Jury Summons for a Nonresident

Every few years, my parents get a jury summons in the mail for me. I haven’t been a resident of their state for…going on ten years now. I always dutifully go online and tell them that I don’t live there any more, and the system claims to update the records, but I still keep getting periodic jury summonses.

What would happen if my parents didn’t live at that address, and so I never got the summons? What would happen to me then?

I assume you’ve already gotten a new driver’s license and/or state id with your new address?

Contact the agency that administers elections at your old address and ask how to cancel your registration. You are probably still registered to vote there. Registering to vote in a new state doesn’t cancel your old registration. They may have a web site that gives that information or you can use a telephone to call them.

Most, but not all, states use driver’s license, state id card, and voting registration information for jury duty lists.

There’s no way to tell you what would happen to you unless you tell us the location. I can tell you that where I live, if you ignore a jury duty summons you get a more harshly worded letter with your jury duty summons the next time. I have heard that some jurisdictions may even issue a warrant for your arrest if you ignore more than a few summonses.

This is the weird part. The past three states I’ve moved to, when I’ve gone to the DMV to get my new driver’s license and register to vote, I checked the box giving permission to update the previous state with the new information about my residency. And yet, this still happens.

I’m just wondering because I don’t have any friends or relatives living at my previous four addresses, so if any jury summonses for me go there, they’re going into a black hole.

If the first move failed to update you correctly, then the subsequent ones probably wouldn’t either as they’d likely only look back one state.

My son moved out (formally) in 2008. Since then he’s continued to get election notices and several summons for jury duty. Each time I’ve returned the form that says he’s moved.

When the last election notice rolled around in August, I complained to the election judge at my precinct. She had me fill out a form right there, where, I suppose, it went directly into the official election judge file. Let’s see if he’s still on the rolls in November.

Your parents could mark “Moved – address unknown” on the envelope, and return it to the post office. But the post office would then stop delivering any mail sent to you at that address.

Driver’s licenses and voting are, in many states, handled by two different agencies. While the driver’s license agencies usually communicate with each other, the voting agencies seldom do.

But in any case, it is obvious that some agency in your old state is still putting your name into the jury pool. The most likely culprit is the voting agency.

To my everlasting dismay, they won’t. Our house was a rental property before we bought it and we get a half-dozen junk mailings for prior residents every day. At first I dutifully marked them for return to sender but at this point I’ve given up (it’s been eight years).

I believe this (like forwarding) only applies to first (and I think second) class mail. Junk mail is typically 3rd class.

In other words, “to addressee or resident.”

It’s junk. It’s not as if it has a really tailored mailing list. And 3rd Class is so cheap specifically because it’s completely service-free. No forwarding, no address correction, nuthin’. Since it’s also pre-sorted, the only cost to the services is route handling and delivery, so trivial.

Junk mail all just gets ignored and discarded if refused. But a letter from the Jury Commission (or any first class mail) will request that the post office inform them of any refused or returned mailings. I think on first class mail, it is automatic that it be returned to sender if for any reason it s undeliverables, with an explanation from the post office of why it is being returned.

If your schedule allowed, it might be interesting to show up for jury duty. Maybe combine it with a visit to your family.

At some point you would likely have to show ID, and when you did they would catch the error.