Missing Jury Duty in Nevada: What the Law Says, Valid Excuses, & Penalties
Many of us have received the dreaded notice from the court to attend jury duty.
Most of us look at it and groan about what a disruption it will be in our lives.
You have to take off work or miss school to attend jury duty. It takes time out of your normal daily life. Some people ignore the summons to appear for jury duty while others don’t mind serving if called.
However, it is a description and you might be tempted just to not appear.
Most people who are called for jury duty never actually see the inside of a courtroom based on the number of jurors the court sends summons to.
On average, a jury trial will last approximately 3 days, with some bigger trials lasting much longer. If you are selected to serve on the jury, you must be able to attend every day of the trial no matter how long the trial lasts.
Once you have served on a jury in Nevada you are not required to serve or be summoned again for 18 months.
NRS 6.040: What Nevada Law Says About Missing Jury Duty
The Nevada statute states:
Any person summoned To serve as a juror, who fails to attend and serve as a juror, shall, unless excused by the court, be ordered by the court to appear and show cause for his or her failure to attend and serve as a juror. If the person fails to show cause, the person is in contempt and shall be fined not more than $500.
Penalties for Missing Jury Duty
Under NRS 6.040, people who are summoned to jury duty the first time and do not show up will receive a second summons to appear in front of a judge to show cause and explain to a judge why they did not appear the first time.
Failing to give a good explanation as to why they did not show up for jury duty the first time, the court will find them in contempt and fine them $500.
If they pay the fine, the court will no longer hold them in contempt.
If you fail to attend the cause hearing after receiving a second summons, a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest.
If you do show up for the cause hearing and believe that you have a valid excuse, you need to bring documentation or other evidence to back up your claim. For example, doctors notes, work time cards or any other items that can prove you missed jury service for a valid reason.
In some cases, people may not be penalized for ignoring their jury duty notices. It is however still against the law. Once you receive a jury summons you should either attend at the time and date requested or inform the court that you cannot attend at that time.
As with most things, there are unscrupulous people who will try to take advantage of the system. For example, there are scammers out there demanding money to excuse you from jury service. If you receive such a call, simply hang up or ignore it.
Federal Jury Duty Penalties
As with state court, the federal court system also requires jury service.
Just like Nevada, if you fail to appear the first time you will receive a notice to attend a hearing to show cause. If you fail to prove to the court for missing federal jury service the penalties will be much more severe.
The penalties include:
- Up to $1000 in fines, and/or
- Up to 3 days in jail, and/or
- Community service
What Can Get You Excused From Jury Duty
While jury service is mandatory and failing to appear for jury duty is illegal, there are situations where you may be exempted from serving on a jury.
The court allows exemptions in the following cases:
- A prospective juror is a member of the Nevada legislature while the legislature is in session
- The prospective juror is a police officer
- The person is 70 years or older
- The person is 65 years or older and lives 65 miles from the court house
- The person is being protected using a fictitious address for their protection from domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking
- The person has served on a jury in the previous 18 months
They will grant people a postponement of jury duty for circumstances such as illness, disability, undue hardship, care-giving or public necessity.
If you plan on trying to be excused from jury duty, you should get the court’s permission before the date you are summoned to appear.
Ineligibility for Jury Service
Many people attempt to avoid jury duty, but some individuals are disqualified from serving on a jury due to a variety of reasons.
- Non-citizens of the U.S
- People under the age of 18
- People rendered incapable of physical or mental infirmities as certified by a doctor
- People convicted of treason
- Convicted felons who have not had their civil rights restored
- Non-English speakers
If you receive a jury summons but are ineligible, you must still contact the court to inform them of your status.
Penalties for Nevada Employers Who Do Not Accommodate Employees for Jury Duty
NRS 6.190 requires employers to allow employees to take off work in order to fulfill jury duty obligations.
