Jury Duty – reasons they might let you go

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A couple of years ago I had jury duty. Now you would think that since I am a police officer’s wife, they would excuse me. Not so much. I showed up and spent two days being questioned by the defense attorney and prosecutor. And I mean REALLY grilled. They finally let me go after they mentally wore me down. I actually felt like I was living the dental scene in “Marathon Man”. Oh, and I had a really bad cold to boot.

Anywhooos, I have once again been called for Jury Duty. I am in Group 8, so I am hoping I won’t have to go. I did the obligatory phone call last night and was told that Groups 5-8 are to call back today between 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. for a possible afternoon appearance. Needless to say, I am hoping I don’t have to go (and please spare me the “it’s your civil duty” speech – I know this).

This morning while driving my 15-year old daughter to school, I was telling her how they grilled me last time, with very personal questions. We began joking around with things that I could say or do that would more than likely make them want to send me (or anyone) home immediately:

  1. Show up in slippers and fleece duck print pajamas. When asked why you are wearing them, simply state that this is your normal nap time and since jury duty is typically a snooze-fest, you wanted to be prepared.
  2. Repeatedly ask to go to the restroom – explain (in detail) that you have explosive diarrhea.
  3. When they ask someone else a question, violently wave your hand in the air saying, “Oooh, I know, I know! Pick meeeee!”.
  4. Eat a big can of baked beans the night before and continually gas ’em (of course, it’s more effective if you look around, stunned, acting like someone else “gassed”.)
  5. Stare at the defense attorney’s footwear and ask him if they sell men’s shoes where he bought those.
  6. Play your zoo and farm games on your iPad and leave the sound turned up really loud. The oinking, mooing and clucking noises are bound to drive them batty. Better yet, don’t let them see your iPad! It will sound like there is a virtual farmyard in the courtroom.
  7. Don’t shower for at least 8 days before your appearance. Let your funk be your friend.
  8. Explain that the reason you are jumping around in your seat is because you have Restless Legs (which I totally do). For added effect, you could accidentally kick the person next to you.
  9. And finally – eat a big tuna fish sandwich (or a few cloves of garlic) before you go in. When they question you, ask them to come closer because you can’t hear them. Answer quickly, while they are still near your mouth. Breath/blow out extra hard when you reply. Make your answer really long (and until you have achieved the desired look of “OMG” on his or her face).

Wish me luck, folks.

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About Author

Jennifer Regan is the owner/editor-in-chief of Eighty MPH Mom, a family-friendly blog. She is active in Brand Ambassadorships and campaigns, and is active in social media, helping brands promote!

49 Comments

  1. My mom got jury duty and was let go because she told them she believed the courts don’t do it right when it comes to a drinking and driving case. my ex-brother in law was arrested and hardly got punished and they asked her if she felt that was wrong and she said yes and they asked her if she felt like all people who drink and drive should be sent to jail and she said yes so they let her go. She said they felt like she wouldnt be fit since her mind was already made up!

      • It’s true; if you were to go in there and say for example that your religious beliefs include supporting or not supporting something like, say, the death penalty 100% of the time, or something like that, they would probably not want you. They want people with open minds who are willing to hear the case and don’t come with a preconceived notion or a bias of any kind.

  2. Haha on your tips 🙂 I get called down for jury duty on average once a year. I hate it, not because I don’t want to do my duty, but because it is the most inefficient process ever and that bugs me (hey, I’m an accountant, we like order!!). I have to drive downtown in traffic, pay $15 bucks to park my car because I don’t want to take the shuttle through sketchy areas from some remote parking lot, then I sit. And wait. And usually by around 3pm they shoo me away without even so much as entering a court room. Such a pain!

    • Oh how I wish people could volunteer!! I guess my problem with it is how much sitting around you do, before you are even picked to be on a jury. For me, I know that ultimately they are not going to choose me because of my husband’s profession, so I have no idea why they keep me around as long as they do. If I knew I had a chance at serving, I might feel differently.

      I hope you get a jury summons soon! 🙂

  3. When I was called for jury duty, I requested all my paperwork from my physicians and presented it the 1st day. Then the judge said: why do you have a walker, I replied look your honor; I’m on disability. I have gastroparesis, ms and leg neurophy to name a few. I can’t sit long, I fall when I stand even if I have my walker. I live in the bathroom or at least spend 4 hrs a day in there since everything I eat goes through me. You have my paperwork that shows all these conditions, If I could serve on jury duty then I could work. He looked through the papers and said OK you’re dismissed, I will give you a 2 years before we contact you again. I turned and hobbled out. It’s so sad that people fake illnesses enough that I had to be questioned like that. I do have a attitude, so I tried not to get mad, but gosh darn he was lucky I even got there.

