Can I get out of jury duty? - ProTeacher Community


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Can I get out of jury duty?
Old 12-01-2012, 08:16 PM
 
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I just got home and got my mail. I have jury duty starting in just over a week through Christmas break. grrrrrr. We have mid-year assesments, Christmas activities, etc. Many of the mid year assessments are oral. Will I be able to get out of jury duty? My students will not do as well if I am not there and how will I know that the sub will do the oral assessments correctly. When our evaluations are based on student improvement it isn't right that I might not be at school because of this.

I know it is my civic right to serve but this is not a good time when we have so much pressure based on our students' assessments.

I also was really looking forward to my break. This has been a difficult year and I was really needing a break to rest.



Last edited by change2R; 12-01-2012 at 08:17 PM.. Reason: needed to add
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:23 PM
 
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Some courts will let you postpone once up to 6 months. However, they don't care if you're a teacher or whatever your job is. Unless you have a health condition or are caring for a young child or elderly person, they don't accept many excuses.

I get jury duty summons every 2 years like clock work. Fortunately, I've been able to postpone a couple of times. I chose winter break and never had to go in. I was on call for 2 weeks during spring break and the week after but didn't have to go in. The time before the holidays tends to be slower for the courts, in my experience.

Good luck!
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:28 PM
 
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You can get out of it if you haven't requested to be excused before. Being a teacher used to work as an excuse but alone it is no longer valid. I have heard that if you briefly explain a valid reason (and your reason is), it will not be a problem. Keep in mind though that next time you are called, you may not be able to change it as easily.

If you are feeling pressured, as it sounds, definitely give it a try. If you feel you can do it, sometimes it is easier to get it over with and know they can't call you again for 3 years!

Good Luck
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:30 PM
 
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The first time I served was just awful and I swore I would never serve again. After that I was called again and was excused once when I told them that I was breast feeding my baby....oops he was 4 years old! Another time my principal wrote an excuse for me when we were testing but then they called me back during my summer break which was far worse! Ok I did serve again that time but was excused very quickly and havent been called back in 5 years. I really hate being on a jury.
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I had the same experience.
Old 12-01-2012, 08:33 PM
 
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I have been called for jury duty myself. Guess we just have to suck it up and do our best for the duration.


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Old 12-01-2012, 08:35 PM
 
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I just got a summons too! I have to go during Christmas break. I'm thinking I won't get called in.

A few years ago I was summoned during the school year and I deferred to the summer. It was no problem to defer. My summons included a form to fill out saying either I could do it or it gave me options to choose. I could've given an excuse for an out or deferred to a different month.
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Me too!
Old 12-01-2012, 08:40 PM
 
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I got a summons today as well! Mine isn't until January. I look upon it as one of the privileges of living in this country. I would hate to live somewhere where there was no jury. No, we can't get out of it unless we have a valid reason. Those reasons are clearly posted on the letter. I guess I may just have another week off of school .
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:46 PM
 
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Must be everyone's turn! I got a summons yesterday for jury duty. However, mine is for district court and is usually made up of cases similar to what you would see between students, only with grown ups (he took my ____; no, it's my ______; no it's mine kind of stuff). I'm actually looking forward to it because I have a classroom of hellions and I'm looking at this as a break from them!
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:52 PM
 
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Ive been dismissed twice. Once I was getting ready to have surgery. The other time both parents were sick. Dad needed me to drive him to appointments since Mom had uncontrolled seizures.

Other than that, they make people serve.

I think it is interesting. Eye opening, too.
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:54 PM
 
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I was called last April and I deferred to June during my summer break. I must say that I actually loved jury duty - I found it VERY interesting. I was placed on a capital murder case - it was eye opening!!!!!
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hmmm
Old 12-01-2012, 08:59 PM
 
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I asked for clarification of one of their questions, sincerely and was dismissed. I also saw our pharmacist try everything he could. Finally he said the guy is guilty because of his race....the judge let him go with a sigh. We all knew he didn't want to be there. I don't recommend the racial card but a good question might do the trick. Of course you will just get called again this time next ear.
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:11 PM
 
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Don't use the break, but do let them know about the mid year assessments and that might work. I was assigned jury duty once around the same time as you and was able to get out of it because I used to direct our school chorus and our 3 programs were that week. They excused me and I have never been called again.

Nancy
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:15 PM
 
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One year I was summoned to municipal court and district court for back to back terms. As they are different court systems, a person can be called for more than one in the same year. I was just glad I didn't also receive a summons to superior court, which is held 300 miles away. I ended up missing the program my students were to perform in--the clerk told me later that I should have specified which day to be excused as they are more willing to excuse a day than to excuse from the term. The jury I sat on was an indecent exposure case (municipal court). The jury I was excused from was a child abuse case (district court).

