Jury | Jury Service Policies
The participation of citizens in serving as jurors is vital to the efficient and effective administration of justice in Allegheny County.
The Court strives to make jury service a convenient and pleasant experience and to accommodate all who are summoned within reasonable
limits in balancing the interests of the Court and juror.
Every citizen of Allegheny County who has attained the age of 18 will
be qualified to serve as a juror unless one or more of the following applies:
- is unable to read, write, speak and understand the English
- is incapable, by reason of mental or physical infirmity, to
render efficient jury service; and/or
- has been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for
more than one year and has not been granted a pardon or amnesty.
Persons failing to meet the above eligibility requirements will be disqualified
from service as a juror.
- Permanent Excusal from Jury
Every citizen 18 years of age or older who resides in Allegheny County is eligible to serve as a juror,
and participation of all citizens is strongly encouraged. The potential hardship jury service may cause
for elderly citizens is recognized by the Court. While there is no age limitation to participate in jury
service, citizens who are 70 years of age or older, upon receipt of a Qualification Questionnaire or
Summons, may request an age-related excusal that will permanently remove them from the Court's list of prospective jurors.
The Court permanently excuses citizens who are afflicted with a physical and/or mental infirmity so as to render the citizen incapable of providing efficient jury service as certified by a medical doctor.
The Court may also grant a permanent excusal to prospective jurors who demonstrate undue hardship or extreme inconvenience. The prospective juror will be required to provide clear and convincing evidence
of the undue hardship or extreme inconvenience.
- Temporary Excusal of Jury Service
Prospective jurors may be temporarily excused from jury service when the juror can demonstrate undue hardship
or extreme inconvenience. For example, a deferral would be granted to a citizen diagnosed with a physical and/or
mental infirmity which has temporarily rendered the citizen incapable of providing efficient jury service as certified by a medical doctor.
Citizens demonstrating undue hardship or extreme inconvenience including, but not limited to, individuals in
active military service, primary medical caregivers as certified by a medical doctor, and persons submitting
written requests for excusal due to family matters, may be granted temporary excusal from jury service.
The temporary excusal from jury service will be granted for a period of up to two
years at the discretion of the Court.
NOTE: Individuals who are summoned for Investigating Grand Juries are not eligible for deferral or postponement of jury service.
An application for postponement of jury service may be granted for many reasons,
including but not limited to, child care, adult care, work issues, vacation, pursuit
of educational opportunities, etc. If a citizen requires postponement from jury
service, the citizen is urged to contact the Office of Jury Management at
412-350-5336 as soon as possible following receipt of a juror summons. NOTE: Individuals who are summoned for Investigating Grand Juries are not eligible for deferral or postponement of jury service.
Request: The Court is cognizant that jury service can impose on citizens
some degree of inconvenience. A first request for temporary deferral of jury service
may be granted, and jury service may be postponed to a more convenient time.
- Second Request: The
Court recognizes that jury service may continue to be inconvenient or impose a hardship
for the date summoned. The Court will carefully consider the juror’s request and
explanation for further postponement and, if possible, temporarily grant a second
postponement. If a second deferral is granted, the juror will be advised of the
continuing obligation to serve as a juror.
- Third Request: The Court
recognizes that in rare or extreme circumstances and after a complete examination
of the request for deferral, a third postponement may, on occasion, be granted.
The juror bears the burden of demonstrating a compelling need for a further postponement
of the juror’s obligation.
- Further Requests: The
Court may consider extenuating circumstances and exercise discretion in evaluating
additional requests for deferral of jury service.
- Individuals who are summoned for Investigating Grand Juries are not eligible for deferral or postponement of jury service.
The Court does not provide exemptions from jury service based upon one’s occupation,
profession, or status.
OF CRIMINAL HOMICIDE VICTIMS
Pennsylvania law provides that spouses, children, siblings, parents, grandparents
and grandchildren of victims of criminal homicide under 18 Pa. C.S.A. §2501 (relating
to criminal homicide) are exempt or excused from jury duty. Please call the Office
of Jury Management at 412-350-5336 for more information.