Students: Jury duty

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by TheMonarch, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. TheMonarch macrumors 65816


    May 6, 2005
    Bay Area
    Great, I have jury duty the upcoming month (18, first one out of all my friends :rolleyes: ). I'm a full time college student and I'm taking summer classes. And I'm really not looking forward to messing up my schedule and making up a bunch of work.

    Also, while I do have my license, I don't own a car yet. So this os going to be a pain.

    Any students here have served their jury duty lately? How was it? How did you cope with jury duty and school? How long did it take? Interesting? boring?

    Input from non-students welcome :)
  2. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Typical jury duty routine (I'm heading in on 7/11 myself):

    Check in at 8:00, sit on your rear end for 4 hours or so. Lunch. Come back from lunch to be dismissed.

    In California and other places jury duty is one case or one day per year. If you sit there the whole day, they can't call you until the following year. If you do actually sit on a panel, and get picked as a juror, you'll have to complete the trial which could be a few hours to a couple of days. Unless OJ or Michael Jackson have been in your neck of the woods, you'll be fine.

  3. j26 macrumors 65832


    Mar 30, 2005
    Dunno about the US, but in Ireland full time students are allowed claim an exemption from jury duty by law (interferes with study). Try writing to the organisation that issued you the notice and see if you can get excused. You don't want to end up on a 4 week commercial fraud trial, do you?
  4. n8236 macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2006
    It's ez to have it postponed. The questionairre that comes w/ the court summons has a section for students, just fill it out accordingly and it'll push ur date till that time (which is when you are supposedly free).
  5. ejb190 macrumors 65816


    I have been called up for jury duty three or four times, but I have never had to go in. Every time the case was settled out of court before jury selection. And while I was in college (1 1/2 hours from home) it was easy to be put on hold because of the distance. It's not that big of a deal.
  6. celebrian23 macrumors 65816


    Mar 12, 2006
    Under the sun
    Almost all the college students I know get it postponed for summer- but obvioously that won't work for you. My mom got called quite recently. She said it was actually a ton of fun, getting to know the other jurors. She was usually home by 2 or 3pm at the latest as she was in the court that just handles traffic (I forget the name) offenses and small stuff like that so your chances of being called for a case are small in that court.
  7. Timepass macrumors 65816

    Jan 4, 2005
    umm you know as a student that can get you examped from jury duty. I appently been a few times now. Every time my parents have forge my signature for me and mark I am a student which is an examptoin from it. Like the person said about students are allowed to op out of it because it interfers with the studies. It one of the many exapetions from it.

    Even out side of that it pretty easy to get out of it. I have a feeling I never being doing it because I can claim interferce a lot because of the carreer I am going into I will not be reallisity able to get off work to do jury duty and they allow you get out on that case. if you are out of town at that time normally they let you off because of how it interfers with stuff.

    But you are a student that is means you dont have to do it. just turn in the paper work stating that and be done with it.

    My parents have been called up before and every time they are either thown out of the pool or not taken in. Last time my dad was called up the jugde walk in and says who here is an engineer. My dad was among the ones who raise his hand. Then the judge said you all may leave. The case delt with the oil companies be sued and all that area almost every engineer works for the engery industry so they where removed on that ground. if it wasnt the judge it was the prosicusion who ask that question and removed them under there right to remove a certain number under no question ask policy.
  8. Tanglewood macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I served last summer. Being a student in California doesn't get you off scot free. You can postpone it to a better time and even then you can postpone the postponed time to a better time. Eventually you'll have to go. I went and was excused after half a hour because I marked that my company does not reimburse for jury duty and it would be a financial hardship.

    Besides summer school doesn't go all summer. I suggest getting out of the way before the fall term starts.
  9. Timepass macrumors 65816

    Jan 4, 2005

    an another reason why I like Texas better. Mark the expention and thats the end of it. Only differnce is you name is not removed from the system for X number of months when you go in and server. So you could easily be called up again the the next round.

    Mind you in the state of Texas most people on in the system twice. That or they just use both methods to get people in and a lot of states use the same meathod to form there data base of names.

    It be voter regestration and you DL or id card. Any of those will get you entered into a states system for calling jury duty.

    Then again all my call for it are for courts that are 600 miles away and the 600miles away is general another very good reason to stay out of it.
  10. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    Oh boy...jury duty stories. I've never had to serve, but I do have a good one to share. Apologies in advance for the long post.

    I was called for jury duty in San Francisco for the week of September 10, 2001. I called in on Sunday night and found out that I wasn't in the group to report on Monday. I called in again on Monday night to find out that I was supposed to arrive for duty at 9 AM on Tuesday, September 11. So I wake up the next morning at 7:30 (much earlier than usual for me at that time in my life), flip on the TV as I get breakfast ready, and see the World Trade Center in ruins. The country was of course in chaos as nobody yet knew the extent of the plot and whether there was more coming. There were runners on the bottom of the screen talking about government offices being closed, but I didn't see anything about the courts where I was headed.

    So I hopped in my car (once I picked my jaw up off the floor, I was too late to take public transit and still make it) and drove down to the courts building on McAllister in the heart of SF's Civic Center. I get as far as Van Ness and it's total gridlock...streets closed off, cops everywhere, cars not knowing where to go. I finally found a traffic cop who told me that the courts were shut down, so I spent the next hour and a half trying to get home.

