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College students and jury duty

MarianMarian Registered User Posts: 12,623 Senior Member
edited April 2009 in Parents Forum
My daughter, who is a student at a college seven hours from home, just received a questionnaire to fill out about possible jury service here at home. She filled it out online, and hopefully that will be the end of it. She didn't actually get summoned for jury duty, and she still may not be summoned. But the idea that she might get a jury summons raises an interesting question.

Have any of your kids been called for jury duty at home while attending a distant, out-of-state college? If so, what did your child do about it?

We are in Maryland, and my daughter's college is in New York. I realize that situations may differ from state to state, but it might be interesting for all of us to share stories anyway.
Post edited by Marian on

Replies to: College students and jury duty

  • 1ofeach1ofeach Registered User Posts: 422 Member
    My D got called for jury duty several hours (and a different state away) She had just registered to vote in her college town. So she was able to respond that she is registered in another state and therefore not eligible for jury duty in her home state. Also, your new voting town notifies your old town to remove you from the voters roll, Then you're sent official notice that you are no longer a registered voter in state X.
  • MarianMarian Registered User Posts: 12,623 Senior Member
    That's a good way out for young people who want to establish residence in their college community, 1ofeach.

    My son is a graduate student in California. He has registered to vote and obtained a driver's license there because he is trying to become a California resident. His graduate school asked him to do this. His tuition is paid out of his research assistantship, which comes from one of his advisor's grants. Once he is a resident, his tuition will decrease (it's a state university), and therefore he will be less of a financial burden on that grant.

    Six months after he got his California driver's license and registered to vote there, he was called for jury duty. I think he will have to serve next month. But at least he will do it in the community where he now lives year-round.

    Incidentally, here in Maryland (or at least in Montgomery County, where I live), they no longer use just the voter lists to select jurors. They also use the driver's license lists. Apparently, quite a lot of people were avoiding jury duty by not registering to vote, and the state caught on. My daughter must have been picked off the driver's license list because she is not registered to vote.
  • scansmomscansmom Registered User Posts: 1,553 Senior Member
    My S was summoned for jury duty in Boston just a few weeks ago. I did not find out until the day he went (he was bored and called me from the waiting room to discuss something unrelated). Since he had never even registered to vote or for a driver's license or anything else in Mass, and was not a permanent resident, it seemed odd that he could serve on a jury and at first I thought perhaps it was a mistake so while we were talking I checked the website and yes, non-resident students can be summoned even if they were not registered as voters, although the site also indicated that being a college student could be grounds to be excused.

    My S said he knew several other students who had jury duty before and they all said it was typically just a 1-day deal and so of course he assumed that is what would happen with him, wheras I was worried that he would end up on a long case that would mean missing several days of class so just made sure that he knew that he COULD bring up his being a student as a hardship if he was called and it looked like it could be a long trial. Turned out it was just a 1-day thing and he only missed one class... whew! ;)
  • CalreaderCalreader Registered User Posts: 1,029 Senior Member
    My daughter's home is in California and she goes to school in Massachusetts. She was called for jury duty about a month ago. You're allowed to choose another date as long as it's not more than six months (I think) off. She already has a summer job lined up here at home for June and July, so she picked a date in August and they approved it.
  • tango14tango14 Registered User Posts: 1,578 Senior Member
    Your S was lucky to be able to call you from the waiting room. When I served on a jury, we had to turn in cell phones/purses/pagers etc. (They were put in lockers to which we were given a key). We could only have reading/writing materials.
  • scansmomscansmom Registered User Posts: 1,553 Senior Member
    calreader: my S has Asperger's - guess he missed the part about being able to reschedule, or did not think there was any better time since he wouldl be taking classes during the summer anyway...fortunately it did not result in a problem for him.
  • scansmomscansmom Registered User Posts: 1,553 Senior Member
    tango, that occurred to me about the cell phones too. I am a trial paralegal and here in Minnesota we can bring them into the courthouse and they just need to be turned off while court is in session, but I know from experience that that is not always the case (once in NY we had to check them, and once in FL they would only allow our attorneys to bring them in but they had no system to check anybody else's so somebody from our team had to gather up all the phones of the paralegals, clients and witnesses and run them back to our hotel)
  • BaystateNutmegBaystateNutmeg Registered User Posts: 162 Junior Member
    Here in CT, S was called, but was away at school. He was able to defer jury duty for any time up to a year later. He deferred until he got home.
  • CalreaderCalreader Registered User Posts: 1,029 Senior Member
    scansmom, the Mass. rules about postponement might be different. I wasn't being clear, but my D's jury duty will be in California. So the only problem will be if she gets picked for something long, but this seems very unlikely.
  • ST2ST2 Registered User Posts: 878 Member
    Quite a few states have replaced voter rolls with drivers license lists when selecting people for jury duty
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Registered User Posts: 15,711 Senior Member
    Quite a few states have replaced voter rolls with drivers license lists when selecting people for jury duty

    I was just wondering about that. I was called for jury duty once. I am not and never have been registered to vote (not a US citizen) so assume they got my information from drivers license records. As a non citizen I was ineligible to serve anyway. (I always joke that I am eligible to pay taxes but not for anything else - taxation without representation - wasn't that how the Boston Tea party came about? Not that I would waste my good tea that way ;) ).

    There have been a couple of threads about this before. I think most students were able to defer until summer.
  • ucsd_ucla_daducsd_ucla_dad Registered User Posts: 8,573 Senior Member
    My D was called. Guess what she got to do for spring break (along with a lot of other students who all postponed it to spring break - others postpone to summer break)?
  • BookladyBooklady Registered User Posts: 3,122 Senior Member
    D was called last year, but goes to school out of state. She filled out an online questionnaire, was excused, and hasn't heard from them since.

    I was called just a few weeks after D was born, and was excused since I was a nursing mom. It took them 10 years to get around to me again!
  • scansmomscansmom Registered User Posts: 1,553 Senior Member
    I am not sure if this is the case in all states but in Mass. you do not need to be a registered voter or have a Mass. state driver's license; besides being a US citizen you only need to be an inhabitant for more than 50% of the year - which would include most full-time students. Although I am still curious how they get the names of non-resident students who are not state residents/do not have a state license or ID?
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Registered User Posts: 22,762 Senior Member
    "Although I am still curious how they get the names of non-resident students who are not state residents/do not have a state license or ID?"

    It might be through the health insurance database. I've never been called for Jury Duty in NH and was only called once in MA but that was after I moved out of the state. I think that our son is invisible in both MA and NH outside of the health insurance database.
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