Sep-16 @ 12:03 PM
I was called for jury service and as you are not given an option,but to attend or you may be fined or imprisoned. Well I like to be asked not told to do something. Especially not by a corrupt legal system.Duty or not. Anyone not wanting to attend write reason for not attending (insufficient understanding).worked for me. Never heard from them again. Ste
Ste - 14-Sep-16 @ 8:56 PM
Box - Your Question:
I was meant to attend jury duty on the 7th but forgot to attend as I thought I didnt have to go until the 17th, what should I do?

Our Response:
You will need to contact the courts directly, as you could face a fine.
CourtroomAdvice - 12-Sep-16 @ 12:57 PM
I was meant to attend jury duty on the 7th but forgot to attend as i thought i didnt have to go until the 17th, what should i do?
Box - 12-Sep-16 @ 12:09 AM
I received a jury Summons to my old address back in March for May this yearthe new occupation didnt forward the letter on to me but opened it and sent a picture of it on face book that I received today to be told she had thrown it away as I didn't reply back to her on the day she sent the message what will happen now
della - 8-Sep-16 @ 3:15 PM
Ive been cited for Durty Juty. And i phoned up The jurors Helpline number. I think ive got it wrong. They said on the Helpline number that certain number had to attend..and i think ive got it wrong and maybe had to attend Court. I am worried sick i get arrested. What do i do? Advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank You
D - 25-Aug-16 @ 9:48 PM
I'm a little bit confused. I've been summonsed to attend my first day of jury duty on Monday 22nd August. Got a letter from the court with my ID number and told to ring up after 4.30pm today. I rang and my ID was not read out however it only mentioned people needing to attend for 10am. My summons letter says that I should attend oat 9am. Does this mean that I am not needed and my first day of jury duty could be Tuesday or another day? Or does this mean that as it is my first day I should attend at 9am anyway? I don't want to fail to attend but I also don't want to go there unnecessarily.
L25 - 19-Aug-16 @ 7:32 PM
I received jury summons last year but asked for a defferal, which they granted for I year later. Now I would have expected a reminder, but I didnt get one. I have now got a letter stating that I didn't attend jury service at the start of this week. Also I am a diabetic and have been beset with severe medical problems this year requiring hospitalisation for a week. My medical problem is still ongoing and I believe it would make me unsuitable for jury service. The HM Courts and Tribunal Service requires an answer as to why I didn't attend. In all honesty I forgot, but if they had sent me a reminder I would have advised them of my medical condition. What options do I have now?
DBB - 6-Aug-16 @ 10:56 PM
Ash- Your Question:
I'm a uni student and was supposed to have my resit exams ago 2 weeks but I fell ill during that period and applied for mitigation with my uni and this was approved only yesterday. Uni said I can only do these resits this coming week. This is also the same week as my jury service. I is there any way to defer my jury services at such short notice

Our Response:
You would have to contact the Central Jury Summoning Bureau directly to find this out.
CourtroomAdvice - 27-Jul-16 @ 3:00 PM
I'm a uni student and was supposed to have my resit exams ago 2 weeks but I fell ill during that period and applied for mitigation with my uni and this was approved only yesterday. Uni said I can only do these resits this coming week. This is also the same week as my jury service. I is there any way to defer my jury services at such short notice
Ash - 23-Jul-16 @ 8:53 PM
Hi, the jurors helpline hasn't been updated for tomorrow. I have no idea if I'm meant to be back in tomorrow. The court is now shut. What am i meant to do?
loxxxx - 20-Jul-16 @ 5:50 PM
Today is Saturday and the Crown Court is closed until Monday. I have Jury Service on Monday and i cannot go due to t being too late to get out of work. I only received my letter today as it was posted to my mothers Address instead of my own. My mother never opens my mail she just tosses it to one side until i visit and pick it up, its generally the regular rubbish. As the phones are closed until Monday morning is there anything i can do or should i just ring first thing Monday morning? Thanks, Samm.
Samm - 16-Jul-16 @ 1:47 PM
I have recently become a father (yesterday) and started my paternity leave. I've tried contacting the crown court to see if I can be deferred although the numbers ring out and don't have an option to leave a message. What shall I do?
Neil - 13-Jul-16 @ 3:01 PM
BOZO - Your Question:
I have done a weeks jury service and my son has now fallen ill so I have to stay at home with him as he is throwing up and cannot go to school - what should I do?

Our Response:
You need to let the courts know via the contact details on your paperwork, as you can be fined if you don't turn up for jury service without letting anyone know.
CourtroomAdvice - 9-Jun-16 @ 2:14 PM
I have done a weeks jury service and my son has now fallen ill so I have to stay at home with him as he is throwing up and cannot go to school - what should I do?
BOZO - 8-Jun-16 @ 10:27 PM
I recently deferred Jury Duty because of a level exams in May, I said I would be available in July forgetting I am going on holiday. The thing is I would only miss the first day (16th) as its the day i fly back. However, i would be able to turn up the next day. How should I proceed?
tom - 20-May-16 @ 9:12 PM
What if I was summoned for Jury Duty but it was sent to a previous address of mine, so therefore I never received notification of it. Would I be fined and put in jail for not knowing?
Keke - 17-May-16 @ 5:25 PM
green tea - Your Question:
I am getting anxious, as my period is due to fall the same time as my jury service. Do you have the freedom to use the toilets whenever you need to, even during the sitting, as I bleed heavily. If not, can my doctor give me proof, so I can defer. I have already deferred once, as I was in hospital first time. Thanks??

Our Response:
If you are concerned at all, you should speak with the court officer directly. You may just have to take extra precautions ( in the form or sanitaryware) to ensure you are not disadvantaged. You are only allowed to defer once and I don't think a heavy period could be justified as a good enough reason.
CourtroomAdvice - 28-Apr-16 @ 10:24 AM
I am getting anxious, as my period is due to fall the same time as my jury service. Do you have the freedom to use the toilets whenever you need to, even during the sitting, as I bleed heavily. If not, can my doctor give me proof, so I can defer. I have already deferred once, as I was in hospital first time. Thanks??
green tea - 27-Apr-16 @ 12:18 AM
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