Jury duty as a JW, were you summons for Jury service.

by jam 25 Replies latest jw experiences

  • jam

    For over 12 years I have been summons for jury service.

    Each year I receive a summons and each year my physician

    send in my medical excuse. Don,t get me wrong, I would love

    to serve on jury duty, but because of my medical condition not

    possibly. I was never summons as a JW, why. Was it because I

    didn,t vote?

    My doctor inform them on my excuse , my condition is permanent

    for the last 12 years we have sent this in. WTH, I have known

    people that have never been summons by the courts. I do agree,

    it,s our responsibility to serve but curious how do they determine

    who serve and who doesn,t. And how many JW,s you have known served

    on jury duty?

  • Chaserious

    Different states have different ways of determining who gets summoned. Voting records used to be more common, but recently many states have been pulling in data from drivers licenses and other government databases to determine who goes in the jury pool. I got called once when I was a JW, even though not registered to vote at the time. I was going to serve if they picked me. I didn't give a crap if it was discouraged. But I didn't get picked - they asked me some questions and I was eventually dismissed.

  • jam

    Chaserious: So it was discouraged, how is one supposedly to

    get out of Jury duty?

    Here in California that can be guite difficult. The only way to

    get out of jury duty, deceased or permanenty moved. To get

    medical excuses, must be from your physician and it,s only

    good for one year. At age 70, you don,t need a release from

    your physician.

    I wonder for those JW,s that served on jury duty, with JW

    education, wouldn,t there be a problem on some cases.

    What if you were a juror that involved an allege child molestation.

  • jgnat

    Here in Canada they will use any public list, like driver's license registers. They've also opened booths in the malls and snagged people as they come in.

    Hubby was called to Jury duty and he was even selected but then he had a fit of conscience and asked to be removed because of his religion. The Judge readily let him off. The eders were no help. They said it was a "conscience matter", which hubby and I did not know was code for "don't".

  • jam

    So in other words if you are called and you tell them, because

    of religious reasons you can not serve, they will dismiss you?

    The fiined may be up to $1500.00 if you fail to respond.

  • GromitSK

    I know a JW who has become a magistrate in the UK. This requires an oath of allegiance to the crown.

  • Gypsy Sam
    Gypsy Sam

    Yes, twice. Once we were dismissed. The second time, I was in the courtroom, still an active JW, and a long questionnaire was given to us. The case ironically hit way too close to home and I asked to speak to the judge. The case involved domestic violence, including battery while pregnant. I gave him a very brief synopsis of my story and I was released. Of course, at the time, I thought it was an answered prayer

  • jam

    "Magistrate in the UK". That,s a bit much for a conscience matter

    don,t you think. LOL

  • Chaserious

    Jam: Yes, I think most JWs that wanted to get out of jury duty said they had a personal religious objection. The medical reasons and old age that you mentioned are probably the only things that will excuse a person from showing up entirely, but that doesn't mean that people can't be excused for some other reason once they show up. I suspect that most judges would let you be excused if there is a religious objection. They might question some prospective jurors a bit further if they aren't convinced that it's sincere.

    I believe there was an article in one of the publications about 10 years ago that basically said it's a conscience matter, but not to tell the judge that JWs are not allowed to serve on juries, since it's a personal decision.

    As to education, there is no educational requirement to be on a jury in the U.S. Complex cases are often decided by jurors with a limited education. Just the way our system is.

  • dazed but not confused
    dazed but not confused

    Here in Colorado I have been summonsed twice. The first time was when I was a JW. I was picked to serve and was happy to have the experience. It was a drunk driving case. No one in the hall gave me a hard time for not getting out of it.

    The second time I was called to jury duty, I called the night before to see if my number was called. They send out so many summonses then the day before your supposed to be there they give out the Juror numbers that must show up. If your number is not called, you don’t have to go. My number was missed by 3 or 4. I wouldn’t mind doing it again sometime. I was not registered to vote the first time I was called to serve.

  • jam

    Gypsy: Don,t understand. You ask to be dismissed because you

    were experiencing violence at home or it was your JW conscience?

  • jam

    This is the point I am making, most people are summoned

    maybe once or twice. I receive a summons every two years, WTH.

    There are 3-10 million people here in S. Calif.

  • jgnat

    jam, you must be on a handy list.

    My poor dad (not a JW) is on some master list for surveyors.

  • RubaDub

    Yes, 4 times over the past 15 years.

    Jury duty is not a big issue here in Florida, at least in the congregations I have been in. Unofficially, at least from what I have heard for elders, is that it is fine as long as the death penalty is not involved or some issue that would affect your conscience. If so, just ask to be reassigned to another case.

    Let's see, I have been on: 1) Armed robbery 2) Fraud 3) Product liability (guy lost 2 fingers with a defective drill) 4) Unsafe workplace (Temporary worker, an outside contractor, got severely burned on one arm).

    On three of the four, we just sat in a room for a day or two and the cases were settled by the attorneys. In the product liability case, we listened to testimony for two days. On the third day, the judge called us in first thing in the morning and told us it was settled and the case is over.

    That's it for me.

    Rub a Dub

  • ShirleyW

    I know for a fact that they use other record besides voter registration because I've never voted and I've been called a couple of times.

    I know someone whose JW mom got called when her two younger siblings were kids and she said her mom was able to postpone all those years because she had school age children, never heard of that one before, but her mom has served since they've grown up. Matter of fact her mom got called for Federal Court, where you must serve, it's not like when they send you the letter with a number and say call in every evening, with Federal Court the letter says basically report to such and such court and you're in.

  • Gypsy Sam
    Gypsy Sam

    Was a victim prior to jury duty. Survivor and happily divorced by the time jury duty came up for me. Still knew the charges brought up were too close to my former marriage and i couldnt be objective. Someone I work with is always questioning why, in Florida, with the amount of retirees and unemployed people we have, why they can't just call on them. Those of us in finance really don't like missing work.

  • BluesBrother

    In the U K anybody on the Electoral Register is eligible for Jury Service...I guess there are some exceptions, but that is the principle. It is a legal requirement to be on the Electoral Register and so J W's register, just do not vote on Polling Day.

    It is a "conscience matter" whether they serve on juries or not. I know one sister (elder's wife) who did....another one who declined and found an excuse. In reality it was her belief that she should not do so.

    They never called me. As a dub, I would have gone and now obviously I would go. In reality relatively few people that I have known, whether at work or in the cong. have been called

  • Yan Bibiyan
    Yan Bibiyan

    Been called twice, never selected.

    I have a Trump card, if need be. My father was a police office for over 30 years. All a defense attorney needs to hear to send you packing because of possible partiality.

  • St George of England
    St George of England

    I was called twice in the 1970's and in each case I wrote and asked to be excused due to being a JW. In each case this was allowed.

    I felt very guilty about this as the WTS reason for refusing jury service is a really lame excuse.

    Too old now I guess.


  • WTWizard

    I got called a few times--once while an active witless. That time, I dogged it (I sat on the chair for maybe 15 seconds and confessed that I would not be able to give a fair trial as I lived in a bad area and might be biased. The second time, I was still technically active but not giving a fxxx what the stand was--that time, I never even got picked. The first was assault, the second a lawsuit about someone falling off a roof while working for the water company.

    And most recently, I got off because I confessed that I might not be fair and impartial. That lasted maybe 15 seconds--and I wasn't even a believing or active witless at that time. That was a situation where the person was accused of setting a house fire knowing someone was inside. For those who do not wish to be bothered with a case, "I might not be able to give a fair trial" usually works.

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