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2019 California Rules of Court

Rule 2.1009. Permanent medical excuse from jury service

(a) Definitions

As used in this rule:

(1)  "Applicant" means a "person with a disability" or their authorized representative.

(2)  "Authorized representative" means a conservator, agent under a power of attorney (attorney-in-fact), or any other individual designated by the person with a disability.

(3)  "Capable of performing jury service" means a person can pay attention to evidence, testimony, and other court proceedings for up to six hours per day, with a lunch break and short breaks in the morning and afternoon, with or without disability-related accommodations, including auxiliary aids and services.

(4)  "Health care provider" means a doctor of medicine or osteopathy, podiatrist, dentist, chiropractor, clinical psychologist, optometrist, nurse practitioner, nurse-midwife, clinical social worker, therapist, physician's assistant, Christian Science Practitioner, or any other medical provider, facility, or organization that is authorized and performing within the scope of the practice of their profession in accordance with state or federal law and regulations.

(5)  "Permanent medical excuse" means a release from jury service granted by the jury commissioner to a person with a disability whose condition is unlikely to resolve and who, with or without disability-related accommodations, including auxiliary aids or services, is not capable of performing jury service.

(6)  "Person with a disability" means an individual covered by Civil Code section 51 et seq., the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.), or other applicable state and federal laws. This definition includes a person who has a physical or mental medical condition that limits one or more of the major life activities, has a record of such a condition, or is regarded as having such a condition.

(b) Policy

(1)  This rule is intended to allow a person with a disability whose condition is unlikely to resolve and who is unable for the foreseeable future to serve as a juror to seek a permanent medical excuse from jury service. This rule does not impose limitations on or invalidate the remedies, rights, and procedures accorded to persons with disabilities under state or federal law.

(2)  It is the policy of the courts of this state to ensure that persons with disabilities have equal and full access to the judicial system, including the opportunity to serve as jurors. No eligible jurors who can perform jury service, with or without disability-related accommodations, including auxiliary aids or services, may be excused from jury service due solely to their disability.

(c) Process for requesting permanent medical excuse

The process for requesting a permanent medical excuse from jury service is as follows:

(1)  An applicant must submit to the jury commissioner a written request for permanent medical excuse with a supporting letter, memo, or note from a treating health care provider. The supporting letter, memo, or note must be on the treating health care provider's letterhead, state that the person has a permanent disability that makes the person incapable of performing jury service, and be signed by the provider.

(2)  The applicant must submit the request and supporting letter, memo, or note to the jury commissioner on or before the date the person is required to appear for jury service.

(3)  In the case of an incomplete application, the jury commissioner may require the applicant to furnish additional information in support of the request for permanent medical excuse.

(4)  The jury commissioner must keep confidential all information concerning the request for permanent medical excuse, including any accompanying request for disability-related accommodation, including auxiliary aids or services, unless the applicant waives confidentiality in writing or the law requires disclosure. The applicant's identity and confidential information may not be disclosed to the public but may be disclosed to court officials and personnel involved in the permanent medical excuse process. Confidential information includes all medical information pertaining to the applicant, and all oral or written communication from the applicant concerning the request for permanent medical excuse.

(d) Response to request

The jury commissioner must respond to a request for a permanent medical excuse from jury service as follows:

(1)  The jury commissioner must promptly inform the applicant in writing of the determination to grant or deny a permanent medical excuse request.

(2)  If the request is granted, the jury commissioner must remove the person from the rolls of potential jurors as soon as it is practicable to do so.

(3)  If the request is denied, the jury commissioner must provide the applicant a written response with the reason for the denial.

(e) Denial of request

Only when the jury commissioner determines the applicant failed to satisfy the requirements of this rule may the jury commissioner deny the permanent medical excuse request.

(f) Right to reapply

A person whose request for permanent medical excuse is denied may reapply at any time after receipt of the jury commissioner's denial by following the process in (c).

(g) Reinstatement

A person who has received a permanent medical excuse from jury service under this rule may be reinstated to the rolls of potential jurors at any time by filing a signed, written request with the jury commissioner that the permanent medical excuse be withdrawn.

Rule 2.1009 adopted effective January 1, 2019.

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