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Quick tip on how NOT to get out of Jury Duty.

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  • Quick tip on how NOT to get out of Jury Duty.

    Yesterday, I had the opportunity to fulfill my civic duty by reporting for jury duty in my local county. During the interview process for the trial to which I was assigned one of the other potential jurors nearly found out the hard way one of the ways not to get out of jury duty. When the judge opened the questioning portion of the process, after they selected the first 19 jurors they were going to question, he asked if anyone had any obligations that would preclude us from being focused on the trial. A "gentleman" sitting in the back row of the jury box raised his hand and mentioned that he would be losing two days of pay (as it was expected that the trial would take two days to complete) and it would make it difficult to pay his mortgage. The judge pointed out that was not the question he asked, yet this individual pressed the issue to the point he started talking over the judge. At which point the judge told this individual, in no uncertain terms, that if the individual talked over over him he would be found in contempt of court and would serve 5 days in jail and would be subject to a $1000 fine.

    He quieted down a bit, but the judge made it clear that he was not going to be sympathetic to this man's plight as everyone else in that room who was part of the jury pool, who had a job, was pretty much in the same situation and he was not going to be given special treatment.

    What makes this even more amazing is that this individual was going to be excused anyway as it turns out he had some prior run-ins with law enforcement when he was popped for a few (possibly more) DUI's where he felt he was treated unfairly.

    So the moral, ladies and gentlemen, if you want to get out of jury duty and not spend time in jail, try not to get into an argument with the presiding judge.

  • #2
    This is super relevant to me right now. I just got back from Jury Duty and found myself excused within minutes of being there. Part of me was relieved, but another part of me was wanting to spend my day going through a court case and learning about the process. I've heard of people looking for ways to get out of Jury Duty, but I've never heard of people looking for tips to NOT get out of Jury Duty. After opening this thread, I realize this is a story, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to create a list of ways to not get sent home, ha ha. I would never feel the need to argue with a judge. I don't know what someone could be thinking when arguing with a judge, since that just sounds like an all around bad idea. Nowadays I could see this landing you with some serious charges, regardless of now aggressive it is. I could see how a judge would get irritated by someone wanting special treatment. At that point, you might as well take your dismissal.
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    • #3
      I may have misworded the headline to the thread, but I was highlighting that arguing with a judge is no way to go about being excused from jury duty. In a way you will get your wish, just not in the way you wanted to as you would wind up in jail for contempt and end up missing more work that you expended had you just been respectful and answered the questions posed without an attitude.

      I was also looking forward to serving, but was excused in the second round by the defense. Of course they never actually state the reason they are dismissing you, but I know with a good amount of certainty that it has to do with a relative of mine having been the victim of a violent crime. This case was for assault and robbery, so not completely akin to what happened to my Uncle, but that did not stop the defense attorney from excusing me.
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      • #4
        Arguing with the judge or any authority figure is usually a mistake regardless of the situation. Your duty to your country comes before paying the bills. Part of the duties of being a citizen in this country, we have very few expectations on us for to have all the privileges of lining in America. He should have kept quiet. I'm always surprised at the lack of respect people have for judges and police officers. There is a sense of entitlement and narcissism that puts their needs over good sense.
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        • #5
          I once served on a jury. After three days of trials and two days of deliberations, we made everyone so nervous that they settled and we were dismissed.

          We had one prospective juror arrive in sweats (like for working out at a gym) and the Judge asked him what he did for a living. He was a Doctor. The judge orderd him to return with a suit and tie or face contempt charges, he should know how to dress for court and had no reason not to be dressed appropriately.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by atpollard View Post
            I once served on a jury. After three days of trials and two days of deliberations, we made everyone so nervous that they settled and we were dismissed.

            We had one prospective juror arrive in sweats (like for working out at a gym) and the Judge asked him what he did for a living. He was a Doctor. The judge orderd him to return with a suit and tie or face contempt charges, he should know how to dress for court and had no reason not to be dressed appropriately.
            Did the judge make him go home right then and change, or only if he was going to actually be selected for the jury?

            I do recall on the summons that it states that business attire is "suggested." I wore jeans and a non-descript t-shirt. Almost wore a hat but was glad I didn't as anyone I saw with a hat was holding it, not wearing it.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Knotical View Post

              Did the judge make him go home right then and change, or only if he was going to actually be selected for the jury?

              I do recall on the summons that it states that business attire is "suggested." I wore jeans and a non-descript t-shirt. Almost wore a hat but was glad I didn't as anyone I saw with a hat was holding it, not wearing it.
              Right then.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by atpollard View Post

                Right then.
                Did he end up serving on that jury, or did he get excused?
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Knotical View Post

                  Did he end up serving on that jury, or did he get excused?
                  I don't know, by the time he got back, I was on a jury.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by atpollard

                    I don't know, by the time he got back, I was on a jury.
                    That would have been the ultimate lesson in humility to get all the way back to the court house just to be ultimately excused.
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