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Old 06-15-2017, 09:30 PM
Anise Anise is offline
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Please, advice on how to get my sister out of jury duty because of financial hardship!!

My sister just got called for jury duty and is almost losing her mind. She’s self employed as a small business owner, 100% responsible for financially supporting the household, and a spouse with health issues who doesn’t work. She would have ZERO income for at least two months. She works seventy hours a week at landscaping and gardening, and is beyond swamped with work. . There is no employer to reimburse her for this. There is nothing. This is insane. This would put and her partner back for years to come and shove them into such a financial hole that I don't even know how long it would take to get out of it. There has to be a way out. There just has to be. She wrote a letter to the judge explaining the situation but hasn't heard anything back yet. If the worst happens... I promised to try to do some research for her. Does anyone have any ideas for what to do in this situation?
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:35 PM
running coach running coach is online now
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Which state?
In California, the notice lays out reasons for excusal.
I would think that the reasons laid out would be enough.

In California, if your excuse/reason is accepted, the court does not respond back.
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:46 PM
Aspenglow Aspenglow is offline
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Originally Posted by running coach View Post
Which state?
In California, the notice lays out reasons for excusal.
I would think that the reasons laid out would be enough.

In California, if your excuse/reason is accepted, the court does not respond back.
Oh, be careful there. The court I worked for in California was not like this. They required you to appear on the first day of jury duty to plead your case for hardship in person. No exceptions. Every county is different.

But take heart, OP. Probably 85% of the time, your sister will be excused before she ever needs to make a single appearance. Usually the prospective jurors are required to call in the night before their service to learn if they need to actually appear or not.

If she does have to appear, I suggest she do so and then raise her concerns to the jury commissioner in her county. Sometimes the jury commissioner has the authority to excuse a PJ before they ever have to go to a courtroom. If that doesn't work, just go with the flow. Chances are excellent that she'll serve exactly 1 day and that will be the end of it until she is called again.
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:54 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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Originally Posted by Anise View Post
My sister just got called for jury duty and is almost losing her mind. She’s self employed as a small business owner, 100% responsible for financially supporting the household, and a spouse with health issues who doesn’t work. She would have ZERO income for at least two months.
"At least two months"? Do you know something you're not telling us? Because even in the unlikely event she has to appear (as said, most people don't even need to go in) and she isn't sent home (of those called in, most never even see the inside of a courtroom), and she is selected for a jury (unlikely given her legitimate hardship excuse), it's really unlikely the trial lasts "at least two months". Very few cases last that long.
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:56 PM
running coach running coach is online now
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Oh, be careful there. The court I worked for in California was not like this. They required you to appear on the first day of jury duty to plead your case for hardship in person. No exceptions. Every county is different.
Wow, didn't know that. The three counties I've lived in were identical. You could ask for excusal on the notice form and you only were contacted if it was refused.

You'd think there would be some uniformity across the state.
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Old 06-15-2017, 09:57 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is online now
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Call the local Commissioner of Jurors (or whatever it's called in your state). You'll get the correct information there, not here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
"At least two months"? Do you know something you're not telling us? Because even in the unlikely event she has to appear (as said, most people don't even need to go in) and she isn't sent home (of those called in, most never even see the inside of a courtroom), and she is selected for a jury (unlikely given her legitimate hardship excuse), it's really unlikely the trial lasts "at least two months". Very few cases last that long.
Not if she's on a grand jury, which can have a term of several months (though often only one day a week during that period).
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:04 PM
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In all of the many states I've lived in being a "sole proprietor" was an automatic excuse; hopefully that applies where she lives. As others have pointed out the rules can change from state to state and even county to county.
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:04 PM
Aspenglow Aspenglow is offline
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Originally Posted by running coach View Post
Wow, didn't know that. The three counties I've lived in were identical. You could ask for excusal on the notice form and you only were contacted if it was refused.

