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Jury Duty

 
 
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2004 01:40 pm
What happens if you get a letter saying you have jury duty on a certain date but you don't show up ?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 7,561 • Replies: 32
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Debra Law
 
  2  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2004 01:58 pm
Contempt
An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure....
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NickFun
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2004 02:48 pm
I showed up for jury duty and I was nearly selected to serve on a jury that would have been heard testimony for 2 months. This would have ruined my life. I got out of it by telling the judge in advance that I thought the guy was guilty and I had reasons for not being impartial. I was dismissed. Whew!
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ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2004 02:57 pm
Be proactive. You should call, apologize and request another date to fulfill your civic responsibility.
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2004 03:04 pm
Just go. Chances are really good you will not be called. And, like ebrown says, if you can't make it that day, just call in and tell them and they'll reschedule you.
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BillW
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2004 03:09 pm
Quote:
The cooperation of every citizen is necessary if our system of justice is to function fairly and efficiently. Refusal or failure to appear for jury duty could result in fine, jail term or both, for contempt of court.

http://www.cityofsouthfield.com/46court/juryduty.php


I feel fairly certain this is similar in most jurisdictions.
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2004 03:18 pm
Enforcement probably varies, but I agree that one should do the right thing. I speak as someone who's been on jury duty quite a few times, for some reason, and served on a few juries. It was actually educational and gave me new respect for the system.

But be sure to bring a book or a Gameboy or whatever amuses you (that you can do in a public waiting area).
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BillW
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2004 03:26 pm
This is a much larger thread from a year or so ago dealing with "Jury Duty" if anyone wants to be so adventurous as to find it Wink
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NickFun
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2004 04:04 pm
Hey ebrown. I did Jury duty again two years later for a drunk driving case. It was only one day and we found him not guilty.
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BillW
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2004 04:43 pm
I was called for jury duty two times - both murder trials. After all, I lived in Houston at the time. The murder capital of the world; home of the misdemenor murder.

First one, I served and we found him guilty (as most felonies actually are) and sentenced him to 25 years. The judge was happy with the results. Told us she had offered him 16 years earlier. As he had spent the 1 year til trial in city jail (unable to post bond) - he got a nine year reduction in time.

The second one, they did not select me - I was too far down the list.
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CerealKiller
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2004 06:09 pm
BillW wrote:
Quote:
Refusal or failure to appear for jury duty could result in fine, jail term or both, for contempt of court.

http://www.cityofsouthfield.com/46court/juryduty.php


I feel fairly certain this is similar in most jurisdictions.


Thanks Bill. That was the kind of answer I was looking for and sounds about right. My question was a hypothetical one, as I was curious about the potential punishment for failure to appear.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2004 06:20 pm
As fate would have it, I just returned from answering a jury summons a few hours ago. I was not selected this time, but I served a week on one jury not many years ago. It depends on many circumstances what happens if you don't cooperate. The Bill gave is the law, but sometimes they just let it go. About three months after I served on that long trial, they sent me another summons. I showed up. Several months later they sent me another. This time I ignored it. Enough is enough. They never contacted me. My wife did not drive until three years ago. They used to send her jury summons', but she had no way to get there. Bus service doesn't go out as far as Tomball. When she'd call and tell them that, they told her to be there anyway. When she didn't they always let it drop.
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CerealKiller
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2004 06:37 pm
edgarblythe wrote:
As fate would have it, I just returned from answering a jury summons a few hours ago. I was not selected this time, but I served a week on one jury not many years ago. It depends on many circumstances what happens if you don't cooperate. The Bill gave is the law, but sometimes they just let it go. About three months after I served on that long trial, they sent me another summons. I showed up. Several months later they sent me another. This time I ignored it. Enough is enough. They never contacted me. My wife did not drive until three years ago. They used to send her jury summons', but she had no way to get there. Bus service doesn't go out as far as Tomball. When she'd call and tell them that, they told her to be there anyway. When she didn't they always let it drop.


The government moves slowly. My fear would be they might catch up to you/her ten years from now.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2004 06:44 pm
Ooh, I'm so frightened. Actually, there are so many hundreds of thousands of such cases by now they couldn't possibly get them all.
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CerealKiller
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2004 06:50 pm
edgarblythe wrote:
Ooh, I'm so frightened. Actually, there are so many hundreds of thousands of such cases by now they couldn't possibly get them all.


Ok. But when Ashcroft gives the orders to shoot don't say you weren't warned. Smile Laughing
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2004 06:59 pm
He can't shoot me. I'm a pseudo-pacifist.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jun, 2004 07:31 pm
I get called about every bunch of years . I never make it through voire dire
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BillW
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Jun, 2004 07:01 am
edgar, reminds me of the Houston Judge that got mad because of the limited jury pool he had day in and day out - he simply went down on the street and got candidates. If my memory is correct - that was just last summer; well beyond the Roy Bean days Smile
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Jun, 2004 08:49 am
CerealKiller:According to the Rhode Island Superior Court website:
    The Superior Court has implemented a one day - one trial system in Washington and Newport counties to make more efficient use of jurors' time. This system of requiring petit jurors to serve for either one day or for the duration of one trial permits those not selected to serve on a case to be dismissed at the end of their first day. Similarly, a two day - one trial system has recently been established for Providence/Bristol and Kent Counties. This program is a cost saving measure, and is also beneficial to employers, as employees are able to fulfill their civic obligation with a minimal amount of time away from work.
Source (.pdf file).

Cook County, Illinois also has a one-day/one-trial system. You show up to the courthouse: if you're picked for a jury, you serve on that jury and then you're finished. If you're not chosen that day, then you have fulfilled your jury service and can't be called again for another six months. It's a much better system than many counties which require jurors to serve for longer periods and, in effect, keep them "on call" for the entire time.

On the other hand, (and you need to be aware of this), the one-day/one-trial system runs through a lot of jurors very quickly, so judges are very reluctant to allow anyone to get out of jury duty and much more inclined to punish those who shirk their duty.

My advice (along with practically everyone else here): when you get the notice, show up. If you're chosen, serve.
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Dartagnan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Jun, 2004 03:53 pm
My home county used to require two weeks, and you stayed in the pool two weeks even if you served on a jury during that period. I once sat on three juries in two weeks; they were all, obviously, for fairly minor crimes.

Anyhow, the powers-that-be wised up and now require three days, and if you're on a jury, you get to leave as soon as the trial ends...
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