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Selected for Federal Jury Duty


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I’ve waited all my life for this most basic element of democracy to invite me to participate.  Now I’m at a time in my life where it is a risk to walk four blocks to the courthouse and back, painful to sit in an uncomfortable chair for several hours at a time. Yada ya da….  I could pay a doctor to tell them that or I can just beg out because I’m over 70, after all they don’t want my snoring to keep the courtroom awake.

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Up here, "they" seem to like drawing on us older, retired folks for a jury trial.

I used to get called about every 13 or 14 months.

Last time I got called, I showed the court clerk my cruise ship tickets and she excused me and I haven't been called since, now 8 years.

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The second they hear I am retired Law Enforcement, the defense asks for me to be excused...

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30 minutes ago, Marshal Mo Hare, SASS #45984 said:

I’ve waited all my life for this most basic element of democracy to invite me to participate.  Now I’m at a time in my life where it is a risk to walk four blocks to the courthouse and back, painful to sit in an uncomfortable chair for several hours at a time. Yada ya da….  I could pay a doctor to tell them that or I can just beg out because I’m over 70, after all they don’t want my snoring to keep the courtroom awake.

My mom got called for FEDERAL jury duty 3 times...all after the age of 75.

She had to drive 4 hours and hotel each time.

Twice she drove the 4 hours, paid the hotel, made her way to the courthouse is downtown Abq...and get through the hassles of the process to get to the jury room, just to find the person had plead out and she was no longer needed. Sigh.

Our system needs an overhaul.

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On 7/14/2021 at 8:49 AM, DeaconKC said:

The second they hear I am retired Law Enforcement, the defense asks for me to be excused...

I have been called to sit in 3...excused for 3 more. In 15 years.

The last was a nasty one, and I knew the officers..so yup, thank you LEO friends!!!

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6 minutes ago, Cold Lake Kid, SASS # 51474 said:

seem to like drawing on us older, retired folks for a jury trial.

 

That way the courts don't have to hassle with forcing employers to pay jury duty rates.

good luck, GJ

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Garrison, you may be right.

After 6 calls to duty in 15 years, I figured I was the only white, Christian, gun toteing woman Republican over the age of consent left in Santa Fe Co!!!:huh:

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1 minute ago, DeaconKC said:

The second they hear I am retired Law Enforcement, the defense asks for me to be excused...

I served on several County juries during my working career. Then my eldest son joined the USAF and became a Security Specialist. Then the Defense Attorney would remove me for “Cause”. I guess I was considered biased for Law and Order. 

When my wife was selected for a jury pool for a Federal Jury against a member of the “Latin Kings” in NYC, she was terrified of serving because of the gang related issues. I told her to tell them your son is USAF Cop. She got off. 
 

Now I’m over 70 and I opt out due to age. Like the OP I just hurt too much to sit still long enough to serve. That would be a disservice to the court, the plaintiff and the defendant.

 

CJ

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For me it's been a prove I got the notice. As in my dog ate it. Finally one of the notices my dog didn't eat said they would issue a warrant for my arrest if I didn't show. I showed. Sat for 3 hours and told to leave. 

 

I have recently received Federal Jury notices and they to have not made it into my hands. Damn USPS.

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I was called ONCE.

I sent them a copy of my VA Disability, based on my hearing problem (which is, I can't hear).

 

They excused me and I haven't been asked again.

 

..........Widder

 

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Do it.  It is an interesting experience and vital to our justice system.  It will be different from what you see on TV and in the movies.  You are smarter than average Marshal; both sides need you.

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I served once at age 69. Then they wrote again at age 70. It was very inconvenient to drive there as it took an hour during rush hour and I'm unsteady after lengthy drives and never know when it will hit. I told the nice lady that if I sit too long, I risk passing out when I stand up. Seriously, I fell in the jury room after barely making it across the courtroom. She said we will excuse you.

 

So, I guess I've passed the threshold for serving, which I would have gladly done when I was younger and before this started happening.

 

PS I've been to many doctors and had many tests with no resolution.

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I got called and served for a week. I got paid $125. They contacted me 6 months later and I told them I was self employed and I’d be losing money. The lady said No problem. That was 10 years ago!

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My last call was during Covid last year. I asked to be excused due to age and multiple co-morbidities and they excused me. The next prior one was a case of an illegal immigrant in a criminal proceeding. For some reason after filling out a multi-page questionnaire, they neglected to require my service.

 

I did serve on two trials when I worked and was excused on another when the idiot defendant skipped.

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1 hour ago, Rye Miles #13621 said:

served for a week. I got paid $125.

