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."
The person is considered capable of performing juror service if they're able to perform a sedentary job that requires close attention for 6 hours per day, with short work breaks in the morning and afternoon, for 3 consecutive days.
Types of medical disqualification
There are 2 types of medical disqualification:
- Standard disqualification — This is the typical medical disqualification, and is valid for 3 years. It should be requested for patients who:
- Have a temporary medical impairment
- Have a condition that will eventually improve to the point where the patient would be able to perform juror service
- Permanent disqualification — This type of medical disqualification must be requested using specific language, and is valid for the patient's whole life. It should only be requested if the juror's medical condition isn't likely to improve to the point that the patient would become able to serve as a juror.
Disqualification letter guidelines
A disqualification letter must:
- Be on your office's letterhead
- Include the juror's address
If possible, please include the juror’s Badge Number (which you can find on any Office of Jury Commissioner (“OJC”) mailing).
A specific diagnosis isn't required — you'll need to identify only the nature of the medical condition, such as “chronic psychiatric condition” or “mobility impairment” rather than “schizophrenia” or "multiple sclerosis.”
Use the sample medical disqualification letter (see additional resources below) and the sample permanent medical disqualification letter (see additional resources below) for reference. Medical disqualification letters must be submitted to the OJC in 1 of 2 ways.
- By fax — Fax the letter to (617) 422-5869.
- By mail — Mail the letter to:
Office of Jury Commissioner
560 Harrison Avenue - Suite 600
Boston, Massachusetts 02118-2447