Bill Text: NJ S1273 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Clarifies excuse from jury service for members of the military or reserve under certain circumstances; repeals N.J.S.38A:4-6.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-02-01 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee [S1273 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-S1273-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 1273

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 1, 2018

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  NILSA CRUZ-PEREZ

District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Clarifies excuse from jury service for members of the military or reserve under certain circumstances; repeals N.J.S.38A:4-6.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Act concerning jury duty, amending N.J.S.2B:20-10 and repealing N.J.S.38A:4-6.

 

     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.  Grounds for excuse from jury service.

     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)   The prospective juror has a personal obligation to care for another, including a dependent who is sick, is elderly, or has an infirmity 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 person with a mental or physical disability, and the prospective juror's continued presence is essential to the 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 students with disabilities;

     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; or

     f.     The prospective juror is an officer or enlisted member of the organized militia, the United States Armed Forces, or a reserve component thereof, and has submitted to the jury manager or Assignment Judge a certification that the person is unavailable for jury service due to a military deployment or duty assignment.

(cf: P.L.2017, c.131, s.3)

 

2.      N.J.S.38A:4-6 is repealed.

 

3.      This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

      This bill would provide an excuse from jury service for members of the military under certain circumstances.

     Currently, N.J.S.2B:20-10 enumerates the grounds for excuse from jury service. Pursuant to P.L.1995, c.44, the Legislature eliminated exemptions for jury service and provided that a juror may be excused from jury service in limited circumstances: the juror is 75 years of age or under; the juror has served as a juror within the last three years; jury service with impose a severe hardship; the juror is a volunteer fire department or fire patrol member; or the juror is a volunteer first aid or rescue squad member.  Although N.J.S.38A:4-6 provides an excuse from jury service for members of the military, this section does not set forth a mechanism whereby the courts can verify a person's status in the military. 

     This bill would repeal N.J.S.38A:4-6 and amend N.J.S.A.2B:20-10 to establish procedures for excuse from jury service for officers and enlisted members of the military.  Under the bill, an officer or enlisted member of the organized militia, the United States Armed Forces, or a reserve component may be excused from jury service provided the person has submitted to the jury manager or Assignment Judge a certification that the person is unavailable for jury service due to a military deployment or duty assignment.

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