They pay pretty good where you live. Last time I was on a jury, they paid $14 a day.

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The one time I got called for Jury Duty I was deployed to Iraq. That was 2008. Haven't heard back since!

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The only time I was selected and actually served was a local DUI case that lasted NINE hours.

Multiple defense witnesses (including the ex-wife) testifying as to the accused's character and known drinking habits, followed by listening to a half hour audio of the arrest (twice) during deliberations.

The jury foreman and I spent a considerable amount of time convincing the other jurors to ignore the firearm found in the vehicle (unrelated to the case at hand); then explaining that it was the judge who did the sentencing, not the jury.

The others didn't want to "ruin the defendants life" for a once in a lifetime indiscretion.
We finally found the defendant guilty. Sentenced to probation + fine...his license had already been suspended automatically for a year for refusing the breathalyzer test when initially pulled over.
 

 

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5 minutes ago, PaleWolf Brunelle, #2495L said:

The only time I was selected and actually served was a local DUI case that lasted NINE hours.

Multiple defense witnesses (including the ex-wife) testifying as to the accused's character and known drinking habits, followed by listening to a half hour audio of the arrest (twice) during deliberations.

The jury foreman and I spent a considerable amount of time convincing the other jurors to ignore the firearm found in the vehicle (unrelated to the case at hand); then explaining that it was the judge who did the sentencing, not the jury.

The others didn't want to "ruin the defendants life" for a once in a lifetime indiscretion.
We finally found the defendant guilty. Sentenced to probation + fine...his license had already been suspended automatically for a year for refusing the breathalyzer test when initially pulled over.
 

 

I spent 3 WEEKS...on a CIVIL case!!!

Drove the hour into Santa Fe, fought the traffic and trying to find a parking spot.

All because a woman was fighting to get more money from the State for property bought for Hwy infrastructure.

She moved away, found out 3 years later that a local business recieved more than she, because they were a business.

She tried for 3 weeks to prove she ran 3 businesses from her home...an animal rescue, an art class, and the other was something I can't recall...NONE of these did she have a business licensce to show.

The bad taste in my mouth was I had to leave my job for 3 weeks, my children arrived home and hour before my husband did and I arrived an hour later...

She had a State appointed lawyer:tax $$ paid for

Against the State lawyers:tax $$ paid for

And I was paid for time and travel: tax $$ paid for...

So I, myself was paying a percent of ALL the mess.

 

So, I don't enjoy the experiences I have had.

 

The 2nd was a week, of the State taking a woman who had moved from town to town, hoarding dogs and practicing as a vet WITHOUT a licence!

The 3rd was a man asking for pain and suffering from tripping on a plumbing pipe in the build he had contracted for.

He was self-employed, did not carry his own insurance, and knew the plumbing was being done on the day he tripped.

His plea was because after the fall he couldn't have sex with his wife!!!!

 

I think our system is broken... I will not demean anyone who wishes NOT to serve, especially when health issues are present, or self-employment, or travel/mobility issues.

 

Our courts are packed with cases that never should reach a court room.

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1 hour ago, Alpo said:

They pay pretty good where you live. Last time I was on a jury, they paid $14 a day.

It was $25.00 a day, I thought that was terrible but I guess not!:o Of course it cost me $5.00-$7.00 to park. It would have cost me $7.00-$8.00 to take a bus round trip. 

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Last time I was served for grand jury was the day before I was going to testify on 3 felony cases. I brought the paperwork with me and showed it to the prosecutor. She asked while laughing if I wouldn't mind. I then showed it to the grand jury who all laughed since they knew me from so many cases brought to them. Needless to say, I didn't get to sit on the other side of the table. Oh Well

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Only time I've been called I was comm supervisor for the town PD/FD/EMS, knew and in some form worked with every officer, deputy and trooper in the county.   Went in and sat down next to the active, serving, commander of the State Police; the Colonel and I were trying to figure out who would get excused first.  The judge, who we both knew, was the sister of a trooper from the local barracks.  I guess our smiling faces were enough to have her call us forward and dismiss both of us.  The county atty was disappointed, lol.

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I've been summoned several times, and have served twice.  And y'all have had it easy!  Honestly, I think I deserve a Lifetime "Bye" on jury duty.

 

Back in the early 80's I received a summons to show up for jury duty at the Federal Court in San Francisco, and did so as instructed.

 

There were over a hundred of us in a large room; it seems they were going to empanel a Federal Grand Jury.  Oh, wow!  This could be cool!  Exciting stuff!  Bank robberies!  Kidnappings!  Espionage!  Murder on Federal installations!  Cool!!  And I was the LAST juror selected (not counting a bunch of alternates).  