Employers may not do the following:
- Require you to use your sick leave or vacation time to attend jury duty
- Require their employee to work within eight hours before the time at which the employee is required to appear for jury duty; or
- Require the employee to work between 5pm and 3 a.m following the employee’s jury service if the service lasted more than 4 hours or more including travel time earlier that day.
Employers who violate NRS.6.190 and violate any part of it face prosecution.
The misdemeanor charge can carry a penalty of up to 6 months in jail and/or up to $1000 in fines.
If the employer tries to fire their employee for attending jury service, they face the charge of a gross misdemeanor with penalties of up to 364 days in jail and/or up to a $2000 fine.
The employee who was fired may sue the employee who fired them and collect damages for the following:
- Wages and benefits lost as a result of the firing
- An order to reinstate their job without loss of position seniority or benefits
- Damages equal to the amount of the lost wages and benefits
- Reasonable fee to hire pan pay for lawyers
- Punitive or exemplary damages up to $500,000
Employees are required to notify their employers at least three days in advance prior to the jury service beginning. If you do not notify your employer within the three day time limit, your employer may not be held criminally liable for not letting you attend jury duty.
Employers are not legally required to pay their staff while they are serving on jury duty. Nonetheless, some employers still choose to do so.
Hindering a Person From Attending Jury Duty
It is also a crime to dissuade or attempt to dissuade a person to attend jury duty after they have received their summons to serve as a juror.
The penalties include up to 6 months in jail and/or up to $1000 in fines.
Grand Jury Duty
Grand jury service is very different from standard jury service.
The main differences are:
- Grand juries determine whether there is enough evidence to prosecute a person for a crime. Regular jurors determine the outcome of a case that might have went before a grand jury beforehand
- Grand jury proceedings are held in secret; jury trials are open to the public.
- Grand Jury service is usually a willing participant since it usually lasts several months. Trial jury service is required.
Frequently Asked Question
What happens if I miss jury duty in Nevada?
If you miss jury duty in Nevada, you may be ordered to appear before a judge to show cause for your absence. Failing to provide a valid reason may result in being held in contempt and fined up to $500. If you fail to attend the cause hearing after receiving a second summons, a bench warrant may be issued for your arrest.
What are the penalties for missing federal jury duty?
Penalties for missing federal jury duty can be more severe than state penalties. They may include fines of up to $1,000, up to three days in jail, and/or community service.
Are there any valid excuses for not attending jury duty in Nevada?
Yes, there are several reasons that may exempt you from serving on a jury in Nevada. These include being a member of the Nevada legislature while in session, being a police officer, being 70 years or older, living over 65 miles from the courthouse and being 65 years or older, having a fictitious address for protection from domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, and having served on a jury within the previous 18 months.
Can my employer fire me for attending jury duty in Nevada?
No, it is illegal for employers in Nevada to fire an employee for attending jury duty. Employers who violate this law may face prosecution, including jail time and fines. Employees who have been fired for attending jury duty may sue their employer for damages.
What should I do if I am ineligible for jury service?
If you receive a jury summons but are ineligible to serve, you should still contact the court to inform them of your status. Reasons for ineligibility may include being a non-citizen of the U.S., being under 18, having physical or mental infirmities, being convicted of treason, being a convicted felon who has not had their civil rights restored, or being a non-English speaker.
What is the difference between grand jury duty and regular jury duty?
Grand jury duty is different from regular jury duty in several ways. Grand juries determine whether there is enough evidence to prosecute a person for a crime, while regular jurors determine the outcome of a case that may have gone before a grand jury beforehand. Grand jury proceedings are held in secret, while jury trials are open to the public. Grand jury service usually lasts several months and is typically voluntary, while trial jury service is required.
How can I be excused from jury duty or request a postponement?
If you believe you have a valid reason to be excused from jury duty or need a postponement, you should contact the court as soon as possible and provide documentation or evidence to support your claim. Examples include doctors’ notes, work time cards, or other items that can prove your inability to attend jury service for a valid reason.