You'd think there would be some uniformity across the state.
And you know, there might be, now. It's some years since I worked in this field. But just as a precaution, I didn't want someone assuming it was the case they were automatically excused if they didn't hear back.

Agree with RealityChuck, contact the Jury Commissioner in your venue and find out what your sister must do. I hadn't thought about grand jury duty, and that could certainly be the situation.
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:22 PM
Anise Anise is offline
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Thanks all! I'll ask her to show me the original letter... we were both just kind of flipping out today and not processing a lot of rational thought. What she did say, though, was that the letter stated the trial would be at least seven weeks. We're in Oregon, btw.
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Old 06-15-2017, 10:29 PM
purplehearingaid purplehearingaid is offline
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http://www.courts.oregon.gov/Multnom...s/excusal.aspx

I found this web site it might help you get some answers you're looking for.
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Old 06-15-2017, 11:15 PM
Anise Anise is offline
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Originally Posted by purplehearingaid View Post
http://www.courts.oregon.gov/Multnom...s/excusal.aspx

I found this web site it might help you get some answers you're looking for.
I will pass this on to sis! We are in Clackamas Cty, though, not Multnomah.
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Old 06-16-2017, 03:12 AM
Channing Idaho Banks Channing Idaho Banks is offline
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I see you are here for advice to help your sister shirk her civic duty. Who doesn't want to get out of jury duty?

Before I share any advice with you, I need to know: does your sister vote?
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Old 06-16-2017, 04:54 AM
SanVito SanVito is offline
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Originally Posted by Channing Idaho Banks View Post
I see you are here for advice to help your sister shirk her civic duty. Who doesn't want to get out of jury duty?

Before I share any advice with you, I need to know: does your sister vote?
Oh please. She has sole financial responsibility for her family, she pays taxes, she doesn't have to prostrate herself on the government's floor.
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Old 06-16-2017, 04:56 AM
samclem samclem is offline
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ADvice? Moved from General Questions to IMHO.

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Old 06-16-2017, 05:08 AM
Evan Drake Evan Drake is offline
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Not American, but it seems rather counter-intuitive to only reply if one is refusing a request. How does the petitioner know not to turn up ?
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Old 06-16-2017, 05:17 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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Not American, but it seems rather counter-intuitive to only reply if one is refusing a request. How does the petitioner know not to turn up ?
It does seem a little prone to false positives (e.g. your letter asking to be excused, or their letter saying "nuh-uh" gets lost in the post - you think you're off the hook, but you're not.)
  #17  
Old 06-16-2017, 05:52 AM
Darren Garrison Darren Garrison is offline
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Originally Posted by Channing Idaho Banks View Post
I see you are here for advice to help your sister shirk her civic duty. Who doesn't want to get out of jury duty?
Yes, if she doesn't have money for 7 weeks, she can eat cake!
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Old 06-16-2017, 06:57 AM
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In Pennsylvania I make a phone call and explain that my absence from my sole proprietorship creates a hardship for my employees who do not work/get paid if I'm not there. I'd love to do jury duty, and if the state would pay my employees I'd be able to afford it, but that ain't gonna happen.
  #19  
Old 06-16-2017, 07:09 AM
IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is online now
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Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
"At least two months"? Do you know something you're not telling us? Because even in the unlikely event she has to appear (as said, most people don't even need to go in) and she isn't sent home (of those called in, most never even see the inside of a courtroom), and she is selected for a jury (unlikely given her legitimate hardship excuse), it's really unlikely the trial lasts "at least two months". Very few cases last that long.


Not in NY. You can be called for Grand Jury duty and be obligated to come very day, stay every day, for a minimum of a month. No excuses. Almost zero ways to get out of it.

