If you have bipolar disorder, you may believe that you are inherently barred from serving on a jury. You may be correct in certain situations, especially if you are on disability and unable to work. Jury duty regulations differ from state to state, county to county, and even district to district. In most cases, if you cannot perform a job function because of your illness, you will not be able to serve on a jury.
The best way to find out if you can serve on a jury is to check with the court where they will be calling jurors. Many courts use computer systems to select jurors, so if you cannot perform some task listed on the computer screen, you should ask to be removed from the list.
Jurors who suffer from mental illnesses face special challenges when sitting on a jury. If you or someone you know has questions about jury service, it's important to understand that there are no automatic grounds for dismissal from jury duty.
It's also important to note that people who suffer from mental illnesses are often not treated properly by the justice system. If you experience issues with judges or lawyers during trial, it's important to tell the judge or lawyer about your bipolar disorder or other mental health condition. Some attorneys will remove themselves from cases if they feel like it could affect their ability to represent their clients effectively. Other options include asking to have a different attorney appointed to your case, or requesting a mistrial.
You must have been diagnosed with an anxiety condition by a medical practitioner in order to be excused from jury service. If you have been diagnosed with an anxiety problem that prevents you from serving on a jury, you can contact jury services at the court that summoned you and inform them of your position. They will then notify the appropriate district attorney's office.
It is important to remember that you cannot just say you are too anxious to serve on a jury. The court may decide that even though you have a valid reason for being dismissed, it doesn't want anyone off the jury panel because they are too afraid to judge other people. In that case, you would be required to serve as a juror. However, if you are able to keep your fear under control enough to continue serving, then there is no problem.
Anxiety can sometimes cause you to feel sick to your stomach. This is called "jitteriness." Many people who suffer from anxiety also have trouble sleeping at times. This is another common effect of anxiety disorders. Finally, some people with anxiety problems experience physical symptoms such as pain, sweating, and nausea without having a panic attack or other form of anxiety disorder. These are known as "pre-panic" symptoms.
If you are suffering from excessive anxiety about jury service, we urge you to seek help before your first day on the stand. There are facilities all over the country where individuals can receive effective treatment for their anxiety disorders.
A jury summons cannot be ignored. You can obtain a medical deferral if your depression is so severe that you are unable to sit through a trial and pay attention. The jury summons should provide instructions on how to do so. If you believe you need help because of severe depression, ask questions about the trial when you sign up and tell them about your condition. They may be willing to work with you instead of against you.
There are two types of deferments: judicial and non-judicial. A judicial deferment means that you are unable to serve due to illness or some other reason deemed serious by a judge. A non-judicial deferment means that you are unable to serve for reasons considered important enough by the Department of Justice. These include active military service, employment as an attorney or judge, full-time student status, etc.
It is very important that you let them know if you need more time to respond because of mental illness. They will not hold it against you if you say you need an extension because you are depressed. Most courts in the United States allow for extensions if you need them because of a medical condition. Speak to your local court officials about their policies on this matter.
If you feel you must serve on this jury, take steps to ensure that it does not exacerbate your depression.
Should patients with ADHD have their doctor request an exemption from jury duty? A diagnosis of ADHD is not enough to relieve someone from jury service. The American Medical Association's code of ethics says that physicians should attempt to include on juries people who will be able to consider all the evidence and make a decision based on what they hear in court.
Some states allow individuals to apply for exemptions from jury duty. If you are called for jury duty, it is your responsibility to appear for selection at a court location. You cannot simply go home when you feel like it can't wait until later. States vary as to how they select jurors, but usually there is some sort of random selection process used. For example, judges may pick names out of a box or roll of dice.
If you do get picked for jury duty, please show up ready to serve. It is important that you listen to the instructions of the judge and follow what he or she tells you to do. If you have questions about anything related to the case, look them up on the Internet or ask the judge or your fellow jurors.
Spending several days away from family and friends under stressful conditions makes jury duty difficult for many people.