May 18, 2011

Very mild ethical dilemma

Preface: I've done jury duty in EVERY city I've lived in, including Northampton, MA as a college student. Despite only actually being selected once, I feel I've done my civic duty fairly regularly. Jrex in contrast has rarely (never?) been called.

Living here, I already got called once, though I ended up not having to serve. A few days ago, I got another summons. Jrex advised that I just delay it and then tell them I don't live in California anymore. Great idea, but I was nervous it might somehow be illegal and I might get dragged back with an infant to serve my time.

So, I called the courthouse to check.

"Hi, I've got a jury summons, but I'll be out of town that day, then I'm moving out of state at the end of the month, can I just file a continuance?"

Sweet, older woman's voice, "Well, you'll need to pick a date while you're still in town."

Me, probing, "What happens if I file for a date after I move?"

Not so sweet voice, "I suppose, if that's how you choose to conduct yourself, that's up to you. You're the one who has to look at yourself in the mirror every day."

Me, thinking, "Sweet! No legal repercussions", out loud, "OK. Well, thank you."

So I'm 'serving' jury duty in August. I made sure that one of the valid excuses on the form is that I don't live in the county anymore.

Question: should I feel at all guilty? I don't, but I will if you think I should!


Anonymous said...

I have never been called but my husband who isn't even an American citizen gets a mailing for jury duty every year. And every year he has to call and tell them he is Canadian.

Mizasiwa said...

im not american and i dont live their either so not sure how this all works but if youve gone every other time youve been called and this will be the second time in this particular place then i think its legitimate not to go. also i think that women is rude!!

NGS said...

No. You should feel no guilt. Jury duty is the worst!!

Suzanne said...

No you shouldn't. And it's really a shame that that woman spoke to you in that manner.

Anonymous said...

I got called once and did not have to serve because my number was high and they did not end up needing that many people. I got called again a few years later and they said I did not have to do it because you only have to "serve" every 5 yrs (I think that was it) and even though I did nothing the first time - it still counted as serving because I was available. - you might want to check that out

mary said...

I think you should definitely NOT feel guilty. =)

I learned a "cheat" system not so long ago. If you reschedule for a Friday, it's more likely that you won't be summoned. teehee

michiganme said...

My philosophy for jury duty is serve when you can and get out of it when you can't. Then feel no guilt!