The only choices are deferral to a later time or coming once a week for a year.
  #20  
Old 06-16-2017, 07:47 AM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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And if the OP's sister had been called for grand jury duty, the OP would, as I said, "know something she's not telling us". Plus I said most trials or cases don't last that long. Grand jury duty isn't a single trial or case, at least not normally.
  #21  
Old 06-16-2017, 07:57 AM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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Originally Posted by Anise View Post
Thanks all! I'll ask her to show me the original letter... we were both just kind of flipping out today and not processing a lot of rational thought. What she did say, though, was that the letter stated the trial would be at least seven weeks. We're in Oregon, btw.
By the way, I've never been called for a specific trial but I think that the letter specifically mentions that the trial is going to last that long is probably meant to immediately eliminate all of the people (like your sister) who can't serve that long. There's no point in bringing in 200 people when 190 of them can't be available that long. Better to remove them from the pool before they're asked to come in.
  #22  
Old 06-16-2017, 08:01 AM
Desert Nomad Desert Nomad is offline
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Originally Posted by IvoryTowerDenizen View Post
Not in NY. You can be called for Grand Jury duty and be obligated to come very day, stay every day, for a minimum of a month. No excuses. Almost zero ways to get out of it.

The only choices are deferral to a later time or coming once a week for a year.
You could leave New York. Being out of the jurisdiction is generally a valid reason to excuse you. I got a notice while I was living overseas and obviously was not going to return to the US for a few days.
  #23  
Old 06-16-2017, 08:08 AM
IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is online now
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Originally Posted by Desert Nomad View Post
You could leave New York. Being out of the jurisdiction is generally a valid reason to excuse you. I got a notice while I was living overseas and obviously was not going to return to the US for a few days.
Actually, just leave the county I'm in will work too.
  #24  
Old 06-16-2017, 08:13 AM
IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is online now
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Don't Threadshit. If all you have is criticism for the topic of the thread, stay out.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Channing Idaho Banks View Post
I see you are here for advice to help your sister shirk her civic duty. Who doesn't want to get out of jury duty?

Before I share any advice with you, I need to know: does your sister vote?

Last edited by IvoryTowerDenizen; 06-16-2017 at 08:14 AM.
  #25  
Old 06-16-2017, 08:24 AM
Dinsdale Dinsdale is offline
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Was the threadshitting the sentiment expressed, or the words/tone used? Because I could imagine there being an intelligent exchange of opinions as to one's civic duties, and how to style one's life in light of those.
  #26  
Old 06-16-2017, 08:39 AM
IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is online now
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Was the threadshitting the sentiment expressed, or the words/tone used? Because I could imagine there being an intelligent exchange of opinions as to one's civic duties, and how to style one's life in light of those.
The tone was overly critical, implying that not being able to serve jury duty is de facto a "shirking of ones duty", and any conversation on that topic would be worth criticizing.

A thoughtful discussion around getting out of jury duty would be a hijack, since this thread is not a debate on the topic but a request for help and advice, but not a threadshit.
  #27  
Old 06-16-2017, 08:47 AM
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I had grand jury duty in Oregon. It was all day, every day, for a month. I had to beg to get lunch scheduled (the time didn't matter, just knowing a particular time when I would be free for an hour) on one day so I could see a suicidal client. We reviewed 80+ cases.
  #28  
Old 06-16-2017, 08:58 AM
Channing Idaho Banks Channing Idaho Banks is offline
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I will stay out of the thread.
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  #29  
Old 06-16-2017, 09:02 AM
Dinsdale Dinsdale is offline
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Originally Posted by IvoryTowerDenizen View Post
The tone was overly critical, implying that not being able to serve jury duty is de facto a "shirking of ones duty", and any conversation on that topic would be worth criticizing.

