Is It Possible To Get Out of Jury Duty?
You may have recently received a letter in the mail stating that you have been selected as a potential juror. You might be confused about what you need to do. Simply ignoring the communication is not a good idea. Whether you serve on the jury or not, you will need to follow the instructions in the summons and have contact with the court.
What Is Jury Duty?
Jury duty is part of the democratic process. Juries are essential to judicial proceedings. They listen to the facts of a case, evaluate witness testimony, review evidence, and make decisions. Jury service is considered an important civic duty.
How Are Jurors Selected in Colorado?
Jurors in Colorado are selected from records of residents, including:
- Driver’s license records
- Voter registration records
- Non-driver’s license identification records
- State income tax records
A computerized method produces a list of jurors.
What To Do If You Receive a Jury Duty Summons
If you receive a summons for jury duty, it is important that you read it. The summons will state whether you need to report to the courthouse, along with the applicable date and time. It also includes information on requesting a postponement, as well as what to do if you received the communication by mistake.
How Are You Assigned To a Particular Case?
You are initially randomly assigned to a case. You may be required to complete a questionnaire about a case. Before you are selected to serve on a jury, you will be subject to the voir dire process, which involves the lawyers from each side asking you questions to expose bias. Lawyers have a certain number of requests they can make for particular jurors not to serve on the jury.
Can I Get Out of Jury Duty in Colorado?
There are certain disqualifying factors to serving on a jury in Colorado.
If any of the following apply to you, you can notify the court and explain that you are disqualified:
- You are under the age of 18.
- You cannot read, speak, or understand English.
- You are disabled to the extent that you cannot render satisfactory juror service.
- You have sole responsibility for the daily care of someone with a permanent disability living in your household; performing jury service would cause a substantial risk of injury to that person’s health; and you do not work a job outside the household.
- You reside in another county and have no intention of returning to the county where you were called for service within the next 12 months.
- You served on another jury within the last 12 months.
- You appeared as a prospective juror within the current calendar year.
You may be required to provide documentation to prove the disqualifying condition.
Postponing Jury Service in Colorado
Even if you cannot get out of jury duty altogether, you may be able to postpone service. Your summons will include information about how you can request a postponement.
In Colorado, reasons such as being a student, an active duty military service member, or living somewhere less than 50% of the time do not automatically disqualify you for service.
However, you can request a postponement for these and other reasons, including:
- You are breastfeeding a child.
- You are temporarily out of the state or county.
- You have other commitments on the date you are requested to serve on the jury.
All jurors in Colorado have the right to request one postponement. You would complete the postponement section on the summons and mail or email it to the jury commissioner.