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Need advice re. jury duty in California

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wakemewhenitsover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:32 AM
Original message
Need advice re. jury duty in California
My girlfriend's mom is traveling overseas, and she missed appearing for jury duty selection because my girlfriend forgot to forward her mail in time. She's really worried. She heard a $1500 fine is possible. She also heard a bench warrant is possible, and that she may even have to come back to go to court, to explain why she missed the jury selection date. How often does that really happen? What reason is valid for missing jury duty in California? Are they really that strict?! What percentage of people get fined or have to appear before a judge if they miss the selection date, and how big are the fines usually? Any info re. California jury duty would be appreciated. Thanks.
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shoelace414 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:37 AM
Response to Original message
1. I would suggest calling them and explaining it.
I'm not from california, but I assume they'll work with her and have her do Jury duty some other time.
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MindPilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:38 AM
Response to Original message
2. I've found them to be very lenient and flexible
Out of the country sounds like a pretty good excuse to me. That one can probably be taken care of with a phone call or just writing an explanation on the back of the summons form.
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brianosaurus Donating Member (13 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:22 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. I second that
My girlfriend missed jury duty and she talked to them. They were quite fine, they rescheduled her, and that was it.
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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-07-05 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. same here
Down in San Diego, they rescheduled me. I then got stuck on a six week murder trial. :eyes:
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-09-05 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #7
17. Hi brianosaurus!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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SHRED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:50 AM
Response to Original message
3. They don't send it "Certified-Return Receipt Requested" in CA
There is absolutely no way for them to ascertain if she even received the notice or not. Don't worry.
I'd like to see them prove that she got it, in court. Yeah right.

I have known people, here in CA, who treat it like junk mail and trash it.

Having said all that...go and serve! It's your civic duty.
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greekspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Can I ask you something? What consequences do you face w/jury duty?
Let me preface this by saying that I beleive it is my duty to serve on juries when I get called, which is CONSTANTLY. Federal jury. Federal GRAND jury. County court. I have been called as much in the past two years as my father has been called in his life. Great. So I get called. I just have a great sounding name to the random selection software. My next little appearance will be on the 14th of October.

I am a PhD student. I teach a class. I have to read and read and read and read...as does anyone in a PhD program. I have to write papers and papers and papers...as does anyone in a PhD program. So when I get selected for a jury that lasts for 6 months, what am I supposed to do? Drop out of school? Even if it lasts only a week or two, when am I supposed to do my reading, research and teaching? After my eight hours of sitting in a court room? Eight hours I would normally be working? At least this time around I have a job situation where I will not miss pay to go be on a jury. Last time I got called in Missouri, about 2.5 years ago, I not only had to miss more than half a day's work, I got no lunch, I got grilled...GRILLED by the defense counsel, and for all my trouble they didn't select me. Lord HELP me if I ever have to testify at a trial, because I felt dirty and wrong after that counselor badgered me. And I was just a potential jury-member.

The powers that be have told us in no uncertain terms NOT to opt out of jury duty. So I must not opt out.
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MindPilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. I know how you feel
been on jury duty seven times. I have never been selected for a jury. The first thing they do is go through to make sure that anyone with the ability to form their own opinion are thrown out. Next they make sure you are completely ignorant of the subject matter surrounding the case. They are left with 12 people who will think exactly what they are told to think.
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greekspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. I am pretty good about forming opinions on a lot of matters
Amd I do tend to think for myself. And as for ignorance about cases, sometimes I am ignorant about cases, sometimes not.
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wakemewhenitsover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Wow. What sort of questions do they ask?
I really admire your civic-mindedness. Hope that counsel's same badgering manner at least benefited his or her client.
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greekspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. I said that I could become emotionally involved in the case
This case was about a woman whose husband had been killed and she was filing a civil suit for damages. The lawyer asked me to verify: What do you mean? How so? Sort of a line of questioning, sort of fast, rapid response situation as if I was on the stand. Stupid me for being truthful. It also so happened that one of the witnesses in the case was ultimately over me in the chain of command at work. I worked for a university as a temp clerk. He was a VP. They grilled me on how I knew him, and about how my job related to his. Same way as with the emotional involvement. I felt guilty of something after these lines of questioning, and I wasn't even on trial.
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wakemewhenitsover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Guilty of trying to be a good citizen.
Perhaps this is a tactic he or she uses whenever the potential juror seems too thoughtful or intelligent.
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livetohike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 11:48 AM
Response to Original message
6. A neighbor was given three strikes
He travels a lot for his job and missed two jury appearances. He was told that if he missed a third one he would be penalized. I don't know what the penalty would be. Also, he did call ahead of time to cancel his appearances.

In this case, if the mom would call and explain what happened, I am sure she will be excused. The court system seems pretty lenient on this out here in CA. It's just too bad she didn't know about the appearance before hand.
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wakemewhenitsover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. I found out fines in California can be up $1500, but unusual.
Policy seems to vary very dramatically state to state. It would be interesting to see which state has the most effective system -- the lowest rate of juror absenteeism.
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democracyindanger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 06:15 PM
Response to Original message
13. I missed jury duty
Edited on Thu Sep-29-05 06:17 PM by democracyindanger
Went to the courthouse, filled out a form with an explanation, never heard from them again. No big deal.

Also, remember that when you're called, you're called as a member of a jury pool. So if you miss appearing for the pool, it's not like a case was held up or a mistrial declared. There's just one less person that sat around all day, waiting for something to happen.
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Luminous Animal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-07-05 08:04 PM
Response to Original message
15. I throw them all out.
Edited on Fri Oct-07-05 08:04 PM by Luminous Animal
I've thrown out every jury summons that I have ever received (about 1 a year for the past 17 years) but whether or not they go after someone may be up to the county.

If she's worried, though, she should call. Contrary to common belief, government clerks are usually sympathetic and helpful.
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genius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-08-05 06:33 PM
Response to Original message
16. If you call and explain, it should be OK.
A lot of people don't even reply and they don't have time to go after everyone who stiffs them. So, they are pretty nice if you just contact them. Getting a postponement is easy. They will often let you pick a date for sometime in the future. The hard part is convincing them to let you off altogether. And judges love to hang onto business owners who lose money while they serve. The judges are mercilous on upper middle class people once they show up. You won't find poor people or minorites on the jury pannels -just rich business people.
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