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Jury duty *URGENT*

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I've got jury duty next week.
I've also got an 11 year old with PDD-NOS, anxiety, and ZERO impulse control, a 9 year old with sensory issues and an as-of-yet undiagnosed receptive and expressive communication problem, and a 4 year old with food allergies ( wheat, barley, rye, oats, rice, peanuts, and tree nuts).

My first passing thought was "hooray, I'll get to do something different for a change", and then I crashed back to reality. I don't have childcare. Never have. Occasionally, I can talk my mom into watching them for a couple of hours, but she's in her 70's and is exhausted after a couple of hours (not to mention looking a bit shell-shocked). I just cannot fathom her watching them for over 8 hours.

They've released me for all but one day, but what am I supposed to do with them for that day???
The only options I can come up with are taking them with me (I could be arrested for contempt of court), or leaving them alone at home (I could be arrested for neglect or worse depending on what happens when I'm gone).

Any ideas?
post #2 of 14
Call a nanny service in your city and hire a professional to come to your house. Take paper work with you to prove the major dx's (I have a letter from our doctor on his pretty letter head) and try to get excused.

I can't think of anything better.
post #3 of 14
Just dont go? I've never gone to jury duty. I once wrote a letter to them telling them that I dont think i'd be a good judge of character and they never sent me anything else. I just would not go unless you really want to.
post #4 of 14

Blowing it off is a bad, bad idea. They come an arrest you. They may not seek you out but if you get pulled over while driving with a warrant out they'll arrest you then and take your kids into custody. 

 

If you can be completely excused depends on the state you live in. The only state where I've had jury duty had an exception for people who are the stay at home caregivers of young children. Some states don't. I remember reading a newspaper article about a woman with a days old newborn being forced to serve, not having a place to pump, and her husband spending the day sitting on the steps outside with the baby who wouldn't take a bottle. I would start by calling, even if you can't be completely exempted from it you're likely to be given a later date so you'll have more time to arrange child care. 

post #5 of 14

It depends on where you live. Can your mom watch them for an hour or two, so you can go on the day with letters from your pediatrician, and ask to be excused from serving? Laws do vary depending on what state you are in. When I lived in NJ, sahm's were excused until their youngest child was kindergarten age. I now live in NC, and our county has on-site child care and a lactation room (just don't get me started on the expectation that somehow a BFing mother is supposed to pump and feed her baby during the miniscule number of breaks jurors receive!), so it is harder to get out of.

post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by elus0814 View Post

Blowing it off is a bad, bad idea. They come an arrest you. They may not seek you out but if you get pulled over while driving with a warrant out they'll arrest you then and take your kids into custody. 

If you can be completely excused depends on the state you live in. The only state where I've had jury duty had an exception for people who are the stay at home caregivers of young children. Some states don't. I remember reading a newspaper article about a woman with a days old newborn being forced to serve, not having a place to pump, and her husband spending the day sitting on the steps outside with the baby who wouldn't take a bottle. I would start by calling, even if you can't be completely exempted from it you're likely to be given a later date so you'll have more time to arrange child care. 

This is not always true. They could issue a warrant I suppose, but I never had a warrant issued. I know, because I got in plenty of trouble. It seems that (on my google search) people do get arrested for it, so maybe call and ask what you can do to get out of it. In Kentucky, I've known tons of people to not go, and no one has been arrested. They always call up way, way more people than they need.

I've also known people to decline jury duty by going the first day and saying that they do not believe incarceration to be a suitable way for criminals to recover, so they will never say that someone is guilty if they know the penalty to be jailtime.
post #7 of 14
I got my mom to come and I reported but went right to the bailiff and told her how impossible the child care situation was due to my son's special needs. They sent me home. I was prepared, though, to have to spend the day. Can you get a professional in there? Do you qualify for respite care?
post #8 of 14

Please, don't just not go.  First, read everything that was sent to you.  Some states allow for a medical caregiver disqualification and all you need to provide is a doctor's note.  Don't bring your kids with you.  A courthouse is not an appropriate place for them, and more than likely you'll be reprimanded and sent home.  And don't just not show up.  Some states do issue warrants for people who disregard your jury duty.  And many people don't even know there's a warrant for their arrest until they roll through a stop sign or get stopped for speeding.  If you aren't eligible for a caregiver disqualification, and the kids' father isn't in the picture, I would hire a sitter to assist your mom.  Your state also may allow you to speak with a judge and get excused early for a hardship. 

post #9 of 14

You can't take the kids with you. They won't allow it.

 

However, you can be excused. Call the clerk in charge of jury selection and explain your problem. The clerk will tell you how to get excused. The number should be on your notice.

post #10 of 14

like others have said just not going is taking a HUGE chance.  Its better to try to get out of it.  Is there any way that their HCP can write you a note stating that you are their sole medical attendants (as opposed to child care giver) some states allow more leeway for medical than simpy child care issues.  Having thier hcp write out how your abscence would impact their health/well being could also help.  I would also include a letter from your mother stating why she is not a suitable person to watch your children for extended periods of time as well as a paystub (if you have a partner but is unable to get out of work due to financial hardship)  basically come to court with as much paperwork to back you up as possible.  good luck

post #11 of 14
I don't have any children but I teach kids on the spectrum in a small private school, and it would be impossible for me to get a sub for anything longer than a few days.

Each time I've been called, I've written a letter asking to be excused and it's always worked. I'm sure if you explain that you have a child with autism and no babysitter, you can get excused, especially if you explain the problems that might occur should you try to get a babysitter that your child doesn't already know.
post #12 of 14

This should not be a big deal at all. It does depend on your state. I just got out of jury duty with a quick phone call explaining my reality and everything was handled.  Here is what I did:

 

I googled jury duty and the name of my county. I found a website with a phone number.

 

I called the phone number, and admitted that I had lost the jury summons and did not have any information and that I had completely forgotten about it. 

 

Next, I explained that there was no way that I could do it, and why.  

 

That was it.  Try the easy way first before you worry.  It might work, but if not, ask what paperwork you need.

post #13 of 14

Fizzymom, what did you end up doing and how did it go?  <<hugs>>

post #14 of 14

I hope things worked out for you this week!
 

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