To serve on a jury in Florida, you must be at least 18 years of age, a citizen of the United States, a resident of Florida, and have a valid driver’s license or identification card issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles or an executed affidavit as prescribed in Section 40.011, Florida Statutes.
Just because you are called for jury duty does not mean you will automatically serve as a juror. The Court calls more people than will be selected as jurors because people may be excused from jury service by the judge or one of the attorneys for various reasons. However, prospective jurors may not be removed for a discriminatory reason or for being a member of a protected class (such as for being a woman or minority, or having a disability).
Exemptions to Jury Duty
A judge will excuse certain high-level government officials, law enforcement officers, and other judges, and will excuse a person who is involved in the case, who is physically incapacitated, or who is being prosecuted for any crime or has been convicted of certain crimes — unless the individual’s civil rights have been restored.
In addition, the judge may excuse other persons upon showing of hardship, extreme inconvenience, or public necessity; a person age 70 or older; a person who has served as a juror in that county within the previous year; a person who is responsible for the care of a person with certain disabilities; an expectant mother; or a parent who is not employed full-time and has custody of a child younger than 6 years of age. A full-time student between the ages of 18 and 21 who is attending high school or any state university, private postsecondary educational institution, Florida College System institution, or career center may be excused from jury service if requested by the student.
A person may be permanently excused from jury duty if the request is accompanied by a written statement from a licensed physician citing mental illness, intellectual disability, senility, or other physical or mental incapacity, or if the person is permanently incapable of caring for himself or herself.
Pay for Jurors
In Florida state courts, jurors are paid $15 per day for the first three days of jury service and $30 per day starting on the fourth day, if they are not employed regularly or don’t continue to be paid their regular wages while serving as a juror. However, jurors are not paid for travel from their home. Jurors serving in federal court are normally paid $50 per day, plus a mileage rate for travel. If your federal circuit allows jurors to donate their service, you may donate your compensation to one of several specified entities.
Your Job and Jury Duty
By law, you cannot lose your job because of your jury duty. However, state law does not require employers to continue paying employees who are on jury duty. Certain Florida counties have ordinances that require some employers to pay some employees for their jury service. Check with your county government to find out whether your employer is required to pay you wages while you are on jury duty.
In each county, the clerk of the court selects potential jurors randomly from driver’s license lists. If you are selected for jury duty, you will receive a notice in the mail. You must appear at the location indicated when notified, or else contact the clerk of the court if you have a problem that prevents you from appearing. Failure to appear may result in a fine of up to $100 and could be considered contempt of court.