What Happens if I Don’t Show Up for Jury Duty in St. Louis?

Serving on a jury isn’t something many people look forward to. However, it’s something that most US adults may be required to do at some point in life.

Failing to show up for jury duty in St. Louis is against the law. You may face legal penalties if you’re scheduled to serve jury duty and decline to appear.

I Missed Jury Duty in St. Louis: What Now?

You may be found guilty of civil contempt if you fail to show up to jury duty or respond to a summons. This may result in a fine of up to $500.00.

You could be fined up to $1,000 for skipping jury duty or not responding to a summons in Federal Court. You may also spend up to three days in jail, be required to perform community service, or both.

Can I Get Out of Jury Duty in St. Louis?

You should never try to get out of jury duty by being dishonest during the juror selection process. However, there are valid ways to demonstrate you can’t serve on a jury at the date and time listed on your summons. 

Examples include the following:

  • If you are going on vacation, you can write down the dates of said vacation on your Juror Information Form, or you can contact the office that sent the summons to explain the situation. They may allow you to serve on a jury at a later date.
  • You may have a health condition that could render you unable to serve on a jury. You must provide the court with a statement from a qualified medical professional confirming your health will prevent you from being an effective or competent juror.
  • In Missouri, you can typically get out of jury duty if you have served on a jury within the past two years.
  • If being absent from your job would negatively impact the public in some way, the court may decide it’s better for you to remain at work.
  • Health care workers can sometimes get out of jury duty if they need to be available to treat their patients.
  • Employees of religious institutions can get out of jury duty if being a juror would interfere with their religious obligations.

You can also request a postponement by contacting the office of the court that sent your summons. The court may grant a postponement if you have not been granted one in the past. If you do get a postponement, you will be required to serve on a jury within six months from the date when you were originally supposed to appear for jury service.

Arriving for Jury Duty in St. Louis: What You Need to Know

Your summons will typically include specific instructions regarding arriving for jury duty. It will tell you where to go and when to be there. 

You should:

  • Show up at the proper date and time.
  • Wear appropriate attire.
  • Bring your lunch, as the court will usually only provide light snacks. You can also go out to lunch in the area during your lunch break if you prefer.
  • Be prepared to turn off all electronics.

You also may have concerns about how serving on jury duty will impact your employment. Some people skip jury duty because they fear the consequences will be less severe than missing work.

Missouri law prohibits employers from terminating or taking disciplinary action against employees who must miss work to serve on juries. If your employer does take any such action, you can bring a civil action against them within 90 days of being terminated or disciplined to recover your lost wages.

Serving on a jury isn’t something many people enjoy. However, serving as a juror is much less unpleasant than dealing with the consequences of unlawfully skipping jury duty.