Summoned for Jury Duty While Transitioning into a New Job

I want some advice from those that have been through this. It will be my first time being summoned for jury duty and it has caught me at a really awkward time. I have 4 weeks resignation notice to give before transitioning into a new role at a different company and the court appearance has been set for the dead middle of that. It is estimated that they would need me for >16 weeks.

What's the go here, can I get out on account of transitioning into a new job role (which I won't be able to otherwise)?

While I would have been more than happy to help under different circumstances, there is no way I can do it at this time without sacrificing my career.


  • +1

    Just excuse yourself

  • Never had the misfortune of being summoned, however knowing its the government should be easy to wiggle out of

  • +2

    If you have holidays, exams
    or other commitments
    You can let us know about dates that would
    make it difficult for you to serve, by visiting or by calling 1300 722 574.
    You can nominate up to two periods, to a
    total of up to 2 weeks each.

  • +1

    I don't think they care. Everyone would always say their career is at stake. If you don't fit into a category to be excused they are pretty strict.

  • +4

    IIRC you can defer summons up to six months if you will face "hardship" as a result of attending on that date.

    Be upfront and ask your new company what date works best for them and defer to that.

    • +1 Exactly this. Have done jury duty, and was told at induction that we can seek deferment.

  • +2

    say you have had corona

    • +11

      they don't care what you drive. lol

  • Religious reasons - judge not least ye be judged


  • +1

    Just call them up and tel them your story. They will let you off. I’ve done it when I started a new job. They continued to send me letters for jury duty for months. I just kept calling them and they kept letting me off. Eventually they stopped sending me letters lol

  • +5

    So jealous I am wanting to get picked…

    • Same here, everyone complains about getting picked and here I am hoping I get picked so I can experience it!

    • I regret getting out of it once many years ago and potentially missing an interesting experience. I had a valid reason but realistically I could have managed.

      Never been called up again since, and I couldn't do it these days anyway.

  • +1

    I got picked once in VIC, went for the first day and sat around waiting for my name to be picked in the ballot to go for selection and it didn't happen. Discharged after 1 day.

    Chances are you won't have to actually be present for 16 weeks, unless you get picked.

    • May depend on location + COVID' case-count, shape of curve, etc.

      Fewer will want to do it at more risky times.

  • There is a real pattern for the jury members who get rejected by the defence for criminal trials. :)

    If you want to be on a jury, dress like a crimestoppers identikit. If you want to get rejected, dress like a judgemental saint. On the drug violence case I was on the jury of, every woman possible got rejected. I strode confidently knowing I was totally getting selected.

    • are you saying dressing more casual yields a higher % of getting picked? Never done it but curious

      • This isn't how it works from my experience, in a capital city.
        Approximately 200 people were called in at a time, organised into 5 panel groups.
        When a jury was being selected, the entire panel group went into the court room, after roll call and those with legitimate reasons (medical etc) were excused.
        The potential jurors all had a number. In the court room, after the judge asked if anyone had links to/knew the accused, witnesses or legal reps (grounds to be excused), numbers were drawn from a ballot box.
        Those whose number was called stood and moved to the jury box. The prosecution and defence legal teams each had two objections available, to reject jurors. After these were used, whoever was selected was on the jury.
        The rest of the panel was then thanked and dismissed. We had to then check our SMS/emails each day at a set time to see if we were to report the following day. This continued for the month that we were rostered on, the end of the month saw a new panel.

      • The supreme court trial I got picked straight in for was for injecting battery acid into an uncooperative witness victim. Apparently not as deadly as it sounds…but they tried. Mistrialled badly after a week and we spent more time in the jury room than in court.

        I and other guys were chosen…women rejected. Only the defence rejected people.

  • Turn up for jury duty! Your chances of getting selected is slim - the defendant has to plead not guilty for a trial to commence. Then they will have a panel of jurors and depending where you are listed on the different panels, there is a good chance they won't need you.

    If you use an excuse to get out of it (and you can pretty much use any of the acceptable excuses on the day), they will let you off no questions asked (if you do this when you show up on the day). However, you can/will be recalled in the next 12 months and will not be able to use any excuses to get out the second time

    If you sit it out on the day, and all goes to plan and your panel is not selected (and hence you are not selected), then you should be done by around lunch time. Also, you will be off the role for recall for a couple years (as you're regarded as having done your 'duty').

    Source:I recently got called up for jury duty for a case that was scheduled for >16 weeks at the Downing Centre (and was advised to do the above by the sheriff officer in charge on the day, who I had got talking to).

  • You can ask for a shorter trial like 2 weeks during registration. If not then use the work commitment excuse. They'll let you off but you will get summon again in next few weeks.

  • I think you can defer it as others have said.

    Otherwise inform both your new and old work of what has happened. Attach a copy of the letter. If you have signed a contract then your new role should stand.

  • You can defer. My GF has been summoned 4 times in the 3.5 years I've known her.

    Deferral 1: The case was 26 weeks. She is a specialist in her field at work. She told them that her employer can live without her for 6 weeks maximum. They told her that was fine and they'd be in touch.

    Deferral 2: I can't remember the issue. I think she turned up at Downing St for 2 hours and they sent her home (back to work).

    Deferral 3: We'd booked a holiday for that period.

    Summon #4 was last week.

    It's a crap system. I've been called up once in 40 years and for the past 13 years my employer wouldn't care if I was there or not. There are so many retired people and people on benefits out there that could do their civic duty.

    It was a laugh when I attended in 2015. One person just burst out laughing when the defendant entered his plea of not guilty - so they were out.
    Another woman that had been on her mobile all morning speaking beautiful Oxford English suddenly developed an accent and said "I no understand Engrish velly well." And she got off.
    I got off because there was a vague possibility that I knew one of the witnesses in the case.

    • " There are so many retired people and people on benefits out there that could do their civic duty." That's a particular demographic then and not a 'random' selection of your peers…. Inherently bias? Sadly defeats the purpose. But I do sympathise with your point…

      • I agree it isn't a random sample but nor is the current system. Permanent Residents don't get called up.

        I'm not sure about inherent bias. I'm just trying to think of people that are doing SFA and don't have to stuff about re-arranging their calendar. There's a heap of fine folk outside The Hub at Newtown that aren't busy - round them up. ;-p

        GF got the text at 3.30 yesterday "not required tomorrow but you are still on the call out list so be prepared."

  • i am in same boat… received 4th summon in last 6 year. the 4th one is end of this month. hope i get excused.

Login or Join to leave a comment