Failure to appear for jury duty. Bah.

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by wbarnhill, Sep 28, 2007.

  1. wbarnhill

    wbarnhill Final Approach

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    The system has finally smacked me around. Today I got a jury summons dated July 31, 2007 for a court date on August 23, 2007. The address on the summons was incorrect, and since I have forwarding on my old address, it made it to me... albeit 2 months late.

    For the record, both my drivers license and my voter registration card state my new address (and have since May), so I'm wondering where they got their information from.

    Looks like I get to take personal time on Monday to sort this out.
     
  2. Sleek-Jet

    Sleek-Jet Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I had the same thing happen, got the jury summons one week after the date.

    I called the court house, told them what happened, and they rescheduled me for a later date.

    Called the number the night before, and my jury pool had been called off. :D
     
  3. wbarnhill

    wbarnhill Final Approach

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    I'm sure I'll just get rescheduled after I talk to someone, but that's nothing compared to 30 days or 1000$ fine. heh.
     
  4. Obi Heed Kenobi

    Obi Heed Kenobi Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Depending on how nice your local jury commissioner is, it might just take a phone call. But it shouldn't take more than a letter.

    In either case, DO NOT FAIL to ask the person to check to see if a bench warrant was issued and, if so, ask them to cancel it - you don't want to get pulled over for speeding one day and end up in shackles for something that has been resolved.

    As far as where the information came from, jury pools are generally pulled from: 1) license info; 2) voter info; and 3) income tax info. So, have you told your employer about your change in address? Even if so, that change might not have made it through the state treasurer's office yet, so maybe that's what happenned.
     
  5. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Bet a phone call, and a good attitude, will solve the problem.

    And good on ya' for not trying to duck jury service- the jury system works amazingly well, but requires reasonable participation to be truly effective.
     
  6. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Heck, I'm still waiting to actually make it on a jury! I've only been scheduled to appear twice, and wasn't picked either time. I actually WANT to serve! (As long as it's not a long, protracted circus like the OJ trial!)
     
  7. ScottM

    ScottM Taxi to Parking

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    Me too! I think that serving on a jury is an excellent way to serve one's country. Since very few of us actually serve in the military and even fewer serve in an elected office this is one way in which all citizens can help their country.


    William, it will hopefully not be a big deal. When I moved to where I am now from Cook County I got a summons a couple of weeks later from Cook county for jury duty. I called and told them I no longer lived in the county and was now in McHenry county. They wanted me to submit an affidavit of residence along with copies of utility bills. I just decided it was easier to show up at court. I did and when they called me up asked if the address on the summons was correct. I told them 'no' and gave them my new address.

    They then proceeded to tell me that I cannot serve on a jury in Cook county if I no longer lived in Cook county and that I was excused. BTW they never even asked to see my driver's license to prove where I did live. Go figure.
     
  8. Anymouse

    Anymouse Pattern Altitude

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    Most will think I'm weird, but I've always wanted to do jury duty at least once. Well my chance finally came up. Unfortunately I had to call from Afghanistan to tell them I probably wouldn't make it. And, oh, I pretty much wouldn't be returning to the state anytime soon.

    BTW... Alaska gets their jury pool from the Permanent Fund applications. If you want the "free" money, you gotta earn it as a citizen.
     
  9. Paul Allen

    Paul Allen Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I've been picked twice and was eliminated both times by the defense lawyer. I followed both trials and both were convicted.

    Six years ago I was picked to serve on the county grand jury for thirteen weeks. It was on Tuesday every week for thirteen weeks. In fact that was where I was on 9/11/2001 at 8:45 AM. In Ohio the county grand jury hears all felony cases and determines if it should go to trial. It was quite an education and I learned about crimes in the county that I never dreamed could happen. The worst cases were the child abuse cases and they really got your blood boiling.
     
  10. Pilawt

    Pilawt En-Route

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    Funny that this thread should come up today. I just now went out to the mailbox and found that my jury summons arrived today.

