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  • December 10, 2016, 07:18:41 AM

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Author Topic: Jury Duty stories  (Read 6148 times)

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iridaceae

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Re: Jury Duty stories
« Reply #90 on: December 07, 2016, 04:03:27 PM »
A friend of mine served like 3 months on a civil case. A man sued his employer for buying a piece of equipment that failed and disabled him that turned out to be so flawed it was recalled from the market due to injuries. The problem was that while yes, he had been permanently disabled (I don't remember exactly what his injuries were), the purchase was before the recall and, in fact, his accident was one of those that led to the recall. They found for the defendant and felt he should have sued the manufacturer.
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jedikaiti

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Re: Jury Duty stories
« Reply #91 on: December 07, 2016, 04:10:00 PM »
My question: concerns location of jury duty. In my 1 and 2, both locations were far away and difficult to get to, costing more than the stipend (as well as time) that they allow. Why can't we do our civic duty at the closest location available?

I would imagine it's a case of different courts, different court locations. If you're called up by City Court A, they might be in Downtown City, but County Court B, even if it's in City, could be in a whole other area of City, etc. And if you live in City, which is in County, then you could be called to either one, even if City Court A location is much closer to you, and has better transit.

That's my guess.
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Tea Drinker

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Re: Jury Duty stories
« Reply #92 on: December 07, 2016, 05:59:16 PM »
My question: concerns location of jury duty. In my 1 and 2, both locations were far away and difficult to get to, costing more than the stipend (as well as time) that they allow. Why can't we do our civic duty at the closest location available?

I would imagine it's a case of different courts, different court locations. If you're called up by City Court A, they might be in Downtown City, but County Court B, even if it's in City, could be in a whole other area of City, etc. And if you live in City, which is in County, then you could be called to either one, even if City Court A location is much closer to you, and has better transit.

That's my guess.

That's my understanding as well. If there are several court locations, they might need jurors for criminal trials, while you live closer to the courthouse where they hold civil trials. Or you might be called for federal jury duty even though the city or county court is handier. They use separate lists: doing federal jury exempts you from state (city, county) jury duty for the next few years, and vice versa, but the federal court clerks will tell you to hang onto your paperwork in case the state calls you within that time period.

And if you live in Green County, you don't get to serve in the Blue County courthouse, even if you're ten feet from the county line and it would be a lot more convenient. I think this applies even in the parts of New England that don't have county governments, like Connecticut and most of Massachusetts. [The county borders are still used for administrative purposes and by the National Weather Service.]
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Slartibartfast

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Re: Jury Duty stories
« Reply #93 on: December 07, 2016, 06:22:48 PM »
My question: concerns location of jury duty. In my 1 and 2, both locations were far away and difficult to get to, costing more than the stipend (as well as time) that they allow. Why can't we do our civic duty at the closest location available?

I would imagine it's a case of different courts, different court locations. If you're called up by City Court A, they might be in Downtown City, but County Court B, even if it's in City, could be in a whole other area of City, etc. And if you live in City, which is in County, then you could be called to either one, even if City Court A location is much closer to you, and has better transit.

That's my guess.

That's my understanding as well. If there are several court locations, they might need jurors for criminal trials, while you live closer to the courthouse where they hold civil trials. Or you might be called for federal jury duty even though the city or county court is handier. They use separate lists: doing federal jury exempts you from state (city, county) jury duty for the next few years, and vice versa, but the federal court clerks will tell you to hang onto your paperwork in case the state calls you within that time period.

And if you live in Green County, you don't get to serve in the Blue County courthouse, even if you're ten feet from the county line and it would be a lot more convenient. I think this applies even in the parts of New England that don't have county governments, like Connecticut and most of Massachusetts. [The county borders are still used for administrative purposes and by the National Weather Service.]

I suspect the courthouse assignments is also to prevent jury bias based on demographics - trials can sometimes be held in one of multiple locations (especially if there were multiple crimes), so imagine the complications there would be if X courthouse was in an affluent majority-one-race area and Y courthouse was in a much poorer majority-other-race area  :-\ Lawyers would basically get to decide the outcome of the case by successfully getting it tried with the jury who would be more likely to be sympathetic to their client.

