Excuse from jury service undermines the important purpose of providing jurors who represent a fair cross section of the citizens of the state and casts a direct and unfair burden on other citizens selected for service.

For those reasons, Sec. 8-210 of the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article, Annotated Code of Maryland provides that: "Any person summoned for jury service may be excused by the jury judge if the person shows that undue hardship, extreme inconvenience or public necessity require his excuse, but only for the period the jury judge deems necessary."

Sec. 8-209 further provides that "the only persons exempt from jury service are: a member of the organized militia who is certified by the military department as a member; and a person who is 70 years old or older who has made a written request to the jury commissioner or clerk for an exemption."

A person may not be required to serve that has previously served more than 5 days as a juror within the last 3 years.

Requests for Excusal
Requests for complete excusal from jury service or postponement to a later term must be in writing and, as required by law, are granted only in the most extreme circumstances.

Throughout the term, the Clerk of Circuit Court and/or the Jury Commissioner will attempt to be as accommodating as possible with the schedules of each individual juror. However, they must meet the needs of the court as well. Jurors may be excused on a daily basis for medical appointments, illnesses, important business or personal appointments, vacations, etc. Jurors should notify the Jury Clerk in writing at least two weeks prior to the start of the juror's term of service to request to be excused for specific dates during the term of service. Written requests may be mailed or faxed to the Jury Clerk.

Written notification confirming or denying the request will be sent to the juror. For emergencies, the juror should call the Jury Clerk at 410-535-1600 or 301-855-1243, ext. 2632.

The court determines how many potential jurors are needed to make an appropriate selection pool in each individual jury trial and only notifies that amount to appear. Therefore, it may be impossible to grant any last minute requests to be excused. Again, do not wait until scheduled to appear to present your conflict. You must notify the Clerk of Circuit Court or Jury Clerk as soon as the potential for conflict exists.