 

But... nope.  It seems that they were creating a grand jury to hear one case.  Antitrust.  And it was to be a six month assignment.  Oh, Crap!!  At least we were only to meet the last week of each month. 

 

First off, there cannot be anything much more boring than antitrust.  Each witness was asked the same questions; about a hundred or so from a list that the U. S. Attorneys had prepared.  Eventually, we learned which questions were pertinent, and would tune out the rest.  At any given time during the "non-essential" questions one could look about and see as many as four or five jurors sleeping soundly.  Heck... one afternoon a witness had to wake up the foreman to excuse us for lunch!

 

And then, the unthinkable happened.

 

As we approached the end of our six month "sentence," the lead U. S. Attorney stood before us and read to us from a page that cited this-and-that statute and law that stated that they - the U. S. Attorneys - could extend our period of service, and advised us that we were there for an additional six months.  Even worse, at the end of THAT period, the same U. S. Attorney again stood before us and read us the same page.

 

After a year and a half of near terminal boredom, the attorneys announced that there was not significant evidence of antitrust laws violations, therefore they were not going to ask us for any indictments.  Thank you, have a nice day, and enjoy your five bucks a day stipend.

 

By the way, upper management at work decided that if my department (I was department head) could function missing the manager for twelve weeks a year, it would be prudent to just merge with another department and eliminate my job.  

 

Oh... the "case?"  Nothing more than a bunch of hard-working, blue-collar commercial fishermen crossing paths at the coffee shop in the morning - "Hey, Bob!  Whaddaya think crabs will sell for today?"  "I dunno, Ralph!  But if we can't get a buck apiece I'm turnin' mine loose!"

 

*     *     *     *     * 

 

Second time was five or six years ago.  Rape case.  S'posed to last a week; turned into a month.  Horrible experience - we found the cretin guilty, but the poor victim was literally victimized a second time by the defense counsel.  What the poor woman was subjected to in court was inhumane.

 

But we did find him guilty... and he fired his attorney, hired another, and was granted a re-trial due to incompetent representation.  The victim flat refused to go through the process again, so the defendant walked away.  I was - and still am - disgusted, and just a tad disillusioned by the process.  Maybe more than a tad.   

 

                                                                                                    

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6 hours ago, Singin' Sue 71615 said:

Garrison, you may be right.

After 5 calls to duty in 15 years, I figured I was the only white, Christian, gun toteing woman Republican over the age of consent left in Santa Fe Co!!!:huh:

 

Color me surprised there's even one up there, or anywhere north of there on I-25 for that matter.

 

2 hours ago, Singin' Sue 71615 said:

I spent 3 WEEKS...on a CIVIL case!!!

Drove the hour into Santa Fe, fought the traffic and trying to find a parking spot.

All because a woman was fighting to get more money from the State for property bought for Hwy infrastructure.

She moved away, found out 3 years later that a local business recieved more than she, because they were a business.

She tried for 3 weeks to prove she ran 3 businesses from her home...an animal rescue, an art class, and the other was something I can't recall...NONE of these did she have a business licensce to show.

The bad taste in my mouth was I had to leave my job for 3 weeks, my children arrived home and hour before my husband did and I arrived an hour later...

She had a State appointed lawyer:tax $$ paid for

Against the State lawyers:tax $$ paid for

And I was paid for time and travel: tax $$ paid for...

So I, myself was paying a percent of ALL the mess.

 

So, I don't enjoy the experiences I have had.

 

The 2nd was a week, of the State taking a woman who had moved from town to town, hoarding dogs and practicing as a vet WITHOUT a licence!

The 3rd was a man asking for pain and suffering from tripping on a plumbing pipe in the build he had contracted for.

He was self-employed, did not carry his own insurance, and knew the plumbing was being done on the day he tripped.

His plea was because after the fall he couldn't have sex with his wife!!!!

 

I think our system is broken... I will not demean anyone who wishes NOT to serve, especially when health issues are present, or self-employment, or travel/mobility issues.

 

Our courts are packed with cases that never should reach a court room.

 

Civil litigants don't get "state appointed" lawyers.  If you think fighting with the government over an imminent domain issue doesn't belong in a courtroom, those of us property owners outside of the people's republic of Santa Fe county feel very differently about our property.

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5 minutes ago, Chacón said:

 

Color me surprised there's even one up there, or anywhere north of there on I-25 for that matter.

 

 

Civil litigants don't get "state appointed" lawyers.  If you think fighting with the government over an imminent domain issue doesn't belong in a courtroom, those of us property owners outside of the people's republic of Santa Fe county feel very differently about our property.

