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  #1  
Old 04-13-2010, 10:21 PM
RavenousWolf RavenousWolf is offline
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MS and Jury Duty

I have a summons for jury duty. I already handed my boss a photocopy of the notice to go so everything is fine with that.

While I still have the capability I want to demonstrate to the workplace that nothing is wrong with me. I know that I cannot conceal my MS forever but my profession for the city I live in is fairly small so once word leaks out, I would like it to be generally known that I always had such capabilities even with an awful disease. Naturally, I don't want to go because I don't want to get picked for an OJ Simpson kind of lenghty trial. I have never served on a jury before and I always wanted to when I was younger but I have a new job that I am already on thin ice.

I am just curious how other people dealt with jury duty and the workplace.
  #2  
Old 04-14-2010, 01:56 AM
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Lucia Lucia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RavenousWolf View Post

I am just curious how other people dealt with jury duty and the workplace.
Simple answer, I gave them my notice, told them I couldn't get out of it and went on jury duty, at the appointed date.

My boss was only concerned about any pressing items that needed to be continued. I gave him a status on any ongoing/hot projects and off I went.

Note: Don't start whistling or look happy about it though. You're suppose to look annoyed and p.o.ed about it.

Strangely enough you're suppose to act as if you really want to stay and work but now you have to fill your %^&& duty and go to this @#$$% thing.

I've been on jury duty three times. The first and 3rd time I wasn't picked but the 2nd time I was. The trial lasted two days.

It was interesting to see the legal system at work besides being a real test for my bladder. (You are sitting in that jury box for freakin hours).
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  #3  
Old 04-14-2010, 11:49 AM
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When I first received notice to serve on jury duty, I disclosed on the original form sent to me that I had MS and that it might interfere with my ability to serve.

I got off work for the initial jury selection & sat with many others, but I noticed that my number was not called to answer any question during the entire time. They dismissed me along with others and I went back to work. Simple as that!

I know this will not help you now, but maybe in the future go ahead and disclose to the courts that you have MS. I rather doubt that this personal information could be used against you in your work place.

Many years ago, I didn't give out this disclosure as I didn't realize that I could. I lucked out as it was a drunken boater incident and I let them know that I was a member of MADD. They dismissed me in an instant!

This may not help you, but good luck!
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Old 04-14-2010, 12:02 PM
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WHEN I FIRST RECIEVED MY "INVITATION", I CALLED MY NEURO AND THEY SENT A LETTER TO THE COURTHOUSE, EXPLAINING MY ISSUES WITH MS AND I WAS EXCUSED. I THINK THAT THE JUDGE AND ANYONE ELSE PRESENT HAS TO ABIDE BY CONFIDENTIALITY LAWS.

DAVE
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  #5  
Old 04-14-2010, 12:27 PM
rubberlegs rubberlegs is offline
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if justice is important to you. And you'll get an insight on our Justice or as some call it injustice System.
Its a good education. And in my city if you dont get paid from your job to do it, Or its a hardship you can opt out and they normally let you off the hook a few hours after reporting.
If you dont want to be picked wear a wierd hat like a bright red hat or reindeer antlers or dress very strange.Splash some stinky whisky or vodka on your clothes befor you go in the court house. laugh out loud for no reason and rock back and fourth. any of that kind of stuff will garuntee you dont get picked.
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Old 04-14-2010, 05:24 PM
RavenousWolf RavenousWolf is offline
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After a long while they herded us into the court room and they explained that since they numbered us from the beginning, they would use that numbering of basing who would get picked.

Next, the judge let us break for lunch before the attorneys started questioning the potential jurors to eliminate them.

Since I was number 7 out of 60 people I was wondering how this would work out. The defendant was someone who was being tried for being a drug dealer but we didn't know anything else. Also, buying lunch from the courthouse cafeteria cost me more the measly amount that the court was going to pay me for that day.

The judge said if necessary, a potential juror could tell the bailiff that he or she wanted to ask the judge if such and such would disqualify a potential juror.

The defendant looked like a real dirt bag but I know that you cannot judge a book by its cover, especially now that I have MS. However, since it was a case about drug dealing, the first thing that crossed my mind is to ensure that all of my meds didn't disqualify me or that the defense couldn't use that as a juror being tainted.

