And I figure if you’re not able or not willing to have one of those three, then you’ll probably be a pretty poor juror anyway.
I really fail to understand why so many do whatever they can to get out of jury duty. I understand there are some who truly have valid reasons but the vast majority of us have no good reason not to serve. Can you imagine if you ever need a jury and you have to wonder if any of the panel sitting there did their best to be excused? While I am retired now and have been several years I still get excused before I even make it into the court due to my job background and I told the clerk of the court once that I understand the court system and laws better than the average person ever will and she agreed with this. But she knows the judges in our Circuit Court system and she knows they will excuse me. Frustrating for sure.
I can understand. I’m in Canada, jury trials are far less common here (IIRC, the charges have to have a maximum sentence of 5 years or more?). I’ve been notified once in 40 years, and so has my wife. In both cases, it meant that there was a possibility we’d be off work for weeks, and also it was the possibility we’d be tied up for weeks. Two or three months out, we have to plan that a trial might last a month or two. When we’d been planning a trip, now we had to not book anything until the last minute based on the possibility that we go to trial.
It seems the Canadian system is predicated on a game of chicken - if the Crown Prosecutor does not offer a good enough deal, the defendant’s lawyer threatens to go through with a full trial with all the hassle. In the end neither of us even had to attend, the need for a jury was cancelled, but for two months we put our lives on hold.
I don’t know what’s worse, being warned with several months’ notice or if they’d given us minimal warning. I can see why retired people end up being the ones least likely to avoid duty.
I would have enjoyed being on a jury, in a way I’m disappointed I wasn’t. OTOH, since I believe one of the main purposes of a jury is to provide the option of jury nullification (and provide a check on authoritarianism) perhaps the powers that be would not want me on there.
The same thing is true in the US. I’ve been called for jury selection several times, and often never got out of the assembly room. We were told that the prosecutor and defense attorney were aware that 200 or so people (many of whom were angry or annoyed at the inconvenience) were waiting downstairs was enough of an incentive to push them to a settlement.
Around here they use all sorts of info to find names. They do use voter registration, but they also use driver’s licenses, tax records, and anything else they can get their hands on.
Depends on where you live.
I live in a fairly small town. If you ignore the jury summons, the first thing they do is try to call you. If they can’t get a hold of you or you still don’t come in, they send a police cruiser to look for you.
This is a small town with a fairly low crime rate. They aren’t too busy to come looking for you.
Of course the plus side of living in a small town with a low crime rate is that people around here very rarely get called for jury duty. I have been called up once in the twenty-five years I’ve lived here. Mrs. Geek has never been summoned.
The notice for when you need to arrive might have little to do with when the jury will need to meet. I once received a notice to report mid January. I went in with others for voir dire, and the first thing the judge (probably the clerk I guess) asked is we’re empaneling a jury for a murder trial to start mid March and it might run 4 weeks. Can anyone not make it? I raised my hand and said I’d be out of the country, the end of March. After a couple of questions I was excused. I had no idea when I got the summons for mid January that it might involve service as late as the end of March. It would have been very hard to plan to be free.
As I said as recently as March 14, 2022:
But since you don’t seem to believe me, here’s the Criminal Code provision:
The major exception to this requirement is if the accused elects to be tried by judge alone.
I live in south Georgia. Everything down here is county oriented. I asked the chief magistrate where the county got its list of prospective jurors. He said it was from the licensed drivers list provided by the state patrol.
I’ve registered to vote in every state I’ve ever lived, which is five. During my time in California, I was summoned every 2 years, like clockwork. I lived in a county where many trials were conducted because a large prison and a significant mental institution were situated there. In that county, voters were gleaned from both driver’s license and registered voter rolls.
Never summoned in any other state, except:
In eighteen years living in Oregon, I’ve been summoned once.
Wow! I live in the Triangle area of NC and I’ve been called at least every three years. Same thing for my wife. Basically, one or the other of us is called once each year.
Fortunately, we get assigned a number and can call the night before to see if we will be needed. We usually aren’t.
OTOH, my wife and I do have the ability to (basically) be excused every time we’re called…except that we have to go to the courthouse to exercise it.
The fun part about when I was called was that I had to figure out how to get to and from the courthouse in downtown Hillsborough from my house in Chapel Hill on public transit. Fortunately, they managed to select the jury before even getting to me, so I only had to do it once.
I shared an office with the programmers who did the jury lists here in Minnesota. (I worked on programming other government systems.) They used a whole variety of sources. (Much of their effort was matching & removing duplicates from the list.) The sources they used would get nearly everybody, I’d think:
- voter registration lists
- drivers licenses (drivers)
- state ids, Metro Mobility/Rideshare users (non-drivers)
- automobile registrations (car owners without drivers licenses)
- property tax lists (homeowners)
- rental tax credits (non-homeowners)
- government recipients (AFDC, Child Support (young people)
- Social Security recipients (old people)
- licensed people (doctors, nurses, lawyers, plumbers, etc. (working age people)
- unemployment recipients (working age people, not working)
- and they occasionally used commercial lists, like everybody who had a credit card or bank account.
It seemed to me that anybody not on any of these lists would be someone I wouldn’t want on a jury at all!
I’ve lived in 7 states and have registered to vote in every one of them. It’s been about 42 years since I first registered, and I’ve been called twice. The first time was for a case in Connecticut, but I was away at college in Maine so couldn’t take part. The second time was last year, here in South Carolina. That I was prepared to do but it was cancelled. I’m apparently considered to have done my duty and am off the rolls for the next 7(?) years.
Seems that NJ court doesn’t like people outside of the country - or the site is down.
I believe NJ takes from both voter roles and driver’s licenses. I got called twice. The first time I went in all 3 days and never got chosen.
Second time was after we moved out of the country, and I didn’t even see the paper (I think it was a postcard or letter, don’t remember) until months afterwards. Never heard anything more.
I still had a NJ driver’s license when I got called, but I think I wasn’t registered to vote. I’m now registered as a NJ voter, but no driver’s license.
They did ask me to be a poll worker for the primaries. Not gonna happen.
That’s probably going to depend a lot on where you are. I’ve been called for jury duty a number of times - and that would never happen here. Trial juries are empaneled right before the trial and for the most part, so are grand juries. There was a grand jury that was going to last six months twice a week that they were empaneling a month in advance when I got called once - but everyone who didn’t end up on that one started their grand jury service the same day.