Minmom3

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Re: Jury Duty stories
« Reply #94 on: December 07, 2016, 11:07:13 PM »
Plus, if you get called to a Federal jury, that can be over 100 miles from your home, because there aren't that many Federal courts.  I had someone stay on my couch for a week while she was on a jury in San Francisco, because I was living in Oakland, a BART ride away from the court.  She saved a ton of money by staying with me.
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Susiqzer

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Re: Jury Duty stories
« Reply #95 on: December 08, 2016, 01:56:27 PM »
My question: concerns location of jury duty. In my 1 and 2, both locations were far away and difficult to get to, costing more than the stipend (as well as time) that they allow. Why can't we do our civic duty at the closest location available?

I would imagine it's a case of different courts, different court locations. If you're called up by City Court A, they might be in Downtown City, but County Court B, even if it's in City, could be in a whole other area of City, etc. And if you live in City, which is in County, then you could be called to either one, even if City Court A location is much closer to you, and has better transit.

That's my guess.

That's my understanding as well. If there are several court locations, they might need jurors for criminal trials, while you live closer to the courthouse where they hold civil trials. Or you might be called for federal jury duty even though the city or county court is handier. They use separate lists: doing federal jury exempts you from state (city, county) jury duty for the next few years, and vice versa, but the federal court clerks will tell you to hang onto your paperwork in case the state calls you within that time period.

And if you live in Green County, you don't get to serve in the Blue County courthouse, even if you're ten feet from the county line and it would be a lot more convenient. I think this applies even in the parts of New England that don't have county governments, like Connecticut and most of Massachusetts. [The county borders are still used for administrative purposes and by the National Weather Service.]

*Waves from Massachusetts*

Yup, that's true here. When I was selected for jury duty last year -- I sat on the jury and was selected as foreperson, so I got to say "guilty!" -- I was sent to the courthouse in my county that is furthest from my house. There's a courthouse right in my town that I could walk to, another 20 minutes away and one 45 minutes away, all of which I passed on the way to the courthouse 2 hours away. And I had to go for 2 days, so 8 hours of unreimbursed driving (we're paid $50/day only after the 3rd day here).

The argument is that you're less likely to know people on trial when they send us all over the county. They'll let us request a hardship transfer to another courthouse, but I'd already had to move the date of my service because of a pre-planned vacation (Murphy's Law is REAL!) and you can't make more than one change.

Sirius

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Re: Jury Duty stories
« Reply #96 on: December 08, 2016, 06:51:14 PM »
My question: concerns location of jury duty. In my 1 and 2, both locations were far away and difficult to get to, costing more than the stipend (as well as time) that they allow. Why can't we do our civic duty at the closest location available?

I would imagine it's a case of different courts, different court locations. If you're called up by City Court A, they might be in Downtown City, but County Court B, even if it's in City, could be in a whole other area of City, etc. And if you live in City, which is in County, then you could be called to either one, even if City Court A location is much closer to you, and has better transit.

That's my guess.

I think you're right about different courts being in different locations.  My dad was once called for a grand jury.  This was when we lived in California, and he'd have had to go to Sacramento (45 miles away) if he'd had to appear, whereas our local courts were in the same town where we lived.  With all the times I was summoned when I lived in Yolo County, California, I mostly appeared at the county seat, which was 25 miles from where I lived.  Once I had to appear at a different court, which was in a different town 15 miles away.  I didn't like that courtroom - it was located nowhere near anywhere to get anything to eat, and there weren't even vending machines at the courthouse.

learningtofly

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Re: Jury Duty stories
« Reply #97 on: Yesterday at 11:04:57 AM »
Called twice and didn't serve either time.

The first time I was a grad student and I was told to use that as my excuse.  There are a lot of universities in the city I was living in.  Half the rosters are college and grad students.  I knew a judge would not excuse me.  I was called into the juror box and seated.  They reviewed our forms.  It was a straight forward slip and fall case.  I had taken a pre-law class and worked briefly at a law firm.  I was dismissed along with the lawyer sitting next to me.  She left and I went back to the jury room to wait to be formally dismissed.

Second time I had to drive 40 minutes away, yes there was a courthouse 5 minutes away.  My DH got that one.  My boss was not amused I was leaving him with my work for the day. We were told there was one trial that day and we were all going to be considered for the jury.  There couldn't have been more than 40 of us.  It was medical malpractice.  Gentleman was already in the hospital and died of a heart attack.  I told them we were an overly litigious society.  They dismissed me.  It wasn't a line, as at the time people were suing at the drop of a hat.  The case took two years to get to trial. 

I'm waiting for the third time.  I'm overdue.

ggreg7

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Re: Jury Duty stories
« Reply #98 on: Yesterday at 02:45:01 PM »
This isn't my story but is my DH's.

