How to Cope if You Get Sick While on Jury Duty

Every court deals with the possibility of sick jurors. Should this occur, rest assured that your needs will be taken care of and that people will be on hand to help you.

Think ahead. If, for example, you are a diabetic, bring snacks that will keep you from going into insulin shock. If you have asthma, bring your medications and inhalers so you can avoid an attack.

Analyze your symptoms. If you feel a headache coming on, or are stuffed up because of allergies, you may be able to alleviate these symptoms with over-the-counter medication.

Wait until the next break if you need to take any medications. If it can't wait, talk to the bailiff or judge.

Speak with the bailiff or the judge immediately if you have symptoms indicating serious illness.

Follow the instructions of the court regarding whether you can return to jury duty when you feel better.

Remember that every jury panel has a few alternate jurors who are prepared to take the place of a juror who is ill or has a personal emergency.


  • You may think you can continue to attend a trial when you have the flu, but other jurors are not likely to appreciate the germs you may pass on to them. Speak up if you are sick, then follow the recommendations of the court.


  • You should bring over-the-counter medications with you if they will alleviate your symptoms. If you regularly take prescription medications, bring them with you also and take them as prescribed.
  • If you are ill on the day you are supposed to report for jury duty, call the number on your summons and say that you are sick. Chances are you'll be rescheduled for a later date.

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