    • Wow – see, there are medical reasons that would make it very hard to serve! Today when I went in, the judge said they would not excuse people for hardship unless basically you were caring for a bedridden person. The just said that having to go to the bathroom a lot is no excuse, as they take breaks. She also said that back problems are not a valid reason either (again because they let you get up and move around). I disagree with that though – my aunt had SEVERE back problems and couldn’t get comfortable in a chair – ever. Also, those who have issues with their bladder or other, cannot just wait for bathroom breaks. When they have to go, they have to go NOW!

      I don’t know why your judge is going to call you back in 2 years?? If you can’t make it now with your conditions, I doubt you will be able to in 2 years!

  4. Erin from Long Island on

    ALL of you should consider yourselves lucky! I got GRAND jury duty. What’s the difference? You go, everyday, from 10 AM to 5 PM…for 4 weeks! You sit in a room and wait until the prosecuter of some case has evidence to present. there is no rhyme or reason, we had up to 20 open cases at once. saw someone for 5 minutes, waited an hour. Saw some one else with other evidence from another case, waited again…and so on…

  5. Made me laugh!

    HOW do they pick people in the first place Jen, I am 51 and never been called up, and my husband is *cough, a few years younger and never been called. I have a son inlaw who has been called 3 times in the past 5 years. He is only 31. Do they have general information on people such as the fact that I had/have a butt load of kids and also health issues? Guess not as Karen said above. Really, you’d think those higher ups would have at least some background info of people or access to it such as those on disability. Yes, sounds very inefficient. Hope you get your walking papers early.

    • Apparently they use your voter info, your driver’s license and a bunch of other things. It makes no sense to me why some people never get called while others almost every year. It doesn’t seem fair…

  6. The pick people for jury duty on the basis of several things – driver’s licenses, voter registration, property tax roles, etc They used to do it just by driver’s licenses, but that excluded too many people.

    When they grilled you, did they do a ‘sequestered voir dire” (in a room, alone). This is one of my biggest pet peeves about jury duty – I am not into sharing my life story with a bunch of strangers in open court. Fortunately, after years of working for personal injury attorneys, the only time I’ve been called they dumped me like a hot rock.

    Last time I got a jury summons, I moved… (Well, I was going to move anyway, it just worked out nicely)

    • The last time they asked me all of the questions in front of the other jurors, but I really didn’t like it. I wonder if I can request a sequestered voir dire? Because of my husband’s profession, I really do not want our info out there for everyone to hear. I also can’t remember if the defendants are there when they question us? If so, then I definitely don’t want to talk in front everyone!

  7. Thank you for making me laugh! I got a preliminary letter for jury duty and it was for 2012; I filled it all out of course, but I put on there that I was due to have a baby in January, and that if they would be so kind as to not call me during Jan/February, it would be much appreciated. If they do end up calling me, I’ll have to bring both my kids. My husband works, and he’s not going to be compensated if he has to miss work so I can go to jury duty. Think showing up with an infant and three year old might get me sent home? 🙂

    • We can use them when they talk to someone in private in the back room, but the rest of the time they have to be turned off (along with phones of course). I’m so glad we can at least use them while they are taking breaks, as I would be completely bored otherwise lol.

  8. LOL LOL I just loved you list of to do’s to get out~! My father got called all the time and even had to serve a few times but I got called twice and was dismissed. They haven’t called me back in 20+ years I guess they figured I was a lost cause lol.

  9. Thanks for the laugh. It’s not that I mind jury duty so much, although it isn’t one of my favorite things, it’s the phone call thing. I think if you receive your summons you should have to show up, It’s the working your day around a phone call I dislike.

  10. I don’t know if it’s the same in every state, but here in MA, if you get called & you have to take the day and go into the court house (whether you get picked or not), they can’t call you back for 3 more years. If you get called for JD and call the night before and are told you don’t have to report, it’s one year. I am one of the unlucky few that get called back every 3 years. I know some people that have never been called and some people seem to get on a list and get called ALL THE TIME. I’m not sure how exactly to get myself off of that list other than dying, but my grandfather was called atter he died, so I don’t even think that works.

    • LOL on the dying – that doesn’t surprise me that they call people who are no longer with us (and I’m sorry to hear about your grandfather 🙁

      Here in CA it’s every 12 months. Luckily they only call me every 2 or so. Even that is too much, especially when I hear so often of friends that never get called!

    • Don’t talk about it!! LOL – my stomach drops when I see that all too familiar jury summons. I think I might swear or something too as I’m walking back in the house from the mailbox 🙂

  11. I guess I’m a dork – I’ve always wanted to serve on jury duty. The one time I got summoned, it was for a county that I no longer live in! No fair!!!

  12. LOL…great tips!
    Wish they did use volunteers. Both of my retired aunts love serving JD…to them it’s just a social thing. I’m sure other retirees, people interested in the judicial system, authors researching book plots, etc would enjoy it too!

    • I couldn’t agree more. There are so many folks who WANT to do it. I wish they would call on them first, rather than people who are struggling to get by, have a hard time finding childcare, etc.

  13. Haha, yeah, those would make you really popular! i’ve had to do that once and it wasn’t fun….hmm maybe i will use those if i get called again…;)

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