Voyager, the rules are different in each state and you need to find out the rules for your state. Your city/town/shire/county, whatever sends you that summons for jury duty. Some will allow you one postponement of six months, no more period. Others may excuse you if you are out of the country. Some would probably just tell you "good luck, there's going to be an arrest warrant or a fine waiting for you when you come home, we'll just levy the fine against your house and foreclose on it if you don't pay up." There's no way to GUESS.
Dan, I might agree with you except I don't think either side would want me on the typical jury. Little things I know from places including friends in the legal system--like "Yes, that's him" identifications are wrong as often as they are right. And frankly, if the perp is a real nasty fellow I'm going to consider their record as much or more than the other factors, I make no bones over the fact that I think trash needs to be thrown out.
But even more so, I object to slavery. My local jury system pays well less than the minimum wage and that's before I have to take out travel expenses. I refuse to work--for anyone--at less than state or federal minimum wage.
If the court can't perform without my services, OK, then I must be just as important as the attorneys, the paid witnesses (doctors, etc.) the court officers, secretary and the judge himself.
When they offer to pay me an equal rate, based on the average paid to all the court personnel (who are no more or less important than I am), or at least to pay me for the income I'm going to lose by being there instead of doing my own work--then I'll be glad to participate. Meanwhile, I'll suffer my couple of days of slavery during the selection process and hope they can see it my way and dismiss me.
We used to have an unwritten exemption for the self-employed, i..e. you went up to clerk, said "I'm self employed and I'm going to lose my income, my business, and my clients if I stay here" and they simply put your papers on the bottom of the stack--so you'd be dismissed, uncalled, at the end of the first day. Now, no more slack for anyone (yeah, sure) you're just expected to give up your rent money to pay the suits in the courtroom.
Nuh-uh, that's just not legal, fair, equitable, nor proper. I won't be a part of it.
There's a note about "may be liable for up to $200 for refusing to..." so apparently you can also buy your way out--the same way you could buy your way out of the draft during the Civil War.
Last edited by hellosailor; 11-30-2007 at 05:01 PM.