ASK THE DA: Jury Duty

I would like to know if I can be excused from jury duty. Iwork for a small family business and am concerned if I have to takeoff from work because I get selected for a trial.

New York State eliminated automatic exemptions from jury dutyquite some time ago. Lawyers, doctors and even judges must nowappear to serve. To ensure flexibility, summoned jurors are allowedat least two postponements from two to six months. I have beenadvised that the jury division is very sympathetic when presentedwith actual cases of extreme financial hardship, proved to itssatisfaction with appropriate documentation.

Jury duty is one of the most important obligations ofcitizenship in this country. Although serving on jury duty may attimes be inconvenient, it is indispensible to our fundamentalconstitutional right to trial by jury which is a privilege thatdistinguishes us from many other countries. Litigants whose libertyor legal interests are in controversy need to be able to selectjury members from as fair a cross-section of their community aspossible.

If you have questions about postponing jury service in KingsCounty, contact the County Clerk’s jury division at 718-404-9798.To have your questions answered in a future column, send yourinquiries to

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