Another jury duty question

I did a search for threads with jury duty, but couldn’t seem to find one that could answer me this:

What are the requirements for meeting financial hardship (in Los Angeles County, if that makes a diff.)? Does it have to put me out of my house, or just a month behind on payments?

I live a much nicer lifestyle than some of my compadres, but if I missed a week of work (I’m an independent contractor) I’d lose about a month’s wages…does that meet the test?

Summoned Seth

To quote John Adams “It’s your DUTY damn it!”. Don’t weasel, cry or whine. It is the price we all have to pay for living in a society where we have the RIGHT to a jury trial.

And this just freaken pisses me off. We get the damn threads all the time where folks try to second-guess the jury’s decision- and call it “stupid” or worse. And then we have to put up with constant questions about how to get out of jury duty. We are here to FIGHT ignorance- and sometimes ya gotta fight it in the trenches.

I just got done serving an ENTIRE year on the County Grand Jury- at a munificent $20/day. Tell me about losing a weeks pay again, huh?
Mannie- I beg and plead with you- can we stop “how do i get out of jury duty” questions? The hypocrisy is making me sick. I’d prefer “how to hold up a bank” questions- at least the dishonesty there would be like a breath of fresh air. Excuse me- i gotta go wash my hands…

Dear Dan: Thank you for contributing nothing to this thread, and ranting in the wrong forum.

Here is some info that may be able to help you, seth. I’d give 'em a call. If you really can’t afford jury duty, let them know. Otherwise, do your duty.

I will not stop discussions of how to do legal things, however distasteful (well, OK, some distasteful things, but you know what I mean).

I’d also suggest you actually read the OP’s before you start ranting. Whilst clearly this OP is seeking not to do jury duty, the actual question is a simple factual request about the rules that the state of California has itself set up as hardship. That’s not trying to “avoid” jury duty any more than asking about capital gains taxes on charitable gifts is “avoiding” taxes.

And finally, keep your rants out of GQ.

[edited to change the typo “illegal” to “legal” and elaborate on “distasteful.”]

[Edited by manhattan on 02-16-2001 at 09:46 AM]

sethdallob, how about if you call the number on the summons & ask them for clarification & let us know? That’s the best way as it might vary by county. It doesn’t look to me like you want to cheat anyone, but here they pay $5 a day, I think.

Usually they expect you to explain your reason & they have the back of the form for that purpose.

[note: Off-topic counter-rant deleted. GBH, do you think I put in these little admonishments for my health? -manhattan]
Sorry, Seth, I’ve got no advice for you. I’m in Joisey myself, and work for a company that pays me when I’m on jury duty, so the two times I was summoned, I went. (And sat around in a big room with people watching daytime TV for a week, but that’s another point entirely.)

[Edited by manhattan on 02-16-2001 at 10:15 AM]

Just to add my .01 cent. Have you just been summoned to be part of the first step or have you already been picked? The way is done in Texas, you get called into a large of pool of prospective jurors. The judge will read list of “excuses”. If you think you meet them, the judge will have a time slot to meet with him/her and discuss your situation.


I don’t understand this statement. How do you lose a month’s wages by taking a week off? Why don’t you just work the other three weeks of the month you have jury duty and make three month’s wages? Am I making sense? Are you?


Danielinthewolvesden, first let me say that I’m a bit ticked at your rants, too. I get disciplined for calling someone a “dipstick” in another thread, and then I’m subject to this? While this is clearly not the end of the world, I’m quite offended at your post and what you incinuate about me. If you have a problem with me, email me and we can ham it up in private. I’ve done jury duty before and I’d do it again. Just not now.

Let me reinforce that I am not trying to cheat the system. I just started a job at a new company, and I am payed as an independent contractor. I get no salary. Right now, I’ve gone without wages for over a month, and had extraordinary costs for moving my business, ordering new stationery, etc. Quite simply, I have no money.

Lance, taking “10 summoned days”, or 2 weeks off for jury duty would cause me to lose about another month’s worth of wages because my business runs on momentum. I’m a financial consultant, and I need to constantly be marketing myself, holding meetings, etc. to obtain new clients. For each client, it takes about 2-3 weeks of work before I make any substantial money. If I take 2 weeks off, I come back to the office with nothing in the pipeline, and have to start from scratch. I can’t afford that now. $15 a day (what LA county pays) doesn’t begin to pay my rent.

Frankly, why we haven’t gone to a professional juror system escapes me. I’ve served once and been called several times, and MAN…it’s scary. Some of the absolute most racist and close-minded comments I have ever heard have come from fellow jurors. If I ever found myself in an important trial (IE: not small claims court) I’d ask my lawyer to push for a bench trial where the judge decides the verdict. I know that’s possible in some cases, but I don’t claim to know the law well, so maybe someone who does could explain it better, and perhaps also explain the rationale for not having professional jurors.

I feel yah pain, mah bruthah. I’m a freelancer as well. I’ve lost 95% of my job offers since Sept. to a back injury. Sucks to turn down work, doesn’t it? And, I might WAG here, and say that some freelancers/ Independant Contractors can MAKE THEIR MONTH, working for one week. One good week. Sorry, but that’s the upside of being an I.C. The downside is that if you are poor, it’s cause you suck, because you ARE the company. Good luck, Seth, please tell us what they do with you.’


I used a search engine, it’s very handy:

In Los Angeles County the definition of “financial hardship” is not written down. It’s basically whatever the presiding judge thinks it is. Different courthouses have different criteria in my experience.

If you show up for jury duty, and you don’t get excused by a judge, you’re considered available to be called.

My father was self-employed for most of his working years and he was able to use that to get out of jury duty. Now that he’s retired, he looks forward to it.

Seth- that rant was not directed just at you. And- i did not call you any names- just chided you and so many others that think they do not have to do their civic duty. Some folks do not even register to vote- so they can skip jury duty. You would get the same sort of rant if you told me you could not “be bothered to vote”.

manny- in many of the “How can i get out of jury duty” threads- they have advised lying to the judge. Tell me how that is legal, eh? I do apologize for the length & vehemence of the rant tho- that was uncalled for (in your forum, anyway).