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great excuse for getting out of jury duty

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Artemis@BC, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

  2. ChelleC

    ChelleC Well-Known Member

    Too funny!
  3. HisWeirness

    HisWeirness pork cutlet bowl fatale

  4. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I didn't think they requested name information on census forms. From what I understand, it's DMV address information that they randomly draw from, which why my roommate gets summoned even though she's not a US citizen. :lol:

    I did get summoned twice in two months though. Random draw my ass! :lol: Apparently the "choosing" database is not hooked up to the "registration" database because they already had me in the phone system as having already served.

    And they still asked if I wanted to participate. NO! :revenge: :lol:
  5. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

    Yes, I thought it was DMV too.
  6. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Past Prancer's Corridor

    If it's the DMV which is the source, that might explain why I went many years without ever being called for jury duty. Of course, when I finally received a jury duty assignment letter three years ago, I still didn't have a driver's license. I thought that they used information derived from both DMV and voter registration records.
  7. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

    I thought it was from the voter registration, which is why some people choose not to register. Or at least that is their justification.
    I have been selected for jury duty three times. I was selected for 3 different trials. Rather than trying to get out of it, I felt it was an honor and something to take very seriously. Since I am caring for my grandchildren now, I am not sure how this can be worked out. Parents have to take vacation time because I am on jury duty and can not care for their children during the day?
  8. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple

    Omaha uses both driver's license and voter registration. I just served on a jury, and even though it turned out I was the alternate, I would do it again.

    It was my fifth time being summoned, but the first time I was actually selected. I think this DOES show it's random. My dad, for example, has NEVER been summoned. If it wasn't random, he would be summoned before I would be summoned a second time. Or a third. Or fifth. :p

    Finley and Peanut have also never been summoned. ;)
    jamesy and (deleted member) like this.
  9. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

    I don't get it -- I've been driving for nearly forty years, and registered to vote just a few years short of that -- and I've only ever been called for jury duty twice: once with a date several days after our scheduled move out-of-state, and the second time for a case where I got quickly disqualified because it was a sex assault case involving a girl about the same age as my daughter. Other than that, nada. Mr. Barbk, however, has been called at least five times over the same interval.
  10. *Jen*

    *Jen* Well-Known Member

    There is a very strong argument for doing away with juries, which I happen to agree with. Given how hard people try to get out of it, how reluctant people are to do it etc, you have to wonder if it's truely representative and if the person is really getting a fair trial.

    This debate has been going on in the UK for years and the only reason they haven't been abolished is that they do reduce worries of corruption.

    There has to be a better medium, though. Numbers, you might be in the minority thinking it's an honour. Most people think it's a pain in the arse.
  11. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

    I would love to be in the jury at an interesting and challenging trial. Always wanted to, since I was 8 years old and saw 12 Angry Men. But who is going to run my affairs and business, and take care of my pet and help my mother when I am gone all day? It's not about loosing money while not working.... If I can "freeze-frame" in time my business associates' orders and needs, my associates, my pets, my mother and relatives, or all of the NEEDS of theirs - I'd be on jury!

    I agree that the jury could be "one-sided" if most productive employed people who have family and other responsibilities, and can't afford not to work, or let go of their business for one day or it will fail, can't be on the panel. Or take people in a family situation, where one partner decided to work and the other decided to raise children, as a mutual plan: how can one leave work and the other leave children?

    I am concerned about various aspects of the "group" who has time during the day, for so many weeks and possibly months, to be on jury. Makes me wonder why they are willing to leave their jobs for so long, or not working, or have so much time....

    In my perfect world, the jury would be selected from a group of recently retired professionals with education who were employed until the day of their retirement. At least I would know they are driven, responsible people, with knowledge and experience.
  12. KatieC

    KatieC So peaceful

    I loved the movie Twelve Angry Men, but even though in my mind I agree with jury duty, my body doesn't want to do it. I can't sit still for that long, and it seems they only want me when something has come up that prevents me. First time I fell out of a tree, 2nd and 3 times I was working a federal election that was more important than jury duty. In Canada I'm pretty sure the pool is chosen from municipal election rolls. It can't be pulled from a Census. They called my mum once, and I had to get her doctor to write a letter. She was just going into a chronic care hospital.
  13. *Jen*

    *Jen* Well-Known Member

    12 Angry Men isn't the norm of jury duty. I sat in on a few trials as part of my law degree and the majority of them are exceptionally boring. Even the fascinating murder trial I saw a couple of months ago was fascinating for a small portion of the time, and was for most of the time discussing the exact distance between buildings, showing photos of the street, etc etc.

