Legislation Quick Search
07/19/2018 11:46 AM
Pennsylvania State Senate
Home / Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

By Member | By Date | Keyword Search

Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: May 15, 2017 04:46 PM
From: Senator Guy Reschenthaler
To: All Senate members
Subject: Jury Duty Exclusion for Certain Primary Caregivers
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that excuses certain caregivers from serving on a jury. This legislation will also include some technical changes that clarify when someone is exempted from jury duty and when someone can be excused from jury duty for a specified period of time. Representative Matzie has introduced this legislation as House Bill 1126.

Trial by jury is a right guaranteed by both the Pennsylvania and the United States Constitution, and therefore jury duty is an important civic responsibility that needs to be preserved. However, if this duty excessively burdens individuals who provide care to their loved ones, we should ensure that they can be excused from serving on a jury while they are serving as caregivers.

My legislation would allow the following individuals to be excused from jury duty:
  • A parent or guardian who has custody of a child under the age of seven and who is the primary caregiver of the child;
  • A parent or guardian who has custody of a school age child who has been excused from compulsory attendance at school or a special education program and provides instruction for the child; or
  • A primary caregiver of an elderly or disabled family member.

The legislation also clarifies that individuals who are eligible for exemption from jury duty altogether, including family members of a victim of a homicide or someone over the age of 75, may opt to serve on a jury if they so choose.

By updating the language and allowing primary caregivers to be excused from jury duty, we can preserve the essential process of jury selection while ensuring that individuals can adequately care for those who depend on them.

I hope you will join me in co-sponsoring this legislation. Please contact my office with any questions at 717-787-5839.

Introduced as SB940