2018-09-14 / News Update

Soldiers and service on state, local juries

Christian Schlachte
Judge Advocate General staff intern

During your active duty service, you may be called on to serve state or local jury duty. Federal law and Army Regulation (AR) 27-40 may exempt you from jury duty.

A Soldier who receives a summons for state or local jury duty should promptly notify his or her commander of the pending jury duty service date. Your unit commander will then determine if you are exempt from your summons.

Under federal law and Army regulation, Soldiers are always exempt from jury service if they are general officers, commanders, active duty and stationed outside of the United States or its territories; on active duty in a training status; or on active duty and assigned to a force engaged in operations.

On a case-by-case basis, a commanding officer may determine that other Soldiers should be exempt from serving on state or local juries if serving on such jury would unreasonably interfere with that Soldier’s performance of military duties, or if service would adversely affect the readiness of the Soldier’s unit, command or activity.

If your unit commander determines that you are exempt from jury duty, the commander should submit the relevant documentation of the exemption through the chain of command. Then, the commander with final exemption determination authority will make the ultimate determination regarding whether you are exempted from duty. Generally, the commander with special court-martial convening authority will make this ultimate decision. However, this authority may be withheld by a superior commander.

You will be informed if you are not deemed exempt from jury duty. If your commander determines you are not exempt, your commander should process you for permissive temporary duty under the provisions of Army Regulation 630-5. Once processed, you will be able to report to jury duty normally.

While serving on jury duty, you are entitled to keep only state and local reimbursements for expenses incurred in the performance of your duties. This includes state and local reimbursements for things like transportation, meals, and parking. However, any federal reimbursements and/or jury fees you accrue for complying with your summons must be turned over to the appropriate finance office for deposit in the U.S. Treasury.

If you have questions, the Fort Gordon Legal Assistance Office is located at 267 Heritage Park Lane, Building 35202. You may reach our office by calling (706)791- 7812/7813. Please be advised that you must make an appointment to consult with an attorney, however, paralegals are available during regular hours of operation to answer any general questions and to notarize documents. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Wednesday; noon to 4 p.m., Thursday; 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Friday.

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