    12 Angry Men style trials tend to be retried more often than not because the jury fail to reach a decision, so you've completely wasted your time.
  14. Grannyfan

    Grannyfan Active Member

    I've been a registered voter ever since I became 21 but was never called for jury duty until around 10 years ago. Called three times since, all before I retired. The first time I served, I had to give my "salary," which I think was something like $15 a day, to my school district. (I was a teacher.) They changed that policy later. Most days that were scheduled for court we didn't even have to report because the cases were settled. In fact, the last term I served we didn't have to report a single time after the orientation day. I've sat on three juries, and as Jen said, it's surely not like the movies. Everyone I served with took the responsibility very seriously. It's quite sobering when the judge gives those instructions before the jury retires to begin deliberations.
  15. KatieC

    KatieC So peaceful

    The few times I had to be in court were dreadfully boring. And of course it didn't help that I couldn't read a book while sitting there. Disrespectful! But the one that topped the cake was when the crown attorney (that doesn't look like it's spelled right) and the defense attorney both agreed on 6 months for the scumbag, and the judge gave him three. I think maybe you have to be interested to go - otherwise it's like being at a baseball game when you don't understand and don't want to.
  16. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

    My dad got jury duty notices about every three years from the time I was 12 until I was 21. He did have to serve on a murder trial. The man was convicted but was determined to be mentally ill - like duh if you kill someone wouldn't you have some crazy mixed up mental status?. The jury deliberated on death penalty or insanity with going to a lock facility for the rest of his life. The jury went with locked mental facility for life. He wrote threatening letters to the members of the jury and made threats of killing them and their family. He was released when I was in college :eek: my dad was extremely nervous for me. And the man did kill again - this time he received life imprisonment with no parole.
    The three cases I sat on - a robbery of $390.00 which was something like $45.00 over felony charges and required a trial. Another was a copyright issue in civil court and the other one was a civil suit suing the truck driver who killed their daughter for pain and suffering for the daughter who may have lived for 10 minutes in a crushed car and for loss of companionship for the mother. Like a multi-million dollar settlement. It was so hard to listen to the reports of the death from police officers and rescue squad and then to listen to the mother. But then the truck driver looked haunted and like he never slept since the accident
  17. Matryeshka

    Matryeshka Well-Known Member

    I don't know where you're getting your jury knowledge from, but in most states, it's not about time or willingness. Doesn't matter if you have a job or family or not, if you're selected for jury duty, you have to serve. Most people are not willing to do jury duty; they're just more willing to go to jury duty than to jail. Most people do whatever they can to get out of jury duty because they have lives. There are few exceptions, and it's actually not as easy to get out of jury duty as people think it is.

    I've served on a jury before--NO ONE wanted to be there....except for the retirees. The retirees were all about extending the trial as long as possible because they don't have jobs or as many familial obligations. This costs the courts more money. We had an open-and-shut domestic abuse case that should have been about fifteen minutes that somehow stretched into four hours (one of the retirees had heard that if we were there till noon, they'd pay for lunch, and he wanted his free lunch. This did not make the mommies and the nurse in the group happy.).

    I served because I wanted to, but was quickly disappointed--Law and Order LIED to me. It was boring. If I get called again, trust me, unless it's a federal case, I will do whatever I can to get out of it.
  18. mmscfdcsu

    mmscfdcsu Skating Pairs with Drew

    My best experience was on a case in Federal Court. It involved a bunch of Pro athletes and their sports agent who bought millions of dollars of swampland in Florida. :rofl: We had way too much fun on that one. :lol:
  19. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I always thought that serving on a jury would be cool, but I've always been called to the downtown LA courthouse and it takes like, an hour to get there because of traffic. Not to mention another 20 minutes for walking from the provided parking lot. And I am NOT a morning person! Yes I know I'm an adult now and I should suck it up, but that's just another reason why I prefer going to work where my hours are flexible rather than sitting on a jury! :lol:
  20. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

    A friend served in Beverly Hills Municipal Court years ago -- in five days he served on three trials, one on solicitation (male soliciting female who happened to be a vice cop), one prostitution male on male, and one pandering case. That's pretty much the trifecta. (BH is adjacent to Hollywood, and this was a pretty wild time.)

    The real bummer in LA County is that if you live in the county you can be called to jury duty anywhere in the county, at any level of court. Not fun at all if you live in Malibu or Pacific Palisades and get called to Downey. (They must make an exception for Catalina Island -- I wonder how that works, and if the only people who get called to serve on their juries are local residents?)

