# Jury duty

#### honestrosewater

Gold Member
I just received a summons for jury service. Anyone here ever served on a jury? I guess I'll be going, but I just realized how little I know about the whole process and am a bit anxious.

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#### Pengwuino

Gold Member
Dont worry, you probably wont get selected to be on the jury. haha someone i knew said they get out of jury duty by saying they hate black people. Guess it gets em every time.

#### dextercioby

Homework Helper
You mean they hate coal workers, right ? :uhh:

Rose, make sure you don't care at all about the rights and welfare of the accused person(s).

Daniel.

#### honestrosewater

Gold Member
Gee, I'm glad you guys are taking this seriously. Does anyone know if the jury pool has a diving board?

#### hypatia

I've served on a few jurys. Its not something I would want to do everyday, but it was interesting.
One was a injury from a car crash, where a custom mounted steering wheel basically fell off in the guys hands, he sued the company that installed it. He lost, they installed it correctly. It was defective parts in the manufacturing of it...he needed to sue the company that made it.
Another one was driving while impaired. He tested positive for cocaine, and didn't think it should count towards his previous 2 drunk driving convictions. He lost.
Just answer the jury questions honestly, its really a 50/50 chance you will be picked.

#### Averagesupernova

Gold Member
I was on an attempted murder case. We fried him.

#### Astronuc

Staff Emeritus
honestrosewater said:
I just received a summons for jury service. Anyone here ever served on a jury? I guess I'll be going, but I just realized how little I know about the whole process and am a bit anxious.
My wife and some colleagues have served. Most of the time, one simply shows up on a given day for a limited time period, e.g. one week. Then one is not called for some time - e.g. 3-5 years.

The experience will depend on the type of jury and trial. One might be called for a civil case or a criminal case, local jury or Grand Jury.

Some civil cases last hours or days. Criminal cases could last weeks or months.

Some ways to be diqualified -

Being a lawyer, police officer, or someone in the justice system usually disqualifies, and sometimes being a scientist or engineer;

Knowing someone or having been involved in a trial or lawsuit, especially if the case was of similar nature to be considered by the prospective for which one is called.

#### Berislav

and sometimes being a scientist or engineer;
Why would they do that?

#### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Berislav said:
Why would they do that?
I'm guessing it means you might know more than their professional "expert" witnesses, so might come to a decision based on your own knowledge rather than the evidence presented.

I find it odd how some people get called for jury duty every few years, and others almost never.

#### hypatia

In my state its connected with voteing. If you vote, you will be called to serve jury.

#### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
hypatia said:
In my state its connected with voteing. If you vote, you will be called to serve jury.
I think it's done that way most places; they use the voter registration list.

#### dextercioby

Homework Helper
Unless it's compulsory (i hope not), do you at least get paid for it...? In that case, i'd do it happily.

Daniel.

#### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
dextercioby said:
Unless it's compulsory (i hope not), do you at least get paid for it...? In that case, i'd do it happily.

Daniel.
If you get called for it, it is compulsory, unless you have a really special circumstance that gets you an exemption for undue hardship if you served (i.e., some terrible illness that would make it difficult for you to sit in a jury box for many hours a day and be able to pay attention; I think teachers can get exemptions during the school year; if you're the only one at your company who can perform some critical job that the company would go under without you there). No payment, it's considered your civic duty. I think they give you some paltry amount, like $5/day, so you can buy lunch, not that you can buy lunch for$5 anywhere near a courthouse.

#### brewnog

Gold Member
UK rules:

Those ineligible for Jury Duty
- The judiciary
- Those concerned with the administration of justice (barristers, solicitors, policemen etc)
- The clergy
- The mentally ill

Those disqualified from Jury Duty
- Any person sentenced to more than 5 years in prison
- Any person who has served time in prison in the last 10 years
- Any person who has been on probation in the last 10 years
- Any person on bail

Those excused from Jury Duty
- Persons over the age of 65
- Members or Officers of Parliament
- European MPs
- Welsh Assembly Ministers
- Serving members of HM forces
- Registered practicing doctors, nurses, midwives, vets and pharmacists
- Those practicing religious beliefs which are incompatible with service

A person may also be excused if they have served within the previous two years.
Persons falling into the 'excused' category are not exempt from the obligation to serve until they are formally excused.

