2013 Mississippi Code
Title 13 - EVIDENCE, PROCESS AND JURIES
Chapter 5 - JURIES
§ 13-5-23 - Exemptions; length of service of tales and grand jurors


MS Code § 13-5-23 (2013) What's This?

(1) All qualified persons shall be liable to serve as jurors, unless excused by the court for one (1) of the following causes:

(a) When the juror is ill and, on account of the illness, is incapable of performing jury service;

(b) When the juror's attendance would cause undue or extreme physical or financial hardship to the prospective juror or a person under his or her care or supervision; or

(c) When the potential juror is a breast-feeding mother.

(2) An excuse of illness under subsection (1)(a) of this section may be made to the clerk of court outside of open court by providing the clerk with a certificate of a licensed physician, stating that the juror is ill and is unfit for jury service, in which case the clerk may excuse the juror. If the excuse of illness is not supported by a physician's certificate, a judge of the court for which the individual was called to jury service shall decide whether to excuse an individual under subsection (1)(a) of this section.

(3) (a) The test of an excuse under subsection (1)(b) of this section for undue or extreme physical or financial hardship shall be whether the individual would either:

(i) Be required to abandon a person under his or her personal care or supervision due to the impossibility of obtaining an appropriate substitute caregiver during the period of participation in the jury pool or on the jury; or

(ii) Incur costs that would have a substantial adverse impact on the payment of the individual's necessary daily living expenses or on those for whom he or she provides the principal means of support; or

(iii) Suffer physical hardship that would result in illness or disease.

(b) "Undue or extreme physical or financial hardship" does not exist solely based on the fact that a prospective juror will be required to be absent from his or her place of employment or business.

(c) A judge of the court for which the individual was called to jury service shall decide whether to excuse an individual under subsection (1)(b) of this section.

(d) A person asking to be excused based on a finding of undue or extreme physical or financial hardship must take all actions necessary to have obtained a ruling on that request by no later than the date on which the individual is scheduled to appear for jury duty.

(e) A person asking a judge to grant an excuse under subsection (1)(b) of this section may be required to provide the judge with documentation such as, but not limited to, federal and state income tax returns, medical statements from licensed physicians, proof of dependency or guardianship and similar documents, which the judge finds to clearly support the request to be excused. Failure to provide satisfactory documentation may result in a denial of the request to be excused.

(f) In cases under subsection (1)(c) of this section, the excuse must be made by the juror in open court under oath.

(4) A person is excused from jury service permanently only when the deciding judge determines that the underlying grounds for being excused are of a permanent nature. A person who has been summoned for jury duty who meets the age threshold for exemption from jury service shall have the option to be permanently excused from jury service due to age by filing with the circuit clerk a notarized request to be permanently excused.

(5) Grand jurors shall serve until discharged by the court.

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