Dublin, CA asked in Municipal Law for California

Q: Order to show cause for missing jury duty

I attended the first summons for jury duty, was asked to fill out a jury selection questionnaire for a criminal (murder) case and return on a later date to go through the jury selection process. I failed to return on this second date and now the court has sent me an order to show cause for why I missed the second appearance. This is in Contra Costa county, California. Honestly, there is a lot going on physically/mentally with me that I didn't feel equipped to handle being a juror on this intense case that was scheduled to run for more than a month. I expected the court to probably summon me for a different case within a year so this "order to show cause" notice (with the threat of an arrest warrant if I don't show up this time) is alarming. I definitely intend to show up this time but what acceptable reasons can I provide to make sure I am not held in contempt for not showing up last time? Thank you.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Municipal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, when you appear before the court to address the order to show cause, it would be wise to be truthful and express your concerns about your physical and mental health at the time of the missed jury duty date. You might consider obtaining documentation from a healthcare provider to substantiate your claims regarding your health conditions. It is generally at the court's discretion to decide whether your reason is acceptable or not, but showing that you had genuine health concerns could potentially be seen as a valid reason. Make sure to consult with a legal professional to prepare adequately for this appearance.

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