    I'm a trial attorney and know most of the lawyers in this county, so my chances of actually being seated on a jury are slim at best. Too bad; I'd really like to participate and see the dynamic of the deliberation process at work.
     
  11. Graueradler

    Graueradler Pattern Altitude

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    I have had jury duty so many times that I don't remember how many but my wife has never been called. If I get called again, I think I'll plead extenuating circumstances or something. It has been interesting. Sometimes, it is difficult to believe that the 12 people deliberating in the jury room listened to the same proceedings. I frequently get eliminated when the lawyers find out that I have opinions and seem to be able to think but I have sat on several juries.
     
  12. Obi Heed Kenobi

    Obi Heed Kenobi Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Somewhat interestingly, in Colorado being a lawyer, without more, is not enough to strike for cause. For that matter, most professions, without more than the profession itself, are not enough to strike for cause.
     
  13. AWACSEng

    AWACSEng Line Up and Wait

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    Ah, one of the bennefits of being AD military and keeping my home state of residence. I have been summoned several times in the past 7 years, and due to my service out of state, did not have to do it. My wife is also not a U.S. citizen so she has been excused the 2 times she has been summoned.
     
  14. Sleek-Jet

    Sleek-Jet Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I actually wouldn't mind serving... but the logistics of it **** me off...

    The biggest problem, there is absulutely no parking down around the court complex here in Pima County... none. So you either have to pay out the nose for one of the parking garages 6 blocks from the court house, or take a cab. If you pay for parking it's for the day, so if you get excused, to bad... The county does pay some milage, but not enough to cover the 40 mile round trip, and the parking...

    Not to mention that if you don't get picked... you have to go back to work for the rest of the day... :D
     
  15. AWACSEng

    AWACSEng Line Up and Wait

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    Not to mention the killer (no pun intended) $6/day per diem.
     
  16. docmirror

    docmirror Touchdown! Greaser!

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    None of you will never, ever be picked for an actual jury. I can tell by the punctuation, style and grammer that everyone here(except me) has more than a 67 IQ. That is grounds for disqualification by one side or the other.
     
  17. AWACSEng

    AWACSEng Line Up and Wait

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    Wow, didn't know a grammar test was required to accomplish ones civic duty. I guess texans are the best thing to happen to the English language since the Queen, huh?
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2007
  18. Andy Greever

    Andy Greever Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The last time I was summoned for jury duty, it was a case where the boyfriend claimed his live in girlfriend shot herself twice. WITH A REVOLVER!

    The defense attorney got rid of anyone (including me) with firearms experience.

    I've been called in at least 5 times, and never gotten on a jury. :dunno:
     
  19. Anymouse

    Anymouse Pattern Altitude

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    Read again.

    Based on what I've seen some juries award on lawsuits, I believe it to be the absolute truth!!

    (Oh, and Doc, I've fixed the word "grammar" for you. :p)
     
  20. Obi Heed Kenobi

    Obi Heed Kenobi Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Of the juries I've been involved with, one had a doctor, one had two doctors, another had a pilot, another had two pilots (one of whom was a doctor), another had a lawyer, several had engineers. There have been a few teachers, one PhD, one biologist, and a few other professionals.

    There have been plumbers, electricians, retired soldiers, watermen, and miners.

    Heck, a guy who was homeless showed up for jury duty every time his pool was called. We still haven't figured out how he got the notice, because he had neither mailbox nor phone.

    I suppose the other members were gullible dummies, though. That doesn't follow either, because I've never seen a deadlocked jury.

    So while thinking juries are composed of those of us who are easily led (supposedly astray from the shining path of justice by slimy attorneys), the reality isn't so simple. The purpose of a jury is to provide an unbiased cross-section of the community, and so far, based on my own experiences, it works pretty well at doing that.

    That's not to say that juries can't get confused. That's not to say lawyers don't try and pick those jurors most sympathetic to their causes. That's not to say that issues aren't intentionally clouded. I've seen all of that first-hand, as well. But it's simply not accurate to say that juries are composed of dummies. They UNIFORMLY have done their respective bests to reach the right result.

