“Jury: A group of 12 people, who, having lied to the judge about their health, hearing, and business engagements, have failed to fool him.” – Henry Louis Mencken
Congratulations, you have been selected for jury duty. As American as baseball, jury duty is a pillar of the American system of justice, and you can step right up and participate-if you are qualified. In this two-part series, we outline the qualifications and exemptions for potential jurors in Louisiana.
In Louisiana, “all qualified citizens shall have the opportunity to be considered for jury service in the district courts of Louisiana and shall have an obligation to serve as jurors when summoned for that purpose, and that no citizen shall be excluded from jury service in the district courts of Louisiana on account of race, color, religion, sex, national origin or economic status.” La. Sup. Ct. R. 25
To serve as a juror for a civil or criminal case, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be both a citizen of the United States and Louisiana who has resided within the parish in which he or she is to serve for at least one year immediately preceding his jury service.
- Be at least eighteen years of age.
- Be able to read, write, and speak the English language and be possessed of sufficient knowledge of the English language.
- Not be under interdiction or incapable of serving as a juror because of a mental or physical infirmity, provided that no person shall be deemed incompetent solely because of the loss of hearing in any degree.
- Not be under indictment for a felony nor have been convicted of a felony for which he has not been pardoned by the governor. C.Cr.P. art. 401, La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 13:3041.
If you receive a jury duty notice and do not meet one of the above requirements, you are encouraged to contact the jury commissioner’s office. Who knows, you may be free in time for the first pitch.