I had never served on a jury before so then it looked fairly promising that I could be a juror. And I no longer had second thoughts because I felt that I could be impartial; not judging a book by its cover but if justice was needed, then I would be willing to go the length if a "guilty" verdict was necessary. At lunch, other people who had been jurors before told me that such a criminal case like that wouldn't last long (like another day). So that was a huge relief.

It then took a very long time before the Judge actually returned. Interestingly, when she did sit down she informed us that the defendant went ahead and pleaded guilty and got an 18 year sentence. She then went on to explain that he already had a record which is why he got such a long sentence but that all of us already know that he wouldn't serve that long. However, she also explained that the prospect of a jury being selected is sometimes more than enough for someone who knows that they are guilty to go ahead and try to get whatever deal they can when that last window of time is available.

I also remember other judges explaining the same thing years ago when I had jury duty but this time I got to see it actually happen right in front of me.

So overall, it was an interesting experience and I hope that when it happens again it won't be during a time of me having a new job.
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:35 AM
smcb95 smcb95 is offline
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My doctor gave me a letter stating my condition. I brought it with me to the courthouse. I gave it to the gentleman when he registered me but excused me from the rest of the day. The letter also stated that I cannot sit on a jury - and my understanding is that I am not excused from any jury duty in the future.
  #8  
Old 04-15-2010, 02:14 PM
day1 day1 is offline
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Note from your neuro = excuse for NO jury duty

Mail it in.
  #9  
Old 04-15-2010, 03:17 PM
prgrbasa prgrbasa is offline
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Glad you went. I was summoned for jury duty when I lived in SA and never got picked.
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  #10  
Old 04-17-2010, 04:37 PM
onlyairfare onlyairfare is offline
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I have been summoned many times, but never picked to serve on a jury.

The last few times I was summoned occurred four times in the space of 6 months and one day, as the regulation is that one cannot be called more than once in 6 months. One summons was for federal court in Seattle, 85 miles away, and I was dismissed within a couple of hours, as was everyone else (about 6 of the 50 or so people there) who lived more than 60 or 75 miles away. I think this was because they would have had to pay up to $150 per night for a hotel room for us.

The other 3 times I was called were for the county court. The first time, I went in and explained that I could not guarantee that I would be able to sit 3 hours without a "bathroom break." They told me I should just wear a diaper! Otherwise, if I got up to go to the bathroom, I would be served with a contempt of court notice and be jailed!

I then got a doctor's note stating I was unable to serve due to medical reasons. A month or two later, I was summoned again, and I was feeling like it was retaliatory, so I filed a complaint about being called more than once in six months, and because they already had the documentation that I was medically unable. The summons was withdrawn, but then six months and a day after the first one, I was summoned again! Clearly retaliatory.

I sent an angry letter to the Mayor (who also has MS) and to the head of the County Council, who I had met at a professional function shortly before. A few days after that, I received an apologetic phone call from the official in charge of jury duty, regretting "the error." He promised it wouldn't happen again - and it didn't.

I wouldn't mind serving - my job would have paid my regular salary for up to 2 weeks, and beyond that I could have been excused for financial hardship. But I thought it was wrong to threaten to put me in jail for having MS and bladder issues (or worse). And I really think that calling one citizen to serve up to 8 weeks in the space of six and one-half months is a bit much. I know plenty of people who have never even been summoned once for jury duty.
  #11  
Old 04-17-2010, 07:08 PM
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Seasha Seasha is online now
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Wow, onlyairfare... sorry you had to go thru this ordeal - (a diaper? ) They must have been terribly desperate!!!!
  #12  
Old 04-18-2010, 07:03 AM
onlyairfare onlyairfare is offline
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That jury clerk was real proud of herself: Oh just wear a diaper, that's what we make all the old people do. (I was maybe 55 at the time).

In the federal court in Seattle, they were much more reasonable - they said they gave breaks every 60 - 90 minutes as needed, and did not make any threats to jail me.
  #13  
Old 04-18-2010, 08:28 AM
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Seasha Seasha is online now
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Our mayor, before the current one now, also has MS, but I can't remember his name....hmmmm.... wonder if we're "neighbors"? Also live north of Seattle! Just curious
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