    Colorado's system is 1 day or 1 trial, and people seem to like that pretty well. Jurors are also encouraged to take notes (pads are provided) and may compile questions to be considered by the judge, who can then choose to ask them of the witnesses or not.
  21. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple

    In the jury pool, during voir dire, it was clear that some people were doing their best to get out of jury duty. But those of us that were chosen, while not thrilled, took the case and our duty very seriously. And even though it was a murder case, yes, some of it was very boring, but so what? We were deciding if a guy was going to jail for at least 20 years. I sucked it up and paid attention. It's part of being a citizen.
  22. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

    I see it as a small price to pay for the freedom we have. Rather than having a dictator type governnment who decides if you are not guillty or guilty, we have the opportunity to be heard by a body of our peers. If I was charged with something, I hope to have a fair and honest jury. But I see serving on a jury a small price to pay
  23. Kruss

    Kruss Not Auto-Tuned

    I've been called twice. The first time I sat reading a book all day - they never called me in.

    The second time was last winter. It was a criminal case (unlawful discharge of a weapon near a school). I was among the first group to be called in, and during questioning of other potential jurors, I pretty much figured out I'd be dismissed. Three of the main questions were: Do you believe the police can make mistakes and possibly arrest the wrong person? Do you know any law enforcement officials? If so, do they discuss their cases with you?

    Everyone's answer to #1 was "yes, everyone can make a mistake". Everyone who answered yes to knowing a law enforcement official then stated the person they know never discusses their cases.

    When they came to my group for questioning, I saw the two defense attorneys looking at the juror information sheets, whispering to each other and pointing at me. I knew I was going to be dismissed even before I was asked any questions.

    My responses were, yes, anyone can make a mistake, yes, I know law officials (cousin is a cop, I work in a law office with 42 attorneys), and yes, the people I know discuss their cases all the time, and I even find it very interesting.

    Dismissed. I didn't lie, I'm just the one who told the truth about law officials discussing their cases.

    I work around the law everyday and have for over 23 years. Yet it's interesting that even though I knew I would remain impartial and fair had I been chosen, it was surprising to me that I'd already started forming opinions of the defendant based on his attorneys' questions. Which I knew I'd have to disregard said opinions if I was to be fair during the trial. But of course, I never got the chance. I was driving home by 10:30 that morning.
  24. Bostonfan

    Bostonfan Well-Known Member

    My sister has a total of 2 kids. When she got called for jury duty, the date was on her due date for her first child. She provided doctor's documentation confirming this, and was excused.

    3 years later, she was called again. Coincidentally, she was about 2 weeks away from her due date with her second child. She showed up because she figured she'd only get a quick day long case or be dismissed. However she was called to do a multi-week case. When she pointed out that she would be delivering her child in about 2 weeks, the judge refused to excuse her on the basis that her being pregnant was the "excuse" she used last time to get out of jury duty. She pointed out the fact that this was only her second pregnancy and she wasn't bearing children for the sole purpose of avoiding jury duty - especially when one doesn't know when they'll be called. He refused again and made her part of the jury.

    Sure enough, ten days later in the middle of testimony, her water breaks right in the jury box and they have to stop the proceedings to allow her to go to the hospital. It was quite a spectacle. I imagine the alternate was called in. My BIL and sister were fuming mad! They wrote a letter of complaint against the judge, not that we ever found out if he was censured for his actions.

    ETA: I always appear when called, and wouldn't mind actually being on a jury. I think it would be interesting. But it's never happened yet.
  25. timing

    timing fragrance free

    I've only been called for jury duty once. It was for federal court and was for a five month period. About once a month I'd get a postcard in the mail with a number to call on the evening of a certain date. The number would have a prerecorded message to either report the next day or that the jury draw had been canceled (cases settled before trial). Only once did I have to go in. I was never picked in the initial group of potential jurors. The last case involved someone many of the potential jurors knew and they did not get enough jurors from the first group drawn so they drew again. I was selected in this group but didn't even get questioned as they filled the jury and alternate spots before they got to me.
  26. BaileyCatts

    BaileyCatts Well-Known Member

    I've been called twice, but never served. First in like 1988 I was called for, I think it was some kind of special jury duty, for a specific murder case. We sat there for about 3-4 hours and then they told us the defendant agreed to a plea deal (or something like that) and no trial would take place.

    Second time about 2003, had to go in, fill out the survey form, sat there about 3-4 hours again and entire group was released. I think that was a specific trial again.

    Can you volunteer to be on jury duty? There is a case in my city that is on its 3rd trial (murder case) that I so want to be on the jury for. I am completely impartial on the case too, really can't decide if it was murder or an accident based on what's been reported (apparently neither could the first two juries). I want to hear all the evidence in the case. I would be a good juror for either side. How can I volunteer for that case? :p
  27. Cyn

    Cyn Well-Known Member

    I've been summoned 5 times - 4 in Atlanta and once in the small town where we live.

    Twice (in Atlanta) I've gone through voir dire, and both times disqualified.

