Exemption from Jury Duty
The Jury Act allows potential jurors to request an exemption from jury service based on certain circumstances.
A sheriff may give an exemption (from the Jury Act) for the following reasons:
- You have health issues that will interfere with your role as a juror
- You are a full-time student
- You belong to a religion or a religious order that makes service as a juror incompatible with the beliefs or practices of the religion or order
- You would suffer serious hardship
- You are limited in your ability to speak English
- You have firm travel or vacation plans that conflict with the jury selection or trial dates
For detailed information on exemption categories or disqualification criteria, review the package included in your jury summons or the Jury Act.
Request an exemption
If you receive a jury summons and have a legitimate reason to request an exemption, you can do so using one of the following methods:
- Online: Using the Court Services eResponse website. You will need to have your jury summons on hand to complete your online response. Be sure to request that an email be sent to you when your exemption request has been processed.
- By mail: Complete the jury certification form attached to your jury summons and mail it using the envelope provided.
Find out if an exemption was approved
Requesting an exemption does not mean you are exempt. The BC Sheriff Service manages the jury process in British Columbia and will review your request and make a decision.
If you responded to your summons in writing, a sheriff will make every reasonable effort to contact you within 10 working days from the date your request for exemption is received. If you do not receive notice that you are exempt, you must attend jury selection on the date and time indicated on your summons.
If you responded to your summons through the eResponse website, you can log in anytime and view the status of your request under the “profile” tab.
If you are granted an exemption you are not be required to serve as a juror and do not need to attend jury selection.
If your exemption is refused
If an advance exemption request is refused, you can apply for exemption in-person with the judge at jury selection.
Depending on the reason for your request, the judge will decide whether to approve or deny your request.