When our children were small my DH was a stay at home dad.  We lived in a fairly rural area at that point and there were some people who had different views on men staying at home with the children than we did. 

My husband got called for jury duty and left our youngest with his mom to go to the courthouse.  When he arrived there was a woman in line in front of him and she was immediately dismissed when she said that she had a small child at home.  My husband got to the front of the line and was told to take a seat.  Before too long they started questioning the potential jurors regarding hardship for serving and when they came to my husband he mentioned the woman who was dismissed and that he was in the same position and why wasn't he dismissed.  The judge (a woman) told him that he wouldn't be dismissed because he was a man.  He very politely asked her if this was "a sexist thing, because a man can't raise a child?" and was immediately dismissed.

It's always bothered me because I firmly believe that if it were me going to the courthouse that day I would have been dismissed along with the woman in line but because he's a guy he wasn't.  We have been blessed that he could stay at home with the kids and I believe that the kids turned out better for it.

FauxFoodist

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Re: Jury Duty stories
« Reply #99 on: Yesterday at 08:52:42 PM »
I didn't like that courtroom - it was located nowhere near anywhere to get anything to eat, and there weren't even vending machines at the courthouse.

The first time I was called for jury duty was 10+ years ago in San Diego.  I lived in the city of Vista so it was for the Vista courthouse.  It was so uneventful I don't remember anything about it, other than I was released early enough I could go to work for the rest of the day but didn't want to so I went home and didn't tell anyone what time I actually was released.

The second time was a few years ago.  I expected a long day ahead of me so I packed my laptop, books, a fully-charged smartphone, some beverages, lunch and snacks.  While there were plenty of dining options close by, I didn't want to have to leave the courthouse for lunch because I was afraid I'd end up losing my seat (there were more individuals there for jury duty than available seats).  At lunchtime, I spotted a seat became available at one of the few tables actually in the office (or whatever it's called -- the closest I got in the morning was a seat out in the main lobby of the building.  I snagged the seat and was able to set up my laptop and plug it into the electrical outlet next to the table.  I was thrilled (I didn't have a back-up charging device at the time so I knew once my phone died and my laptop died, I'd lose my Internet access for the rest of the day).  I was released early on that day as well, although my group ended up being the last one released (the groups weren't released in order, and my group number kept getting skipped over when the groups were being released).  Oh, well!  The sad thing, though, is I got released too late to go back home since I would've had to turn right around and pick up DH from work yet I still had two hours to kill so I ended up going to work for 1.5 hours as I had nothing better to do (I probably had a lot of work to do as I don't know why, otherwise, I'd bother to go in since it was paid time off).

I've always been interested in serving on a grand jury, but the couple of times I'd looked into it, I realized it required much more of a commitment than I could make at this point in my life.

MaryR

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Re: Jury Duty stories
« Reply #100 on: Yesterday at 10:15:43 PM »
I consider jury duty a very important civic right, so I always show up for it. Because I showed up willing to serve, I would get served at least 2 times a year. I knew the drill, I'd show up with snacks and a physical book because no electronic devices were allowed. Sign in, listen to the speech about how important our service was, watch a couple of movies about how important our service was and then be released.

When I got the federal jury summons, I expected that it would work the same way, so I drove 70 miles to the big city to sit around and then be sent home.

I have always wanted to serve on a jury. I thought it would be interesting and educational. I had no idea how much I didn't want to get picked for that trial. The selection process was interesting. They started with 220 people and had people stand up and raise their hands if any of them met any of the exemptions for serving. The next hour was full of people explaining why they couldn't be gone from their homes for a week and a Native American protesting the trial because the Federal Government doesn't have the right to try a member of a sovereign nation for murder.

We got a break and then the rest of us got questioned one by one. I got picked. Another lady who lived over 300 miles away also got picked. We were gobsmacked. When we showed up we expected to get sent home, we hadn't packed for a week stay in a hotel.

We got paid for the mileage to get there and the mileage to get home. The motel was paid and we got a very generous food allowance. Parking was paid. One jury member had taken a bus to get there, so he was given a bus pass so he could get around.

They treated us very well.

The trial was a nightmare. It was one of the most horrible experiences in my live. It was a tale of poverty, ignorance, isolation and alcohol addiction. With pictures of the victim.

I've done my duty, I will use the old and disabled option next time I'm called. While I know that it was my civic duty to serve, its bee over 4 years and I still sometimes dream about the victim. And the blood.