Jury Duty or Court Leave

Court leave is a leave of absence from duty without loss of pay or charge to annual leave to perform jury duty in a Federal, state, or municipal court or to serve as a witness in a judicial proceeding to which the United States, the District of Columbia, or state or local government, is a party.

The law states in part:

An employee (as defined by 5 USC 2105) is entitled to leave, without loss of, or reduction in, pay, leave to which s/he is otherwise entitled, credit for time or service, or performance or efficiency rating, during a period of absence with respect to which s/he is summoned, in connection with a judicial proceeding, by a court or authority responsible for the conduct of a judicial proceeding, to serve

  1. as a juror; or
  2. as a witness (except as provided by (a), below), on behalf of any party in connection with any judicial proceeding to which the United States, the District of Columbia, or a State or local government is a party; in the District of Columbia, a State, territory, or possession of the United States including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. For this purpose, "judicial proceeding" means any action, suit, or other judicial proceeding, including any condemnation, preliminary, informational, or other proceeding of a judicial nature, but does not include an administrative proceeding.
    1. An employee is performing official duty during the period with respect to which he/she is summoned, or assigned by his/her agency, to:
      1. testify or produce official records on behalf of the United States or the District of Columbia; or
      2. testify in his/her official capacity or produce official records on behalf of a party other than the United States or the District of Columbia.

Court suits between private individuals or companies in which the United States or a state or local government is not involved do not entitle employees to court leave.

The Army believes it's employees have a civic responsibility to respond to calls for jury duty or other court services. Requests to excuse employees from these responsibilities should only be made when the employee's services are required to meet essential work schedules and when the public interests are best served by employees remaining on duty.

Court leave can only be granted for those days and hours the employee would otherwise be in a pay status. Employees are expected to return to work if excused by the court, unless the supervisor determines the employee's return would be impractical or cause a hardship based on the distance between home, duty station, and the court. If excused early from jury duty, the employee should contact the supervisor for a determination on their work status for the remainder of the work day, unless prior arrangements have been made with the supervisor. An employees' failure to coordinate with or contact their supervisor could result in a charge to absence without official leave (AWOL).

When an employee is called for jury duty or witness duty, the court order, subpoena, summons, or official request should be provided to the supervisor as far in advance as possible. When the employee returns to duty, s/he should provide official written evidence of attendance in court showing the dates and hours to support the appropriate recording on the employee's Time and Attendance Sheet.

Employees must reimburse to their agency fees paid for service as a juror or witness. However, monies paid to jurors or witnesses which are in the nature of "expenses" (e.g., travel/transportation, parking fees) do not have to be reimbursed to the agency.

Content last reviewed: 02/26/2015-SZ

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