House Bill No. 479
Introduced By tuss, mccarthy, tash, mills, squires, curtiss, schmidt, harp
A Bill for an Act entitled: An Act providing that a person who is chronically incapacitated by illness or injury may request to be permanently excluded from jury duty and from the list of jurors; and amending sections
3-15-313 and 3-15-402, MCA.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:
Section 1. Section 3-15-313, MCA, is amended to read:
"3-15-313. Who may be excused -- affidavit to claim excuse -- permanent exclusion for chronically incapacitated. (1) The court or jury commissioner with the approval of the court shall excuse a person from jury service upon finding that jury service would entail undue hardship for the person or the public served by the person.
(2) If a person believes jury service would entail undue hardship for
him the person or the public served, he the person may
make and transmit an affidavit to the jury commissioner for which he the person is summoned, stating his the person's
occupation or such other facts as he that the person believes will excuse him the person from jury service. The affidavit
shall must be filed with the jury commissioner, who shall transmit it to the court. The court or jury commissioner with the
approval of the court may excuse a prospective juror from jury service if the prospective juror satisfies the provisions of
(3) A person who is chronically incapacitated by illness or injury may request a permanent exclusion from jury service by making and transmitting an affidavit to the jury commissioner of the person's place of residence. The affidavit must include a certification by the person's physician that the person is chronically incapacitated by illness or injury. The affidavit must be filed with the jury commissioner, who shall transmit it to the court. The court or jury commissioner with the approval of the court may permanently excuse a prospective juror from jury service if the prospective juror satisfies the provisions of this subsection (3).
(4) For purposes of subsection (3), a person is chronically incapacitated if the person has a condition due to an illness or injury that restricts the person's ability to leave the person's place of residence without the aid of supportive devices, such as crutches, a cane, a wheelchair, or a walker, that restricts the person's ability to leave home without the use of special transportation or the assistance of another person or that causes leaving home to be medically contraindicated. Examples of factors to be taken into account in determining whether chronic incapacitation exists include but are not limited to the following:
(a) paralysis by a stroke or other cause;
(d) loss of the use of a person's extremities requiring the assistance of another in leaving the person's place of residence;
(e) arteriosclerotic heart disease of such severity that a person must avoid all stress and physical activity; or
(f) a psychiatric problem if the illness is manifested in part by a refusal to leave home or is of such a nature that it would not be considered safe for the person to leave home unattended, even if there are no physical limitations."
Section 2. Section 3-15-402, MCA, is amended to read:
"3-15-402. Selection of qualified persons.
At (1) Subject to subsection (2), at the meeting specified in 3-15-401, the
officers present must shall select from the most recent list of all registered electors, as prepared by the county registrar, and
make a list of the names of all persons qualified to serve as trial jurors, as prescribed in part 3 of this chapter. Each name so
appearing on said the list shall must be assigned a number which shall that must be placed opposite the name on the jury
list and shall must be considered the number of the juror opposite whose name it appears. Said The numbers shall must be
consecutive from "1" to the total number of jurors. A person's name may not appear on a jury list for more than one court
during a 1-year term.
(2) The list prepared under subsection (1) may not include the name of a person permanently excluded from jury service under 3-15-313."