Stephen Schultz | April 17, 2023 | Missouri Law
Very few people want to see a jury summons in their mailbox. Serving on jury duty can be time-consuming.
When summoned to jury duty in Missouri, many must miss work and make daycare arrangements for their children. However, there could be some ways to get out of it. Unfortunately, the list of reasons to get out of jury duty in Missouri is short.
Who Has to Serve on a Jury in St. Louis, MO?
You are eligible to serve as a juror if you are:
- A citizen of the United States;
- Over 21 years old;
- A resident of the city or county where the court is being held; and,
- You can speak, read, and write the English language.
You are ineligible to serve on a jury in Missouri if you are a convicted felon who has not had their civil rights restored. Also, people on active duty in the Armed Forces or a judge of a court of record cannot serve on a jury. The court might also disqualify some people the court finds unable to perform the duties of a juror because of a mental or physical condition.
How to Get Out of Jury Duty in St. Louis, MO
You can request to be excused from jury service for several reasons. You must contact the local jury office to submit a request to be excused.
The judge might excuse you from jury service if:
- You served on a jury in the past two years.
- You are nursing your child and have a written statement from your doctor confirming you are a nursing mother.
- Being out of work would adversely and materially impact public health, wealth, safety, or interest.
- Serving on a jury would cause extreme or undue financial or physical hardship.
- You are a licensed healthcare worker who provides a written statement certifying you are providing healthcare services to patients and that serving on a jury would be harmful to your patient’s health.
- You are an employee of a religious institution, and your religious obligations or constraints prevent you from serving on a jury. Your religious supervisor must certify your employment and the obligation or restraint that prevents you from being a juror.
If you do not qualify to be excused from jury service, you might be able to postpone your service. You must contact the local jury office to apply for a postponement.
The judge may grant a request for postponement of jury service if:
- You have not been granted a previous postponement;
- You appear in person or contact the board of jury commissioners by phone, electronic mail, or written request to apply for the postponement; and,
- Before granting the postponement, the court sets a date for you to appear for jury service within six months of the original term of your service.
If you want to be excused or request a postponement, it is best to make the request as soon as you receive the jury summons. The court will only grant a specific number of postponements each term to ensure they have sufficient jurors present in court. Therefore, waiting until the last minute to ask for a postponement might result in the court denying your request.
What Is the Purpose of a Jury in a St. Louis Personal Injury Trial?
Most personal injury claims settle without going to trial. Instead, the at-fault party’s insurance company negotiates a settlement with the injured victim. The insurance company pays the settlement amount, and the victim releases the parties from further liability for the claim.
However, in some situations, parties in a personal injury case cannot agree to a settlement amount. The parties could also dispute fault for the cause of the accident or personal injury. In those cases, the injured victim might sue the at-fault party and take the case to trial.
At trial, jurors are selected to hear and decide the case. The jurors are the triers of fact. They decide what evidence and testimony to believe as factual.
What Is the Burden of Proof in a Civil Trial in Missouri?
The burden of proof in a personal injury trial is by a preponderance of the evidence. A preponderance of the evidence is a slightly lower burden of proof than beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the burden of proof used for criminal cases.
An injured victim must convince the jurors that there is a greater than 50% chance that their claim is true. Therefore, the jurors only need to find there is a greater chance that the defendant caused the victim’s injuries to find in favor of the plaintiff.
The jurors must also decide how much the plaintiff should receive for damages. The jury award can include economic and non-economic damages. In rare cases, the jury could also order punitive damages.
A St. Louis personal injury lawyer can provide more information about the personal injury claims process and your legal rights during a free consultation.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in St. Louis, MO
If you’ve been injured, please contact Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today:
St. Louis, MO Law Office
1430 Washington Ave Ste 225, St. Louis, MO 63103
Ladue, MO Law Office
9807 S 40 Dr, St. Louis, MO 63124
Creve Coeur, MO Law Office
999 Executive Pkwy Dr #205, Creve Coeur, MO 63141