Is this the type where you call each night? Likely you will only miss a day or two of work, unless chosen for the jury. As pp said, December tends to be the slowest term. You can see which day(s) are critical for you to proctor the testing for your students and try to be excused for that time. They will probably add an equal number of days on to the end of your original time.
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Jury duty
Old 12-01-2012, 09:32 PM
 
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I have been called three times and have been excused three times. Guess I write a good letter!

The first time I was notified on a Friday that I was needed Monday, but I was starting Grad School on Monday. A phone call excused that one.

The second time was for the Grand Jury in a town 100 miles away on the second to last day of school. It was one of those "call after 6 p.m." deals. I wrote explaining the responsilities of the end of the year and that I would be required, on my own time, to come back to school to finish packing up for the year. Also the hardship of either booking then cancelling a sub, or waiting until I got my call to book and then hope someone was availalbe. It surprised me, but I was excused.

The third one came when my mother was having major medical issues and I was the only one available to be her care-giver. I was already on family medical leave from work and we didn't know which way things were headed. I was excused quickly. As it turned out, Mom had passed away by the time I would have been needed, but there was no way of knowing that.

I actually hope that I get a summons someday during a time that isn't so completely inconvenient. I'd like to do jury duty at least once.
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Jury duty
Old 12-01-2012, 09:42 PM
 
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Does it say you can postpone once? Ours does here in AZ. I went earlier this year and was almost on the Baby Gabriel case (Elizabeth Johnson). Because it was going to be a long trial, my district wrote a letter and I was excused. I really think it would have been interesting.
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Allowed to postpone b/c of state testing
Old 12-01-2012, 09:55 PM
 
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One year I was summoned for jury duty on a state testing day. I had my principal write a letter explaining that a certified teacher is required to administer a state test etc. I took it to the court a week or two before my summons date and the person didn't even read the letter. I said I was a teacher and my date was on an EOG testing day, and she offered me a few later dates to choose from. It was easy to get it postponed.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:51 PM
 
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I've been called three times, in two different states. The first time, I was excused because I was in college 6 hours away The second time, I was excused because I was nursing (I really was) and was the only caregiver for three young children. The third time, I was not excused. I was a teacher, and I did not get excused. I called, however, and was not called in to duty.
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:06 AM
 
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I'm in MA, and my form allowed one postponement. I didn't even have to say why, just pick another date from a list on the computer. I served the alternate day, and it was fine.

If yours isn't like that, I would think you (or a letter from your school district) could explain about the testing. As long as you make it clear that you are willing to go at a better time, not just trying to get out of it all together, I would think it could be changed.
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Every court is different
Old 12-02-2012, 05:34 AM
 
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Before I was a teacher, I told the clerk in one county I lived in that I couldn't do it because I taught an after-school youth group on the day on which they called me. (It was true.) They let me off.
When I was called in another county a few years later, I was teaching, and told them it would be very inconvenient for me to be off work at that time because of things that were going on at school. They told me to write an appeal, explaining that I really want to serve, but it would be more convenient at another time. They let me off and didn't call me again that year.
The year I was called and actually served was the year my first grandchild was born and my father died. I missed a lot of school that year. When they were interviewing prospective jurors, one man gave every excuse in the book, and they still called him. He was difficult to work with.
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Jury Duty
Old 12-02-2012, 06:13 AM
 
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I have been called for jury duty several times. Once I had travel plans which couldn't be changed (I was selected to participate in a conference). At a later date, I realized that the burglary of our home was a felony and the form asked if I had ever been the victim of a felony. I figure that may be the reason I have continued to be dismissed.
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Teachers seem to be targeted for jury duty
Old 12-02-2012, 07:39 AM
 
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Most teachers know how to make educated and logical decisions based on facts because thats part of our job and we do it a lot. As a result, I think teachers get called more than any other profession and thats not fair. My husband owns a private business and he has only been asked one time. He told them that his employees and business depend on him to be accessible at all times so he will not serve on jury duty. They simply let him go and never called him again. Its not fair that teachers are asked so often.
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Jury Duty
Old 12-02-2012, 08:58 AM
 
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I get called every 12 months. You can ask for a 6 month postponement, I did last March, but had to report in September. This case was a malpractice an was expected to go for several weeks. Many people claimed hardship and were dismissed. I think it depends on the judge and the type of case.
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postponment
Old 12-02-2012, 09:35 AM
 
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I believe in CA you can request a better time to do your duty. I know with the one time I made it to the judge he said "if you're a teacher, don't even try it" I've heard the same from others. GOOD LUCK!
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