    If anyone truly believes that jurors are idiots, when you're a criminal defendant, be sure to do the following: 1) let the members of the jury know how you feel about them; and 2) perhaps pause to remember that the jury has a pair of scissors and is eying the thin thread that is your life.

    Item #2 is worth thinking about the next time there's a jury summons in the mailbox.
     
  21. ausrere

    ausrere Pattern Altitude

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    I've always wanted to serve on one. But in five times being called for jury duty..the minute they find out my law enforcement backrground..I'm history. Too bad, I really would like to serve on one, at least once.
     
  22. kevin47881

    kevin47881 Final Approach

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    Time to fly!
    I've been served several times and was "approved" only once. Unfortunately, after 2 full days of testimony, as we were begging to deliberate the parties reached a settlement.

    Oh well, maybe next time.
     
  23. Speed

    Speed Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I don't like it here because I'm a mile on the wrong side of the county line... so the courthouse I report to is a 45minute drive away! Annoying when the Aurora Co courthouse is 10 minutes away.

    The one time I've been called I got dismissed for having LEO training. All LEO's were asked to identify themselves and promptly excused.
     
  24. alaskaflyer

    alaskaflyer Final Approach

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    In Wyoming being law enforcement is an automatic release. Since I lived in Teton County but lived in a portion of Yellowstone that made it almost impossible to get to the county seat without an multi-hour drive (in the winter) I didn't mind this too much. Since then I've never even been mailed a notice from a county or state I've resided in. Guess I've been moving too much.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2007
  25. jshawley

    jshawley Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I may have related this once before.

    Several years back, I was in the pool, and during voir dire I watched, not the young adults, but the older baby boomers display an uncanny knack for getting out of JD. Case was a DUI, with no blood test, nor (IIRC) a breathalyzer test. Of course, in MO, the suspect is allowed to refuse; he does have to relinquish his DL on the spot.

    So, DA asks, "if I don't have a breath/blood test, would you still be able to convict on other evidence and testimony?" An example of pool responses: "Nope; if ya ain't got no proof, ya ain't got no case. Gotta test 'im." Dismissed.

    Defense asks: "My client does not want to get up and testify. You got a problem with that?" Response: "A man oughtta stand up an' speak fer hisself. Ain't gonna speak, he's gotta praughblum." Dismissed.

    Apparently the MO driver's manual no longer explains the refusal loophole. Apparently the fifth amendment was not taught those yahoos.

    I was not a little annoyed. So was the judge who, after calling the pool in again, explained, in no uncertain terms some of the higher nuances of the law, then declared a mis-trial (there weren't even twelve left, much less enough for alternates!).

    As our own good Doctor would say, "Sigh".

    Jim
     
  26. KennyFlys

    KennyFlys Guest

    I'd love to serve on a jury but I'd probably get canned by either side. I can be pretty open minded and unbiased on just about any case but political corruption. But, I could play dumb. :)

    Man, I miss those "hills." I loved everything about the place but the residents and the tourists. :)

    Richard, where have you been hiding??? I've not seen ya around here for a while.
     
  27. alaskaflyer

    alaskaflyer Final Approach

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    Been out of town for almost three weeks for work, first DC, then in the eastern part of this state running a missing person search for another park. Bleh, back home now.
     
  28. docmirror

    docmirror Touchdown! Greaser!

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    When you gots ah IQ off 67 and live in Texas, dats what you gets. See?
     
  29. silver-eagle

    silver-eagle En-Route

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    First time I was called to serve I was 22. To ensure I got picked, I cut my hair, shaved my beard, and wore my best (NEW) suit. Since it was Superior Court for the county, and a special one at that, the case was held some 30 miles from home. We met 4 times a week for 5 weeks and were sequestered overnight during the deliberations. I found the process interesting and the experience well worth the time.
    Of course, it got me out of work.
    I've been called twice since but released without even seeing the inside of the courtroom.
    In general, the clerks are most understanding. A quick call or a proper response and you should be out of it (trouble, that is). Jury duty is a necessary service.
     
