Homeschooling parents who are summoned to jury duty may wonder if they should serve or ask for an exemption. HEAV believes jury duty is a privilege and responsibility; however, the law offers specific exemptions. The age of your children, available support to care for your children, or extenuating homeschool circumstances may create a hardship. If this is the case, you may appeal by returning the appropriate form with a letter of explanation. If your appeal is denied, you may have the opportunity to address the issue again during the interview process before the judge.
According to the Virginia Code, you may appeal to the court for the following reasons:
8.01-341.1. Exemptions from jury service upon request.
Any of the following persons may serve on juries in civil and criminal cases but shall be exempt from jury service upon his request:
1. through 3. – Repealed.
4. A mariner actually employed in maritime service,
5. through 7. – Repealed.
8. A person who has legal custody of and is necessarily and personally responsible for a child or children 16 years of age or younger requiring continuous care by him during normal court hours, or any mother who is breast-feeding a child,
9. A person who is necessarily and personally responsible for a person having a physical or mental impairment requiring continuous care by him during normal court hours,
10. Any person over 70 years of age,
11. Any person whose spouse is summoned to serve on the same jury panel,
12. Any person who is the only person performing services for a business, commercial or agricultural enterprise and whose services are so essential to the operations of the business, commercial or agricultural enterprise that such enterprise must close or cease to function if such person is required to perform jury duty.