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Is It Possible To Get Out of Jury Duty? 

Posted on March 14, 2024 in

A jury duty summons is a common source of stress and dread for many Portland citizens. Being on a jury can be a big time commitment, especially if you end up on a trial that lasts for weeks. 

Even if you want to do your civic duty, the reality is that jury duty can put a substantial burden on some individuals and families. For people in these situations, the prospect of jury duty can be completely overwhelming. 

To help you navigate this situation, here’s a look at how jurors are selected in Oregon, what to do if you receive an Oregon jury summons, and your options for deferring or getting out of jury duty. 

How Do You Get Picked for Jury Duty in Portland, OR? 

The first question many jurors have when they receive a summons is, how did I get this? The short answer is random selection. 

In Oregon, there is a “master list” of potential jurors for each county in the state. The list is created from public records, including the state’s registered voters and licensed drivers. Names are drawn randomly from this list, and the selected individuals are issued a jury summons. 

What To Do if You Receive a Jury Summons in Oregon

If you do receive a jury summons, you can’t ignore it. Even if you’re unable to appear, you have to respond. Failure to respond to a jury summons or appear in court can result in you being held in contempt of court. Because of this, you should never ignore a jury summons. 

The first thing you need to do when you receive a jury summons is look for the report date. Next, go to the Oregon Jury Response Form and let the court know whether you’re able to appear on this date. This form gives you three options:  

  1. Show up for jury duty on the date you were summoned. 
  2. Request a deferral of your jury duty. 
  3. Request an excusal from jury duty. 

Be sure to choose the appropriate option for your circumstances; more on what options 2 and 3 mean below. 

How To Postpone Jury Duty in Oregon

If you can’t report on your summoned date, you can request to defer your service to any time within one year of your original report date. This is called a deferral or postponement. Courts will usually grant deferrals for good cause. 

It’s important to note that you might not be rescheduled for the specific date you requested. If the court doesn’t need jurors on the deferral date you requested, it will reschedule you for a date as close to your requested date as possible. 

Jurors can seek a deferral by mail, phone, fax, or letter, but the request must be received at least one week before your report date. 

When Can I Be Excused from Jury Duty? 

There are situations where courts excuse individuals from jury duty in Oregon. Courts are required to excuse jurors over 70 or jurors who are breastfeeding a child. In addition to these situations, the court may excuse you from jury duty if: 

  1. Jury duty will cause you, your family, or your employer “undue hardship or extreme inconvenience.” 
  2. You are the sole caregiver for a child or dependent during normal court hours, and you can’t afford alternative care for the dependant. 

When deciding whether to excuse jurors in these situations, the court will balance the individual’s circumstance against the public need for jurors. 

Get Answers to Your Jury Duty Questions From a Portland Personal Injury Lawyer 

Contact Tillmann Law with additional questions or concerns about a jury duty summons in Oregon. Our experienced personal injury lawyer knows the procedures for jury duty and can help you navigate the system. We can advise you about seeking a deferral or excusal and answer any questions you have about the process. 

Call us today or visit our Portland personal injury law office to learn more. We offer a free consultation to review your personal injury case as well.

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Tillmann Law Personal Injury Lawyers
101 SW Main St. #1905
Portland, OR, 97204
(503) 272-8986

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