A thoughtful discussion around getting out of jury duty would be a hijack, since this thread is not a debate on the topic but a request for help and advice, but not a threadshit.
Thanks for the clarification.
  #30  
Old 06-16-2017, 09:07 AM
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I had grand jury duty in Oregon. It was all day, every day, for a month. I had to beg to get lunch scheduled (the time didn't matter, just knowing a particular time when I would be free for an hour) on one day so I could see a suicidal client. We reviewed 80+ cases.
A friend's spouse served on a Grand Jury in NC and discovered that one of his duties as a grand juror was to inspect the county jails and write a report on their condition. I seem to remember he said that most grand jury's don't bother but he made sure his actually made the inspection tour.
  #31  
Old 06-16-2017, 12:44 PM
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I'm sorry Susan! Yep, we're in Oregon too. My sister works so unbelievably hard... but it's more than that. She volunteers at the Coffee Creek Women's Prison every Saturday morning... she's a board member at KBOO, the community radio station... she provides employment for homeless people... she started the first trans pride march in Portland and she's volunteering at the Pride festival this Sunday... but wait, there's more. She was a community organizer for 20 years and ran for U.S. Senate three times, twice in Tennessee, once in Oregon (all for zero money, of course.) I think she's earned the right to have someone else take that jury duty spot.

And no, I'm not sure how she does it. I'm going to have to remember how great she is the next time she's driving me crazy.
  #32  
Old 06-16-2017, 01:12 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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When I served on a jury, the judge excused people for financial hardship or if they were taking care of a relative, among other things. So the woman who was taking care of her elderly parent and the other woman with children at home were excused but not the woman taking care of her son's children. In the words of the judge, it was up to her son to make alternative arrangements. So it's possible that claiming you aren't available due to volunteer work might not fly with the judge. He/she might say that the organization will need to find someone else. I would concentrate her argument on the financial loss to her family if she is on a jury for seven weeks or more.
  #33  
Old 06-16-2017, 04:52 PM
PoppaSan PoppaSan is offline
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Perfect person

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anise View Post
I'm sorry Susan! Yep, we're in Oregon too. My sister works so unbelievably hard... but it's more than that. She volunteers at the Coffee Creek Women's Prison every Saturday morning... she's a board member at KBOO, the community radio station... she provides employment for homeless people... she started the first trans pride march in Portland and she's volunteering at the Pride festival this Sunday... but wait, there's more. She was a community organizer for 20 years and ran for U.S. Senate three times, twice in Tennessee, once in Oregon (all for zero money, of course.) I think she's earned the right to have someone else take that jury duty spot.

And no, I'm not sure how she does it. I'm going to have to remember how great she is the next time she's driving me crazy.
Sounds to me like she is unemployed and has no one financially dependent on her daily activities. Perfect person to sit in a court room all day.
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Old 06-16-2017, 05:00 PM
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They flat out told my mom that getting something from her employer wouldn't work, but then her employer did it anyways, and she got out of it. (Though she actually wanted to do jury duty since it would pay about the same but without as much labor.)

I realize this situation is different, but I just wanted to point out that, even if they tell you having someone write something won't work, go ahead and try it anyways. (I can't imagine it's a crime to try.)
  #35  
Old 06-16-2017, 05:05 PM
susan susan is offline
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Sounds to me like she is unemployed and has no one financially dependent on her daily activities. Perfect person to sit in a court room all day.
Perhaps a look at the OP would refresh your memory.
Quote:
She’s self employed as a small business owner, 100% responsible for financially supporting the household, and a spouse with health issues who doesn’t work.
  #36  
Old 06-16-2017, 05:53 PM
Gatopescado Gatopescado is offline
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Simple. Wear a tin-foil hat and shout angry, racist diatribes randomly. You'll get sent home pretty quick, I bet.

What? You don't like that idea?
  #37  
Old 06-17-2017, 08:05 AM
Knowed Out Knowed Out is offline
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Actually, Gato is on to something. I was excused from a civil case because the plaintiff's lawyer didn't like my opinion on alternative medicine. Just tell sis to act like an unhinged wing nut. If it's a criminal case involving theft, sis can say "My mother had xxx stolen from her, and she suffers daily for the loss. I think all thieves should be given the maximum sentence no matter what they stole." She can show up wearing a hangman's cowl and carrying a noose for more visual effect.
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Old 06-17-2017, 03:51 PM
susan susan is offline
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There's no voir dire for grand jury in Oregon, so no opportunity to be evaluated as being a wingnut.
  #39  
Old 06-18-2017, 08:59 PM
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I was called for jury duty 5 times in less than 10 years of occasional bouts of sanity.

