Judy duty is one of those things that every person is obligated to do as their “civic duty,” but it’s a huge pain in the ass! It throws your life out of joint for a few days, weeks, or even months; it doesn’t pay very well; and unless you’re Pauly Shore, it isn’t much fun.
Honestly, getting out of jury duty isn’t that difficult. It all depends on who you are, where you’re from, or if you just don’t give a damn about making a fool of yourself.
Here are a few ways to get around the most annoying of civic duties:
Please Note: This article is for general information purposes, and maybe for a good laugh. In no way should you ever believe this constitutes as legal advice; if you’re looking for legal advice see a lawyer, I hear they’re pretty good at that whole “law” thing.
The Instant Out
Many people get out of deciding the fate of murders, rapists, and other loathsome people by fitting into one of the categories below.
- You are over 70 years of age.
- You do not have a car and are unable to use public transportation.
- You are a volunteer firefighter, rescue squad member or ambulance crew member.
- You are an attorney, physician, dentist or registered nurse.
- You must care for young children or elderly adults, if your absence will put them at risk.
- You are so important to the operation of a business that your absence will cause everything to go to hell in a hand basket.
If you can pass yourself off as one of these type of people, just write your court officials as quickly as you can. They should have no problem letting you off the legal hook. You will probably be relieved of your duty before ever having to set foot in a courtroom. There’s also a good chance that you’ll be added to the juror’s “do not call” list.
Postponements, putting off the system on hold
In case you aren’t instantly qualified to be voted off the island, you may be able to stay your duty if you have important things to do.
Deferments are common and can be done in writing your court, but don’t think you’ll get off Scott-free; the legal system will never forget about you, and you can be sure you will be called upon after the postponement expires.
Hardships also qualify for a deferment, however you will have to sell yourself. You can contact the court via mail and explain your situation, but they might not show much leniency through the mail. If you can also explain your problem in person, you’ll get the added human element.
This leads me up to…
Gotta show up? Get off the first day
So, you haven’t managed to get out of the dirty deed yet? Well, you’d better show up to court when ordered. A no-show is a serious matter, and you’ll probably get fined.
When you arrive at the jury meeting a court employee will probably ask all potential jurors if they have any legitimate reason for not being there. If you really do have one, go for it!
Normally the courts will allow you to duck out if you have travel plans, an intense work schedule, or some sort of medical or family care responsibilities.
If that doesn’t work, on to..
If you’ve reached this point, you’re probably going to have a hard time getting off; it’s time to get a bit creative. You will normally be interviewed by the court to see if you have any bias to the case, or have any conflicting views which may sway your decisions. For example, if the case was for the murder of a clown, and you happened to be a professor at a clown college, you might be turned away.
Basically you’re being interviewed to see if you’re an objective person, and if you want to get out of jury duty, you’d better not be. Try to pass yourself off as a a bigger idiot than you already are. While the case is being explained to you use a bit of theatrics and gasp in horror, or shake your head in disgust, but be subtle. This will help show that you aren’t objective, and your chances of being selected is slim.
This might be a good time to mention to the court that the crime committed is similar to something that has happened to a friend or family member. For example, if the case is about car theft and your brother just happened to be arrested for the same thing last month, now is a great time to let someone know. You could even add a little something about how you gave your car to a car donation recently, and make up some ridiculous reason as to why you think they ripped you off.
You can also know little too much! Have you been to the area that the crime was supposedly committed? Do you know the witnesses somehow? Are you friends with cops, or other law-enforcement officials? Speak up!
Other tips and tricks to weasel your way out
- Look dirty! Shave your hair into a pink Mohawk, get some (fake?) piercings, and wear your best Misfits shirt to the jury selection. Remember, the court is looking for objective, normal people, not self-proclaimed radicals who might throw the system. Use this to your advantage.
- Let it be known that you aren’t having fun. Many times judges or legal staff will simply ask if you can render a fair verdict. You could say something like you’re pissed at the defendant for making you sit through hell. Or you could simply say, “No,” but beware, you might be asked why.
- Be an annoying moron. If you ask as many stupid questions as possible and ask for clarification or every single topic presented. You’re bound to not only annoy your potential-juror peers, but the attorneys and the judge as well! This will work to your advantage as he thought of having to be around you for several days or months may be enough to have the court ask you to leave.