    The first was a civil court case involving a car accident in which an elderly man hit a car in which a 19 year-old female was riding. She had suffered a TBI and as a result, the other driver was being sued. She, however, was not wearing her seat belt but had she done so, she would not have suffered the brain injury. At the time of this, it was 3 weeks after my BF had died in an automobile accident in which he would have survived had he been wearing his seatbelt, so I was immediately cut from the jury pool by the plaintiff's counsel.

    The second case I went through voir dire was for a class action lawsuit regarding the raising of property taxes (astronomical) in Fulton County. During voir dire, I had to disclose that my parents were included as part of the class action lawsuit, so needless to say I was not eligible to sit in on that one.

    The other two times I was summoned - I spent one day sitting on my ass, reading a book and avoid being snotted on by the man with some sort of plague sitting next to me in the general waiting area :scream: and hoping to god I didn't catch whatever he had. The other time, summonees were given a phone number to call the night before to find out if our jury pool would have to show up - my group didn't.

    The one time I've been summoned since moving to north Georgia, I showed up, but had a horrid stomach virus and was having to run to the loo to hurl every 20 minutes :yikes: . I was excused, but because I showed up and signed in, I met my jury duty obligation.

    I figure in GA, jury selection must be tied to voter registration. Although I had lived here for well over a year, I hadn't changed the address on my driver's license, but had registered to vote, and within a few months of actually voting in a local election, I was summoned to serve in this county.

    As most people who have served know, most cases are boring and tedious. That being said, after reading Helter Skelter, I willingly go to serve as I would find it interesting to serve on a major criminal case, even if it meant being sequestered.

    Did anyone here ever see the HBO documentary called "Juror #5?" It re-creates Deena Mullen's experience (from her perspective) as one of the jurors from the O.J. Simpson civil trial (it was written and told by Mullen herself). The mini-review linked above gives a good description of this one-hour film and gives the viewer an excellent idea of how draining, trying, and grueling that kind of jury duty can be while at the same time delivering the message of the importance and responsibilities a juror is compelled to adhere to in this civic duty. I used to have it on video tape but left it at someone's house in Seattle back in 2002 :wall: . I've looked for it to order but cannot find it anywhere (double :wall: ).
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2011
  28. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    I've been summoned for jury duty three times.

    The first was about 20 years ago, during a period when I was unemployed/temping and between semesters in grad school, so I could have used the $30/day per diem or whatever it was they paid. But I only went the first day, was called in for jury selection for one trial, not chosen, and then sent home at the end of that day.

    The other times were more recently, about 5 and 1.5 years ago. The first was a civil case involving mediacl fees resulting from a car accident (the plaintiff was not very credible, so we ended up awarding a lot less than she asked for).

    The second was a criminal trial for attempted murder (second degree, as part of a general brawl). The prosecution made a pretty weak circumstantial case but couldn't definitively put the weapon in the hands of the accused. The defense didn't even bother to make a case. Lots of reasonable doubt, so we had to acquit, even though we thought there was a better than 50-50 chance the defendent had done what he was accused of doing. He was very grateful when he heard the verdict.

    Fortunately the victim seemed to be recovering nicely and I hope if the defendent was guilty that he learned his lesson, that everyone involved learned lessons about getting involved in group brawls.
  29. Jot the Dot Dot

    Jot the Dot Dot Headstrong Buzzard

    Because you don't want to face Geraldo Rivera on Court TV!
  30. Quintuple

    Quintuple papillon d'amour

    In theory, I would love to be on a jury of at least one interesting case, just to see how it really works (away from my 7th grade mock trial as a prosecutor). But yeah - the courthouse I'd get called to around here is really hard to get to, and my job (and probably most jobs) doesn't really let one miss work all that easily.

    The one time I had to actually sit in court and wait to be selected was during finals time in college. I actually went to the courthouse in advance to tell them, and they said I could defer, but not be excused. I didn't realize that the person telling me I could defer for 6 months, even though I wouldn't be living there, was just stating fact - I could have just deferred and then not been summoned. Most other students completely ignored the summons.

    It was the most boring civil trial ever - one angry neighbor wanted to sue another neighbor because part of their ritzy seaside cliff yard tumbled into the sea and therefore compromised the property value, or something.

    One time my friend was on the CRAZIEST trial ever - Uncle Pookie was fixing developmentally-disabled nephew Boochie's bike in the driveway when a car drove up and SHOT HIM IN THE FACE. Boochie was the only witness, but it was really hard to get coherent testimony out of him! During the selection process, my friend said, "Err, I'm a chemist, so yes, I have knowledge of forensics." Down the row, "Err, I'm a German physicist." Both of them were selected. Later they were taken by the bailiff to the most amazing gingerbread house soul food restaurant ever, which is now defunct.