  30. flyersfan31

    flyersfan31 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I got called for a grand jury once. The judge said we could expect to serve one or two days a week for about 18months. I'm as patriotic as the next American, but you have to be kidding me!! My hand shot up when they asked if that would be an unreasonable burden for anyone. That cleared about half the room (maybe 60 people). Heck, I didn't know where I would be month to month, as I worked for a consulting company. 18 months of jury duty? No way.
     
  31. KennyFlys

    KennyFlys Guest

    That sounds more like a grand jury with an ongoing review of evidence and testimony.
     
  32. judypilot

    judypilot Line Up and Wait

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    I don't think it's weird to want to serve. I'd like to, too, although I have had to ask a couple of times to be dismissed from the pool because of conflicts with work (major conflicts, not just everyday stuff, like I was supposed to be out of the country). I've probably been called a dozen times or so, though never since I moved to Idaho.

    The furthest I've gotten was to be in the selection pool and watching the selection process. But they filled the panel before they got to me. One of the selected was in law enforcement, so that's not an automatic out everywhere (this was in Cochise County, AZ). It was a child molestation case. Never did hear how it turned out.

    Judy
     
  33. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Me too, but the selection process took 3 days as I remember. I think the jury pool for this case was 600 people which was at least half the population of the county I live in. We didn't all fit in the courthouse so they had to have it in the fairgrounds building. I think they wanted a lot of people to choose from because it was a fairly well publicized domestic violence murder case where the victim was a school bus driver who was known to a lot of people. As I am generally oblivious to what goes on in this little town, I didn't know much about it, so I suspected I had a good chance of being chosen if they had gotten to me. It might have been interesting. I noticed the trial lasted less than week and the guy was convicted in short order.

    The other times I have gotten a summons I have never even had to show up. When I have called the recording the night before it says the equivalent of "never mind, this fulfills you obligation".
     
  34. colomtnflyer

    colomtnflyer Cleared for Takeoff

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    iAM in AK!
    When I was traveling constantly overseas (about 6 months a year) I seemed to get called for jury duty incessantly! After about 10 years of that, I guess they got tired of calling me...

    One summer while teaching flying in KCOS/ El Paso County (my legal residence was in Vail/ Eagle County) I received a fowarded notice of jury duty. I got it the night before I was scheduled back in Eagle Cty for selection. It was after hours, so I called the message service to determine whether I should show up. The phone message said the trial was definitely on, and we had to appear. I cancelled my flights for the next day, and that night I flew(by car) up to the mtns to be there on time.

    At 8am, I reported in with several other people I knew from the area. We sat for an hr, when the judge came in and told us the requisite details of being a jury member. He also told us the defendant was meeting with the prosecutor to arrange a plea bargain. Shortly after, apparently a deal was struck, and the judge went through the legalities of the plea deal. Afterwards, he excused us, with the thanks of the court. He also informed us that we would each receive a check in the amount of $1.76, for jury duty pay.

    So- a day of lost flying, 5 hrs of driving, fuel, and about 5 weeks later I got a check for the aforementioned amount....

    Well, I guess I needed to check on my condo anyways.... ;)
     
  35. Obi Heed Kenobi

    Obi Heed Kenobi Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Here's what might have happened:

    A lot of "career" criminals know how to work the system. This guy probably talked to the DA and said he wanted to plead guilty. When that happens, a jury isn't called in, because everyone thinks it's just going to be 10 minutes of "do you knowingly, willingly, and voluntarily plead guilty" and associated details.

    With the way the courts work, scheduling the "plea" hearing usually takes at least a month after the defendant talks to the DA. So, if he's out on bond, that's at least a month he can run around and play before serving his sentence.

    Here's where working the system comes in. When he shows up at the plea hearing, the defendant says "I've changed my mind and want a jury." There's nothing to prevent a defendant from doing that. Again, with the way the courts work, scheduling the jury trial takes at least a month - so the defendant again gets a reprieve.

