So you’ve just received that notorious letter in the mail. You know, the one that clearly reads: “Summons for Jury Service”? If you’ve got Crohn’s disease (or another type of IBD), then Jury Duty sounds like it could be a nightmare. Well, don’t fret. There are a few steps that you can take to make sure that you won’t get into any trouble with the law.
Assess how the jury summons process works in your region.
First, the laws and processes for jury duty are a little different depending upon which state, district, county, or city you occupy. Some areas use updated systems that can be accessed online, making it easy to notify officials of your condition. On the other hand, there are several areas that rely on outmoded systems that require more time. For this reason, it is important to respond immediately to the jury summons in the appropriate manner.
Respond to the summons with your CCFA Crohn’s card and an explanation.
In many cases, you can send in a photocopy of your Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America card, along with a letter of explanation, and be relieved of jury duty. While this is not the official way to get out of jury duty for one with Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis, it is an excellent means to get the ball rolling before you talk with your doctor.
Contact your GI, and get a doctor’s note.
Your doctor can write you a note to include with your written correspondence. Unofficially speaking, 9 times out of 10 this will free you from jury duty. The rest of the time, you will still have to contact the court the morning of your summons – but the court must give you a reprieve for your condition by law, since the court wouldn’t be able to accommodate frequent trips to the restroom.
In many cases, you only get a couple of weeks to respond to a jury summons, so be sure to set up the appointment with your Gastroenterologist as soon as you can. Follow these simple steps, and the court will have no choice but to let you out of jury duty.