Post # 1
While I think jury duty is important and would be kind of fun to do, I am self-employed and it would be a hardship. I called the court and they were totally unreasonable and I have jury duty coming up. Anyone know how likely I am to get out of jury duty based on this? I also have other issues (friends of several lawyers, family member hit by drunk driver, etc.) I am afraid if I give all my reasons, I will just look like someone trying to get out of jury duty and they will make it harder.
(I’ve been called one other time, sat there 8 hours and they never even questioned me, but worried I’ll get seated on a trial.)
Post # 3
The only advice I can offer is if you get questioned, to give all the answers that would make you seem like a totally biased jury-member, like “I could never vote guilty if I know he’ll get the death sentence” and what you said about family getting hit by a drunk driver.
Post # 4
I would just go. I had jury duty once and I was there until about noon and it never went to trial. Most cases don’t go to trial. If they do, then the lawyer will ask you questions to see if you qualify and based on your reasons you probably won’t put you in a jury. I don’t think that the money thing is a valid excuse since employers aren’t required to pay you for jury duty until you miss a large amount of time at work, not just one day.
Post # 5
I got out of jury duty by talking about how pro-death penalty I am… Even though I’m not. I couldn’t miss anymore work, I was there for two days!
Post # 6
I was just called for jury duty. What I planned to do if I was questioned (I never actually got questioned, I was just called into the room with other potential jurors) is just say that I didn’t think I would be able to be objective and “put my feelings in a box” which is how the lawyers phrased it. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it ensures that there’s no way you’ll get picked. You probably will have to show up for two days though, although I got out at around 1pm on both days. But you will get paid for both of those days (or at least that’s how it is here in NYC).
Post # 7
I think that the financial hardship jury duty would cause for you as a self-employed person is a legitimate reason that would likely get you excused from jury duty. However, I think you have to show up and tell them that in person. But at most it’ll be one day of your life, right? Hope it works out.
Post # 8
I wish i had advice for you but I’ve gotten seated on a jury every time I’ve had to serve. I must look “objective”.
Post # 9
Okay here’s this honest truth: being self employed will not get you out of jury duty :/ A financial hardship to the court means absolute dire circumstances and they couldn’t care less that you will be losing business by serving jury duty.
Don’t lie when you are being questioned. Be honest. Most cases don’t involve the death penalty so your feelings about that won’t matter. If you say you “can’t be objective” the judge and lawyers will DRILL you about why until you eventually crack.
Im in CA and we got a questionnaire before we went into the courtroom with a bunch of questions to answer “yes” or “no” too. When I got in the box I was asked to state my juror number, age, marital status, and job, and the number of any questions I answered “yes” to. Then the judge asked me about my “yes” questions. The scenarios you listed above often fit into the questions asked so you will be able to state that you know several lawyers, etc.
I’ve had jury duty twice. The first time I sat in the jurors room until 4pm and was never called and got to go home. The second time I was called to a courtroom in the first group, got sat in the jurors box on the first round, and was sworn in as a juror. The trial was a week and a half in the middle of my finals week for school and it sucked but I was able to work it out with my professors/employer.
For what its worth it was a criminal trial where two brothers in a gang were each charged with 1 count of murder and 5 counts of attempted murder and it was really interesting to listen to and deliberate 🙂
ETA: You can always ask for a postponment to a time up to a year later (maybe when business is a little slower?).
Post # 10
I actually wanted jury duty (hated my job at the time) and the case got settled.
Most of the fellow potential jurors who didn’t want to serve didn’t have to be there for more than a day.
I think there are (sadly) enough unemployed people out there who could use the daily pittance that telling the truth about a financial hardship would probably be enough.
Post # 11
No one wants to do jury duty, but it is your duty as an American citizen to do it. It is a hardship for about every person that gets called and everyone has their own justifications as to why they cannot. In my opinion it is the least costful of all the ways to pay for citizenship, especially on this of all weekends, remember those who have fallen to give you the right to sit in judgement of your peers.
Post # 12
I feel for you! I was summoned last year and actually got picked to be on the jury — and I even explained that I am a breastfeeding mother. My daughter was quite young at the time, too!
Quite a few women who were summoned with me gave very frank answers that were totally not what the attorneys wanted to hear. In fact, one girl said,”I’d rather be at home watching Jerry Springer right now,” in response to a question about her hobbies. I know it doesn’t sound like the best advice but if you provide them with answers they don’t want to hear, you’ll most likely be dismissed.
Post # 13
Update: they went through a whole bunch of potential issues, and I had several of them. I think the judge was a little annoyed. BUT, got out, so yea!
Post # 14
Good work. I know jury duty is a civic duty, but it can cause major stress on one’s professional life!