Exemptions, Excuses, and Deferrals

The following people are ineligible for jury service under Maine law:

  • non-U.S. citizens
  • persons under the age of 18
  • non-residents of the particular county
  • and persons who are unable to read, speak and understand the English language, unless the inability is a result of a physical disability.

The opportunity to serve as a juror will not be limited or denied due to a disability. For information on requesting a reasonable accommodation to serve as a juror, go to: http://www.courts.maine.gov/maine_courts/admin/ada/accommodation.html.

Maine law exempts the following individuals from jury service:

  • the Governor, and
  • members of the armed forces on active duty.

Certain municipal and state election officials are exempt from jury service during elections.

The court has the authority to excuse individuals from jury service upon a showing of undue hardship, extreme inconvenience, public necessity or inability to render satisfactory jury service because of physical or mental disability. A person 80 years or older who does not wish to serve on a jury may be excused from jury service. In addition, a person is not required to serve as a juror more than once in any 5-year period, and three times in total.

NOTE: all jurors experience some degree of inconvenience and expense in conjunction with their jury service. No prospective juror will be released for this reason unless he or she can make a compelling showing of truly undue hardship and/ or extreme inconvenience that is above and beyond that of other jurors.

In many instances of hardship, the court can make arrangements for limited service that will satisfy a juror's public obligation without serving for the entire term. Alternately, the court will often defer jurors to less inconvenient or less expensive times of the year. Students or seasonal workers can often defer their jury service to a time of the year when service conflicts least with their other obligations. Such requests should be made prior to the first day of jury service.

Any juror seeking excuse from jury service should be prepared to document his or her request with income tax returns to demonstrate financial hardship or a physician's certificate to demonstrate physical or mental disability.

If you are seeking to excuse yourself from jury duty or delay jury service to a more convenient time you must contact the clerk of the court where you have been called for service.