ASSEMBLY, No. 1192

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

211th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2004 SESSION

 

 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman JOAN M. QUIGLEY

District 32 (Bergen and Hudson)

Assemblywoman LINDA R. GREENSTEIN

District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)

Assemblyman BRIAN P. STACK

District 33 (Hudson)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman Previte

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

    Allows excuse from jury service on grounds of obligation to care for a minor child under certain circumstances.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

    Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

 

(Sponsorship Updated As Of: 6/18/2004)


An Act concerning jury service and amending N.J.S.2B:20-10.

 

    Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

    1. N.J.S.2B:20-10 is amended to read as follows:

    2B:20-10. An excuse from jury service shall be granted only if:

    a. The prospective juror is 75 years of age or older;

    b. The prospective juror has served as a juror within the last three years in the county to which the juror is being summoned;

    c. Jury service will impose a severe hardship due to circumstances which are not likely to change within the following year. Severe hardship includes the following circumstances:

    (1) The prospective juror has a medical inability to serve which is verified by a licensed physician.

    (2) The prospective juror will suffer a severe financial hardship which will compromise the juror's ability to support himself, herself, or dependents. In determining whether to excuse the prospective juror, the Assignment Judge shall consider:

    (a) the sources of the prospective juror's household income; and

    (b) the availability and extent of income reimbursement; and

    (c) the expected length of service.

    (3) (a.) The prospective juror is a parent of a minor child and is the person who provides personal care and attention for that child during the hours of jury service.

    (b.) The prospective juror has a personal obligation to care for another, including a sick, aged or infirm dependent or a minor child, who requires the prospective juror's personal care and attention, and no alternative care is available without severe financial hardship on the prospective juror or the person requiring care.

    (4) The prospective juror provides highly specialized technical health care services for which replacement cannot reasonably be obtained.

    (5) The prospective juror is a health care worker directly involved in the care of a mentally or physically handicapped person, and the prospective juror's continued presence is essential to the regular and personal treatment of that person.

    (6) The prospective juror is a member of the full-time instructional staff of a grammar school or high school, the scheduled jury service is during the school term, and a replacement cannot reasonably be obtained. In determining whether to excuse the prospective juror or grant a deferral of service, the Assignment Judge shall consider:

    (a) the impact on the school considering the number and function of teachers called for jury service during the current academic year; and

    (b) the special role of certified special education teachers in providing continuity of instruction to handicapped students;

    d. The prospective juror is a member of a volunteer fire department or fire patrol; or

    e. The prospective juror is a volunteer member of a first aid or rescue squad.

(cf: P.L.1995, c.44, s.1)

 

    2. This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

    Currently under the provisions of paragraph (3) of subsection c. of N.J.S.A.2B:20-10 a prospective juror may be excused on grounds of severe hardship if he "has a personal obligation to care for another, including a sick, aged or infirm dependent or a minor child, who requires the prospective juror's personal care and attention, and no alternative care is available without severe financial hardship on the prospective juror or the person requiring care."

    The bill would allow an excuse from jury service on the grounds that the prospective juror is a parent of a minor child and is the person who provides personal care and attention for that child during the hours of jury service.

    In addition, the bill would allow an excuse from jury service on the grounds that the prospective juror has a personal obligation to care for another, including a sick, aged or infirm dependent who requires prospective juror's personal care and attention and no alternative care is available without severe financial hardship on the prospective juror or the person requiring care.