Guidelines and Procedures for Doctors Providing Medical Disqualification Letters

If your patient has been summoned for jury duty, or a caretaker for your patient has been summoned for jury duty, you may be asked to provide a letter requesting a disqualification from jury service.  The law provides guidelines that must be followed to determine if the person is eligible to be disqualified. This section sets forth those guidelines, and provides suggested language for letters in support of the request for disqualification.

Fall River Trial Court - Durfee

If your patient has been summoned for jury duty...

Under Mass. General Law, Chapter 234A, section 4 , a person may be disqualified from performing juror service if that person is "incapable, by reason of a physical or mental disability, of rendering satisfactory juror service".

Guidelines:

  • A person shall be capable of rendering satisfactory juror service if such person is able to perform a sedentary job requiring close attention for six hours per day, with short work breaks in the morning and afternoon sessions, for three consecutive business days.

Types of Medical Disqualification:

  • There are two kinds of medical disqualifications: standard and permanent.
    • Standard: This is the typical medical disqualification and is valid for three (3) years. It should be requested for those patients who have a temporary medical impairment, OR who have a condition that will eventually improve to the point that the patient would be able to perform juror service.
    • Permanent: This type of medical disqualification must be requested using specific language, and is valid for the life of the patient. It should only be requested if the medical condition of the juror is not likely to improve to the point that the patient would become capable of serving as a juror.

Procedures:

  • Standard Disqualification...
    • The letter must be on your office's letterhead.
    • The letter should include the juror's Badge Number (found on any OJC mailing) and address.
    • Click here for a sample letter pdf format of Sample Letter - Medical Disqualification , including language that the requester is a patient of the physician who is being treated for X  condition, and in the physician’s opinion the requester is not currently able to perform jury service.  
      • PLEASE NOTE that a specific diagnosis is not required, and the physician is required to identify only the nature of the medical condition, such as “chronic psychiatric condition” or “mobility impairment” rather than “schizophrenia” or multiple sclerosis.”
  • Permanent Disqualification...
    • The letter must be on your office's letterhead.
    • The letter should include the juror's Badge Number (found on any OJC mailing) and address.
    • Click here for a sample letter pdf format of Sample Letter - Permanent Medical Disqualification , including language that the requester is a patient of the physician who is being treated for X PERMANENT condition, and in the physician’s opinion the requester will NEVER be able to perform jury service.
      • PLEASE NOTE that a specific diagnosis is not required, and the physician is required to identify only the nature of the medical condition, such as “chronic psychiatric condition” or “mobility impairment” rather than “schizophrenia” or multiple sclerosis.”
  • Medical disqualification letters must be submitted to the OJC: 
    • BY FAX: 1-617-422-5869
    • BY MAIL:

Office of Jury Commissioner
560 Harrison Avenue - Suite 600
Boston, Massachusetts 02118-2447


If a caretaker of your patient has been summoned for jury duty...

Under Mass. General Law, Chapter 234A, section 4 , a person may be disqualified from performing juror service if that person is "solely responsible for the daily care of a permanently disabled person living in the same household and the performance of juror service would cause a substantial risk of injury to the health of the disabled person".

Guidelines:

  • The caretaker must be living in the same house as the disabled person.
  • A caretaker who is regularly employed outside the home is not eligible for this disqualification.

Procedures:

  • The letter must be on your office's letterhead.
  • The letter should include the juror's Badge Number (found on any OJC mailing) and address.
  • The letter must include the name, address, and age of the disabled person, as well as a general description of the daily care provided by the caregiver.
  • Click here for a sample letter pdf format of Sample Letter - Primary Caretaker , including language that the requester is the primary caregiver of a permanently disabled patient of the physician, and in the physician’s opinion the caregiver‘s presence at jury duty would cause a substantial risk of injury to the health of the disabled person.  
  • Medical disqualification letters must be submitted to the OJC:
    • BY FAX: 1-617-422-5869
    • BY MAIL:

Office of Jury Commissioner
560 Harrison Avenue - Suite 600
Boston, Massachusetts 02118-2447


If you are a doctor at a residence for disabled people...

  • Determine whether some or all of the residents are ineligible for jury service pursuant to the guidelines set forth in Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 234A, Section 4:

A person shall be capable of rendering satisfactory juror service if such person is able to perform a sedentary job requiring close attention for six hours per day, with short work breaks in the morning and afternoon sessions, for three consecutive business days.

  • If, in your professional opinion, any of the residents are ineligible for jury service, please contact the OJC Legal Department at 617-422-5860 and ask for assistance with a nursing facility disqualification.