While I wouldn't wish a mental illness on anyone, trying to talk to the Bailiff whilst in the middle of a panic attack made him very agreeable to removing my name from the jury pool permanently. Just provide a letter from my doctor. Thenk yew veddy much.

I was released another time when I said that innocent until proven guilty is a nice theory but I wasn't so sure it really worked. I mean, you've arrested someone, right?

"I work for lawyers." worked, too.

I wasn't lying. I saw it as protecting the court from having to interrupt the trial to deal with a stark raving maniac on crack.
  #40  
Old 06-18-2017, 11:23 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
When I served on a jury, the judge excused people for financial hardship or if they were taking care of a relative, among other things. So the woman who was taking care of her elderly parent and the other woman with children at home were excused but not the woman taking care of her son's children. In the words of the judge, it was up to her son to make alternative arrangements. So it's possible that claiming you aren't available due to volunteer work might not fly with the judge. He/she might say that the organization will need to find someone else. I would concentrate her argument on the financial loss to her family if she is on a jury for seven weeks or more.
The incident I'm about to describe happened almost 40 years ago, but I would imagine the same decision would be made nowadays.

I have a friend who was called for jury duty, and was told, probably in voir dire, that there was a chance that they would have to be sequestered for an unknown period. At the time, she was recently divorced with two preschoolers; her ex-husband lived here in town and they got along OK but he had a job where he would often be called out of town on very short notice, and there really wasn't anyone who could take the kids for more than a day or two. When this story was confirmed, she was excused.
  #41  
Old 06-19-2017, 03:44 PM
Unpronounceable Unpronounceable is offline
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I once got out of jury duty because I already had jury duty that day.

The feds and the states should REALLY link their systems.
  #42  
Old 06-19-2017, 07:00 PM
alphaboi867 alphaboi867 is online now
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Originally Posted by Knowed Out View Post
...Just tell sis to act like an unhinged wing nut. If it's a criminal case involving theft, sis can say "My mother had xxx stolen from her, and she suffers daily for the loss. I think all thieves should be given the maximum sentence no matter what they stole." She can show up wearing a hangman's cowl and carrying a noose for more visual effect.
That sounds like something that works on TV, but in real life is a good way to get cited for contempt of court. Actually in most sitcoms when a character tries it they end up with jury duty anyway.
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:35 PM
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When I had jury duty, a couple years ago, I'm pretty sure they listed financial hardship as a valid reason to be excused. I think you still had to be there in person to claim it, though. Also, if that doesn't work, I know my mom has gotten out of it by telling them (truthfully) that she is my father's primary caregiver. If your sister's husband requires her assistance on a daily basis, that may be sufficient. These were in New York and New Jersey.

Last edited by trapezoidal jellyfish; 06-19-2017 at 11:35 PM.
  #44  
Old 06-20-2017, 12:04 AM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Originally Posted by Unpronounceable View Post
I once got out of jury duty because I already had jury duty that day.

The feds and the states should REALLY link their systems.
  #45  
Old 06-20-2017, 03:04 PM
OldGuy OldGuy is offline
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In every place I've been called and most places I've heard about, if you get called for a specific date, you can postpone (or accelerate) that date on request. In my case I even got to request a different specific date. Since I teach, I requested a summer date. In particular I requested Friday July 5. Guess what. When I called in the day ahead of time (in this case July 3rd) they said no one needed to report on Friday July 5. Guess who all decided to take a long weekend.

I'd guess the Friday after Thanksgiving would be an even better day if the courts were even open.
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