    So what some judges have started doing is calling in the jury - the defendant walks into the courtroom thinking he's gonna game the system, and instead thinks "oh sh*t, I really do need to take this plea deal."

    In the 5th District (which includes Eagle), we've managed to largely avoid the above - we usually make the defendant plead guilty immediately after talking to the DA, and he normally doesn't get to retract that later...so there's never the opportunity to work the system. But it does happen occasionally.

    In Maryland, our system is a little different than Colorado's, and it would happen frequently.

    Anyway, I'm sorry for the inconvenience.
     
  36. Ghery

    Ghery Final Approach

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    I've been called 4 times.

    First time was in Colorado about 25 years ago. People kept getting called into different court rooms in attempts to seat a jury for that trial. When they got to the group I was in they excused us as the defendent had plea bargained to a lesser charge. Must have been guilty.

    Next time was in California. Drunk driving case. Defense lawyer was trying to try the case during jury selection. "The procecution will bring up the fact that my client was in a part of town that I'm sure you wouldn't be in (red light district). Can you put this aside and judge the case on the facts?". I forget what the procecutor was saying. This engineer was thinking "I can flowchart this with two questions. 1. Was the defendent in command of a motor vehicle at the time of the incident? Yes, go to question 2. No, he's innocent, let's go home. Question 2. At the time of the incident was the defendant intoxicated? If no, he's innocent, let's go home. If yes, throw the book at him and let's go home". They empaneled the jury before my name was drawn, so I don't know how it turned out.

    Third time was in California. Eviction for non-payment of rent. I was the first person drawn and the first 12 wound up being the jury. Nobody was excused, to the surprise of the judge and both lawyers. Open and shut case. Everybody for the plaintif told the same story, nobody on the defendant's side told the same story. The defendant contradicted himself. I was elected foreman of the jury. We spent more time eating the donuts the judge left for us in the jury room than we did deliberating. We threw the bums out.

    Last time was here in Washington. I don't know what the case was. The judge came in and apologized for wasting our time. The defendant demanded a jury and when he realized they were serious and the trial was going to happen pled guilty (to something, I don't know what). So we were excused and I went back to work.

    In all cases it was worth while. It gives you a good look at how the system works and, based on my limited experience, a feeling that packing a jury would be difficult. Heck, they let this engineer on a jury.
     
  37. Frank Browne

    Frank Browne Final Approach

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    I've been summoned four times and picked twice. Both were DUI cases with one of those including a resisting charge. Both juries saw convictions. (not guilty on the resisting charge though)

    They were great learning experiences.
     
  38. AuntPeggy

    AuntPeggy Final Approach

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    I've been summoned several times. In criminal cases they ask questions about whether family members have had problems with the law. When I answer that my brother died in a shoot-out with law enforcement, I am immediately excused.

    I've been accepted for 2 civil cases, a whiplash in which the jury decided the victim was trying to take advantage of the system and a medical malpractice that was bargained away after a day of testimony.

    I feel it is a privilege to serve on a jury.
     
  39. ScottM

    ScottM Taxi to Parking

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    I told you about my first jury experience, dismissed as I no longer lived in the area.

    My second I did not get chosen either. But while I was sitting in the room waiting to be called the woman on the other side of the table started talking to her husband on her cell phone. From the one side of the conversation I heard terms like 'crash' airplane', 'gear up' and quickly surmised that she was involved in some sort of airplane activity.

    well she is a pilot as is her husband and they own their own plane at a nearby airport. He had just had a nose gear collapse up at Janesville. He was ok, moderate damage to the airplane. The rest of the day though we had a nice chat about planes and flying. Made the day go by easier.
     
  40. wbarnhill

    wbarnhill Final Approach

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    Just an update. A quick call to the Municipal Court Clerk and everything is okee dokee. She got my updated address information and just made sure I knew I'd be put back on the roll. I double checked to make sure there was nothing for me to worry about and she put me on hold, then came back and assured me that everything was okay. All is well. :D