- I have a medical condition. Can I be disqualified?
- Can I be permanently disqualified?
- Standards for Medical Disqualification
I have a medical condition. Can I be disqualified?
Under the law, you may be disqualified if you have a physical or mental condition that prevents you from “rendering satisfactory jury service,” and you can document that condition with a letter from a registered physician or Christian Science Practitioner. The letter must contain the following:
- The practitioner’s letterhead, including name, address, and title or degree.
- The nature of your condition. (Please note that the practitioner need only state the nature of the disability, not the specific diagnosis.)
- The practitioner’s opinion that the condition prevents you from performing jury duty.
- The signature of the practitioner.
PLEASE NOTE that your practitioner should review the Standards for Medical Disqualification, below, before deciding whether you are capable of performing jury service.
The letter can be faxed to (617) 422-5869, or mailed to Office of Jury Commissioner, 560 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02118. Tell your practitioner to include your badge number on the letter.
Can I be permanently disqualified?
The only grounds for permanent disqualification are being 70 years old or older (if you choose not to serve and request a disqualification) or having a permanent medical disability. In order to obtain a permanent medical disqualification, you must provide a written certification from a doctor or Christian Science Practitioner. The practitioner must state the nature of the disability and the practitioner’s opinion that the disability will permanently prevent you from performing jury service.
It is very important that the certification state that you are permanently incapable of performing jury service. Otherwise, you will be disqualified for this particular service but will continue to receive summonses in the future. Please note that the practitioner need only state the nature of the disability, not the specific diagnosis.
Standards for Medical Disqualification
In order for a registered physician or Christian Science Practitioner to write a letter seeking a medical disqualification, he or she must be of the opinion that the potential juror is not able to render satisfactory jury service. According to Mass. Gen. Laws c.234A, §4(4), “[i]n reaching such opinion, the physician shall apply the following guideline:
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.