September 30, 2002

Homeschooling and Jury Duty

One of the recurring questions posed to Home School Legal Defense Association is whether parents teaching their children at home are required to serve as jurors. While our members are pleased to serve in this important capacity, jury duty can often go on for many days days that would otherwise be spent homeschooling.

Fortunately, there are several ways that homeschooling families can deal with this. In some states, jury duty can be put off for up to a year, allowing the juror to finish up school or plan a vacation from school to coincide with jury duty. Many states exempt mothers with young children from serving on a jury. While others allow people with serious health problems to be automatically excused.

In addition to these, many judges will excuse jurors who have serious conflicts. Most of the time, especially in states that require a certain number of days or hours, or in correspondence schools that have such requirements, homeschoolers can explain to the judge that serving on a jury may interfere with their compliance with state mandates. Neither attorneys nor judges usually want jurors who will have divided attention through a trial.

If you are a member of HSLDA and receive notice that you are being called for jury duty and you wish to know your rights, please feel free to call us.