Tenn. Code § 22-1-103

Current through Acts 2023-2024, ch. 966
Section 22-1-103 - Excuse from service - Undue or extreme physical or financial hardship - Documentation - Permanent excuse
(a) Any person may be excused from serving as a juror if the prospective juror has a mental or physical condition that causes that person to be incapable of performing jury service. The juror, or the juror's personal representative, must provide the court with documentation from a physician licensed to practice medicine, verifying that a mental or physical condition renders the person unfit for jury service.
(b)
(1) Any person, when summoned to jury duty, may be excused upon a showing that the person's service will constitute an undue or extreme physical or financial hardship to the prospective juror or a person under the prospective juror's care or supervision.
(2) A judge of the court for which the prospective juror was called to jury service shall make undue or extreme physical or financial hardship determinations unless a judge of that court delegates this authority to the jury coordinator. In the event this authority is not delegated to the jury coordinator, a judge of the court may authorize the jury coordinator to make initial inquiries and recommendations concerning such requests.
(3) A person asking to be excused based on a finding of undue or extreme physical or financial hardship shall take all actions necessary to have obtained a ruling on that request by no later than the date on which the person is scheduled to appear for jury duty.
(4) 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 that prospective juror's place of employment.
(5) A person requesting an excuse based on undue or extreme physical or financial hardship shall be required to provide the judge with income tax returns, medical statements from licensed physicians, proof of dependency or guardianship, an affidavit stating that the person is unable to obtain an appropriate substitute caregiver during the period of participation in the jury pool or on the jury, or similar documentation that 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.
(6) As used in this section, "undue or extreme physical or financial hardship" is limited to circumstances in which a prospective juror would:
(A) Be required to abandon a person under the juror's 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;
(B) Incur costs that would have a substantial adverse impact on the payment of the juror's necessary daily living expenses or on those for whom the juror provides the principal means of support;
(C) Suffer physical hardship that would result in illness or disease; or
(D) Be deprived of compensation due to the fact that the prospective juror works out-of-state and the out-of-state employer is unwilling to compensate the juror pursuant to § 22-4-106 or that the prospective juror is employed by an employer who is not required to compensate jurors pursuant to § 22-4-106 and declines to do so voluntarily.
(c) Documents submitted pursuant to this section shall be maintained by the jury coordinator during the jury service term, but may be destroyed thereafter. These documents are not public records and shall not be disclosed, except pursuant to a court order; however, the jury coordinator shall maintain a list of members of the jury pool who were excused pursuant to this section, and that information shall be made available upon request.
(d) A person excused from jury service pursuant to this section becomes eligible for qualification as a juror following the period ordered by the court, which shall not exceed twenty-four (24) months. 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.
(e) A person who is seventy-five (75) years of age or older is excused from jury service upon a showing that the person is seventy-five (75) years of age or older and that the person is incapable of performing jury service because of a mental or physical condition. The jury coordinator of the county shall excuse the person from jury service upon receiving a written declaration stating the person's name and date of birth, and declaring the mental or physical condition that causes the person to be incapable of performing jury service. The declaration may be completed by the person or the person's personal representative. The jury coordinator of each county shall make available declaration forms for the purpose of this subsection (e). This subsection (e) does not prevent a person seventy-five (75) years of age or older from participating in jury service.

T.C.A. § 22-1-103

Amended by 2021 Tenn. Acts, ch. 544, s 1, eff. 7/1/2021.
Acts 2008 , ch. 1159, § 1.