#### hypatia

If you get the notice to serve here, and you don't show up, they put a bench warrant out for your arrest. And the next time you get pulled over for a traffic stop, they will haul you to jail. Then you appear before the judge you skipped out on, and try to explain your actions.
We get paid 23 dollars a day, plus a parking pass.{michigan}

#### Astronuc

Staff Emeritus
Berislav said:
Why would they do that?
Re: Scientist or engineer - most lawyers do not want someone with a strong analytical mind. Lawyers afterall are trying to influence a person, particularly pulling at emotions. Logic gets in the way. Hence the system is often less than just - IMO.

The state in which I reside uses, property registration, voting lists, driver's license, and tax rolls. So I get several summonses even though I repeatedly remind them that I am not elligible - but not because of anything criminal.

#### Pengwuino

Gold Member
I think in CA you get compensated 1:1 for wages lost at work. And teachers do get jury duty here because i remember in .... senior year in HS that our english teacher got called for jury duty haha... gold...

#### Janus

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
I served once about 20 yrs ago. A lot depends on the state you live in, but here is what happened then

You reported to a jury pool(no diving board) room, where you sat until your name is called. (If your name is never called, you could stay in the jury pool for your entire service term, so if this is how they do it where you are, bring something to do, or something to read). If they call your name, they will send you, along with the others who names are called to a court room. They will then call 12 or 6 names (depending on the type of trial) frrm that group who go sit in the jury box. The attorneys ask them questions and can either reject or accept the Juror (each attorney gets a certain number of rejections) If a juror is rejected, they call a new name to replace them. Once they agree on a jury, everyone not chosen is sent back to the jury pool to wait again. My term was for two weeks and during that time I served on two trials (one criminal and one traffic).

If you get chosen for a jury, you will report to the jury room off the court room for the trial every morning for the duration of the the trial. If this looks to be a long trial, bring something to read or do, you might end up spending a lot of time in that jury room (and you won't be allowed to discuss the trial amongst yourselves.

In the criminal trial(drug case) I served on, there were three defendants, each with his own lawyer. Every time one of them objected, they would file us out of the court room so that they could discuss it.

It was an interesting experience but not one would like to repeat under the circumstances I was under. My employer at the time gave you paid jury duty, but subtracted any pay you got from the court from your pay. They also had a policy that any day you were released before noon, you were to report for the remainder of your shift. The problem was that I worked a swing shift, and the "powers that be" decided that in that case "noon" meant "before half of your shift was over" Since that was at 7:00 pm and we were always let go for the day around 5:00 pm, they expected me to come in and finish the last half my shift every day.
It was an hour drive to work, so I had barely time to get home, change clothes, get a bite to eat, and take off to work. I got off at 11:30, which, with a hour drive, got me home at 12:30 am. I would plop into bed in order to get up at 6:30 am, so I could shower, dress, eat breakfast and get to jury duty by 8:00 am.

#### honestrosewater

Gold Member
Thanks for the info. I've been distracted with Hurricane Dennis and haven't checked on anything much yet. I'm in Florida, BTW.
I wonder if I would be excused for having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. My anxiety about serving stems from my OCD. A lot of normal, everyday functioning kind of things are very difficult, if not practically impossible, for me to do. I'm also worried- and really can't avoid being worried- about having an attack during the trial, if selected. I'll check out their website to see if I could be rather automatically excused. I haven't been diagnosed by a professional, and the summons mentions needing a doctor's note for those "physically unable to serve". Maybe I'll end up having to see a professional.
I'd otherwise be more than willing to serve, and I think it would be a valuable experience. I might be able to manage if I knew almost everything that would happen. So I'll check out the website, and see how much information I can get. Thanks again.

#### Pengwuino

Gold Member
Ah the Defense would probably love an OCD because you'd go nuts over one piece of evidence and create a bunch of doubt :D

#### honestrosewater

Gold Member
Pengwuino said:
Ah the Defense would probably love an OCD because you'd go nuts over one piece of evidence and create a bunch of doubt :D
Your compassion and knowledge of the disorder is amazing. (You are joking, right?)

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