    I believe that the courts were also closed the next day, but did have to report on Thursday the 13th. Once everyone was assembled in the waiting room, the judge arrived and informed us that the case we were being selected for was an industrial asbestos-related case that was expected to last at least six months, and possibly as long as a year. :eek: Fortunately, I was able to plead my case as a grad student who would essentially be adding any research time missed due to jury duty service onto my already-long grad student career and was named in the very first group of excusees ("excusees"...not a word, but it should be).

    My second jury duty summons came three weeks after I had moved out of San Francisco in 2004, so I got out of that one as well.
  11. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    I've heard the trick to jury duty is to come off as sexist and racist in the interview....although I guess that wouldn't work if the defendant was the same sex and race as you.
  12. paleck macrumors 6502a


    Apr 11, 2005
    with the Tequila!
    Ya know I've never been called for jury duty. :p

    * runs off to find some wood to knock on *
  13. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040


    Nov 5, 2002
    I have a few extended family members who work in the legal system. Before my first jury summons I asked them what was a commong question about how to not get picked.

    One of my uncle's told me that he had worked for one judge, that often made people he thought were scamming him report to court for everyday of the trial, even though they weren't on the jury.

    On that same token, If you've ever had a violent crime in your family (not a made up one), most people would shy away from picking you.
  14. njmac macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    I just got back from Jury Duty. I thought about trying to get out of it. My mom had the kids so I went and could've said I don't have a sitter from my kids and been excused but I thought it would be the right thing to do to stay.

    Nobody wants to do Jury Duty. It is inconvenient and doesnt' pay but the jury is the heart of our judicial system. Am I really more important than the next person that I'm too good for Jury Duty? Don't get me wrong, if I really didn't have child care for my kids, I would have had to say I couldn't do it. If my husband were called, he would have to say no. It would be a huge financial burden for us so when he gets called he'll have to claim hardship.

    I enjoyed it. I met some people from my community who were really interesting. The case was civil and it feels kind of strange to have the power to award someone $$ or take it away.
  15. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    Argh. So annoying, I was just summoned for mid-late May. They didn't take two separate official documents from my school showing that I would be in class, taking final exams. :rolleyes:

    Finally, they responded by postponing the week to June. I called in everyday and luckily, was never told to actually go to court. Still a bit nervewracking though. :eek:

    My mom gets out of jury duty because she goes in and says that her English isn't great... which is sort of true. I do doubt she'd get everything an attorney might say, heck, I doubt I'd get it, even. :eek:
  16. beatzfreak macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2006
    Here in NYC, you have to report 3 days.

    I served last Feb.; between jobs at the time.

    If you don't get picked, you have go back and wait. When they called my name, and the case was explained, I tried to get picked. Did not want to sit on a wooden bench for 3 days.

    It was a drug bust, kind of interesting. Buying from an undercover.
    Only 2 1/2 days and I got paid $60. per day.

    Oh yeah and the new court house in Brooklyn was so amazing. Our jury room on the 20th floor had a great view of Manhattan and floor to ceiling windows.
  17. Blackheart macrumors 6502a


    Mar 13, 2004
    Other people may have ethical issues with this... but it's my suggestion. Appear as a prejudicial hard-ass during selection.
  18. njmac macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Just out of curiosity, do you thing the judicial system needs to be revamped so that it doesn't inconvenience anyone?

    FWIW, I'm not bating you, I'm genuinely curious if people (not just you) feel that since almost no one wants to serve and there are obvious ways of getting out of service, should it be changed to hand power over to the judge or determined in some other way?
  19. nbs2 macrumors 68030


    Mar 31, 2004
    A geographical oddity
    Jury duty is such a strange thing - all these people trying to get out of service, and I would love to sit on a jury. I really don't even care so much for the topic, I just want to see what makes a jury fascinating...
  20. njmac macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    haha, well I'll get back to you tomorrow after our deliberations. We hear one more expert witness for the defence in the morning then closing arguments. We had quite a bit of time today together as a jury but we were trying so hard to talk about anything but the case because we were instructed not to. One of the jurors wanted to talk about the people in the court room not related to the case but we figured that might not be a great idea :rolleyes:
  21. Blackheart macrumors 6502a


    Mar 13, 2004
    I'm not sure what a good solution to the problem is. I feel that trial by peers is a good idea but in practice, it truly IS an inconvenience. The wee amount that the courts pay you for your services doesn't help pay bills, nor does it compensate a student for the large sum of money they've already paid for classes of which they'll be forced to miss. Unfortunately, this leaves only the jobless or people who are paid very little, to become jurors -- I hardly think that this is a trial by peers in all cases (or even a majority).

    I'm open to new ideas.
  22. erickkoch macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2003
    Me too. I did a week of jury duty years ago when I was unemployed. It gave me something to do for a week. I served on a jury for a murder trial. We found him guilty. I was fascinated by the whole process, evidence, the arguments between the prosecuter and defence, witness testimony, I had a good time.
  23. timerollson macrumors 65816

    Dec 4, 2005
    I was called for jury duty, but I got out of it. Jury duty was being held during school. Negative. I'm an out-of-state student, so I told them my situation and was able to get out of it.

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