This was several years ago...she did get a 'no cost to her lawyer' and yes, I am a Santa Fe property owner.

This was a unique case.

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Last time I was called to serve. The Judge read off the names of the arresting officers and we were instructed to stand if we knew any of them.

The Judge calls on me and I inform the court that the teams leader is my SIL. I also stated I knew everyone on the team.

The Judge chuckled, and asked when I last saw them.

This jury deal was on a Monday, I informed the Judge, it was Sunday at my SIL's home at a BBQ he was having. 

By now, the Judge, clerk and others all all chuckling over this.

The Judge said I was dismissed from jury selection. 

:lol:

Never got the chance to even tell'em I'm a former LEO.

:D

OLG

 

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I worked for the Court system for 40+ years.  One time I was called while I was working for the Appellate Court.  I walked into the courtroom and the clerk says "Why are you here?"  I told them I was on the panel, she talked to the judge who already saw me and knew who I was.  He asked the attorneys to come into the chambers along with me and they said "goodbye".  I have never been called again.  

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A different perspective.  

 

I have never served on a jury and likely never will.  I was a trial lawyer, specializing in civil, commercial litigation, for 35 years.  I tried over 100 jury trials in that time.

 

I am deeply grateful to each of you that served or will serve.  The jury system is flawed in many ways, still it is the best system we have ever crafted for approaching a fair judicial system. 

 

Consider that each of us is biased, often deeply so.  This applies to me and it applies to every judge.  The judge's bias cannot be balanced, but with a jury you can achieve a measure of balance, as is evidenced by some of the comments above.  The great strength of the jury system is the deliberations, the differing insights and at times heated arguments that let the significant facts come to the fore.  

 

Even if the case settles or a defendant pleads out before the jury rendered a decision, the jury played a significant role.  The fact that they were there and going to render a decision forces a form of reality on the parties that was missing until that critical moment.

 

If you did not want to serve, no litigant or their counsel wanted you to.  A frustrated, fuming juror is not a good juror.

 

But if you are willing to serve you are incredibly valuable.

 

I tried to talk to jurors after every trial.  Some would, others would not.  From their comments I learned a great deal about being a better lawyer and how the system was viewed.

 

Winston Churchill said of Democracy, Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”  The same can be said of the jury system.  It is far from perfect and at times renders very flawed results.  It can be a hardship for those caught in its maw.  Still it is better than any alternative anyone has crafted.  It can and does serve as a check on government excess.  

 

Thank you, again.

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I go when called (been called twice- including a stint on a local Grand Jury) and don't try to dodge.  Jury duty is just that- a duty.

 

If you dodge it, then don't EVER complain about how bad the justice system is.

 

You had your chance to participate and decided to avoid it.

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I have been called many times to county duty and once to city duty.  County provides free parking at a remote lot and a free bus ride to the building that houses the main jury room.  The mailed notice provides a way to mail back in or do an online response if you meet certain qualifications for not serving.  Once you are in the main jury room they start off by stating the qualifiations that can be reasons for not serving and people line up to talk with the main person who either agrees and lets them go or disagrees and tells them to set back down.  THEN they go through the list of courts who need juries and use a random list to indentify the jury pool for each of those courts.  Once at the specific court then they go through choosing who will stay and make up the jury for that trial.  I have served on one civil case in all the years called.

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11 hours ago, DeaconKC said:

The second they hear I am retired Law Enforcement, the defense asks for me to be excused...

That didn't work for me when I was State Corrections, my brother was a police officer, and his wife was adult probation. 

 

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been called upon in many venues over the years and never was seated on a jury yet , my wife has - but they plead out mid trial 

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11 hours ago, Barry Sloe said:

That didn't work for me when I was State Corrections, my brother was a police officer, and his wife was adult probation. 

 

It's never worked for me, either.  I wasn't really trying to get out of jury duty, but realistically, nobody's putting me on a jury panel.

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Get a buzz haircut, wear a thin 1960s black tie, respond to every question with "Sir, Yes Sir"  and they will discharge you.

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have been on alot of grand juries, and juries, the last one I was on , an father took 11 days to beat his 4 year old son to death,  worst thing anyone could see, or have to around , after the case was done judge ask for any questions; I had one; Why was this NOT a death penalty case after seeing the pictures of the boy, answer "In Texas the does mean death penalty stands" The young boy was same age as my grandson ,  kill for basely peeing on the floor. He liked car racing. We carried the boy name Chance Jones on our racecar every year we raced after that. In his home town Clarendon, Texas the Hold the Chance Jones Honor Run each year. People should be glade to live in a place we have a say in justify 

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