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Question for Parents about Jury Duty

membermember Posts: 612- Junior Member
edited August 2009 in Parent Cafe
I have been away at school for some time and did file some papers at our local court house telling them that I was at school in another county of the state. I guess that the filed papers worked for a few years, though this summer I started to get letters calling me for jury duty. Though I could not go, as I was away at school. My parent sent the count house around 5 letters explaining this to them, and we know that they got them as they were certified. Though even though we sent the letters, they continued to send the letters calling me for duty. I am home now and got a non-compliance letter two days ago, telling me that I have committed a crime and that I must attend the court house and see a judge. The letter also says I must pay a $250 fine, though that is up to the judge to finalize the amount.

Have any of your children experience this before? What should I do? I searched online and most sources claimed that, the court really doesn't care where I was. I haven't lived in the house for nearly 4.5 years.
Post edited by member on

Replies to: Question for Parents about Jury Duty

  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 36,923Registered User Senior Member
    If you are over 18, YOU must send the info to the court...not your parents. The court only cares about your permanent address. If you are a student and your address of "record" is your parent's address (for student billing, taxes, etc), then that is your address.

    Where we live, you can defer your jury duty, but you cannot get out of it permanently unless you have already established a permanent residence elsewhere.

    If you have a drivers licence and are registered to vote at the address to which you are getting these letters YOU..the over 18 year old student...need to contact the court.
  • membermember Posts: 612- Junior Member
    Yeah but the thing is my mother never told me about them. I just found out.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Posts: 24,853Registered User Senior Member
    Contact the court yourself and find out what to do. They are who knows how to solve your problem. I suggest calling the court.
  • akckakck Posts: 285Registered User Junior Member
    In our state, they allow "away at school" as a valid excuse. When our son received a jury summons, we called and were told to write a letter on his behalf, since he was away at school and would miss the return deadline if we mailed the summons to him.

    I think you have to go to court and explain your case. Bring the proof that you sent letters to court. Depending on the judge's mood, he'll likely waive the fine and either excuse you or try to work around your school schedule.
  • NewHope33NewHope33 Posts: 6,208Registered User Senior Member
    In our state they DO NOT allow "away at school" as a valid excuse. YMMV.

    I agree with Northstarmom. Contact the court yourself, in person preferably. Explain your situation to one official and then another until you find someone sympathetic. (I know that sounds arbitrary, but it often works.)
  • Nova10Nova10 Posts: 699Registered User Member
    In my county, being a full time student when class is in session is a valid excuse. You just need a letter from your school and you are fine. Technically they should defer the summons to when you are not in school. In Cook County, IL, they never go after people who skip jury duty. They give you $16 a day. That does not even pay for parking ($2), train ($7 round trip), and lunch ($6-$7) in Chicago.
  • sunnyfloridasunnyflorida Posts: 4,790Registered User Senior Member
    Sending letters and hoping the problem goes away does not work for jury duty. In my state, a student can defer jury duty only by making personal contact and scheduling a time to serve that does not conflict with school, such as spring break, Christmas break or summer. You had better call yourself IMMEDIATELY and try to explain what happened and see if you can meet with the judge at a time that works for you, but be prepared to go WHEN THEY TELL YOU TO if they will not work with you. The letters you continued to receive after your parents sent letters would have explained that you would not be excused, and that deferral can be done only if you contact the court yourself.

    To be honest, your parents can also be found have committed a crime by opening up your mail and trying to take care of it without notifying you.

    DON'T ignore this. Explain to the judge what happened. Perhaps you should bring your parents to corroborate what they did BUT NOT TO SPEAK FOR YOU. Bring copies of any letters and receipts of certified letters. Plan on attending with solid dates during which you can commit to serve. If you claim your parents home as your permanent residence, you have obligations. Take the notice you received very seriously.
  • ucsd_ucla_daducsd_ucla_dad Posts: 8,573Registered User Senior Member
    In Ca. the student still needs to serve the duty but they can postpone it until a break period - summer break, winter break, spring break, etc. The jury room is packed with students during spring break.

    One shouldn't ignore the summons and at least the ones I've received are very explicit in explaining what's not a valid excuse (such as being a student), what is an excuse, how to file the excuse, how to postpone, etc. If your parents still have the original jury summons, read it in detail so you know what the requirments are ('were' in your case). Maybe the judge will dismiss the fine if you explain that your parents never delivered the summons to you and never told you about it but frankly, it's hard to imagine they didn't tell you that you received it or about any of the other notices.
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