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What Happens If I Miss Jury Duty in TN?

When most people are not excited nor happy when they receive jury duty summons in the mail. However, jury service is a civic duty you serve as a United States citizen to help the civil courts and criminal justice system resolve cases. 

When you are called for jury duty, you will be required to attend the selection process at a specific date, place, and time. Once you arrive at the courthouse, you must complete a questionnaire before you participate in the selection process. In most cases, a court case is settled before the jury selection ever occurs, which means you will be notified that you are not needed. 

When you receive the summons, you can ask not to serve. Of course, you must provide a valid excuse to miss jury duty in advance of your scheduled date. Keep in mind, if you request a postponement of jury service, you will likely receive a future summons. 

The following are several valid reasons to miss jury duty in Tennessee: 

  • If you are a service member of the U.S. military 

  • If you have a disability or otherwise cannot sit through a jury trial for medical reasons 

  • If serving on a jury would cause you to suffer undue hardship 

  • If you take care of another person and you cannot make other arrangements for their care 

Unfortunately, failing to appear for jury duty without an excuse can potentially lead to legal consequences. While you may be summoned again or perhaps nothing will happen at all, a judge could find you in civil contempt of court, which is a civil penalty of up to $500 and the costs of the show cause order. But if you serve out your summons, the penalty may be reduced to $50. 

If you are facing criminal charges in Knoxville, TN, call Eldridge and Cravens, PC at (865) 544-2010 or fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation. Our legal team has more than five decades of combined trial-tested experience!