Jury duty postponement backed in emergencies
Stock image via Adobe.

Jury Duty Direction Sign
The bills would allow Floridians to postpone jury duty for a year during public-health emergencies.

Proposals are moving through the Legislature that would allow Floridians to postpone jury duty for a year during public-health emergencies and states of emergency.

The House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee on Tuesday unanimously approved a broader courts bill (HB 1197), sponsored by Miami Republican Rep. Vance Aloupis, that includes the jury-duty change.

A Senate version (SB 748), sponsored by St. Petersburg Republican Sen. Jeff Brandes, was approved last week by the Senate Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Subcommittee.

Under current law, jurors can request postponement of jury service for up to six months and can face fines up to $100 and be held in contempt of court if they do not show up for service without providing a sufficient excuse, according to a House staff analysis.

The proposal would allow postponement for up to a year if the state Surgeon General declares a public health emergency or if the Governor declares a state of emergency. Jury trials have been postponed throughout the state during the past year because of efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Once jury service resumes, some people who are summoned may not be able to attend on a particular date due to complications created by the pandemic,” the House staff analysis said. “The examples are given that the person summoned might recently have returned to work after being unemployed during the pandemic or might be responsible for the care of someone who is at greater risk of health complications if he or she is exposed to COVID-19.”


Republished with permission from the News Service of Florida.

Wire Services


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn