Jury duty... advice please - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 18 Old 04-28-2008, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
Gracefulmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: I think I live in the laundry room!
Posts: 730
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've been summoned for jury duty... and just don't know how I can make it work right now. I have a 5th grader, a 1st grader, and a toddler who still nurses at least every two hours. (Had a run-in with a blocked duct recently when she went five hours without nursing.)

So I wrote a letter to the jury admin, and would like some input before I send it:

To whom it may concern:
I would like to request that I be excused from jury duty at this time. I am the primary caregiver for my three children and do not have long-term child care available. I also teach my oldest two children at home and could not take an extended break from their schooling.
I can be reached at *phone number* if necessary.
Respectfully,
me


I didn't put anything in about the nursing toddler... do you think I should?

I feel torn about this. I'm willing to serve jury duty, but I really can't take the risk that I would be involved in a long trial. A couple days we could manage, but any more than that would be traumatic.

I appreciate any input!

Wife and Mama who homeschools-- mostly in the kitchen!
Gracefulmom is offline  
#2 of 18 Old 04-28-2008, 12:04 PM
 
crazyhippy25's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It might help to look up your states laws on jury duty, to see if you have a quick and easy way out.

http://www.familyfriendlyjuryduty.or...JuryStates.htm
crazyhippy25 is offline  
#3 of 18 Old 04-28-2008, 01:35 PM
 
ccasanova's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Manifesting my next desire!!!
Posts: 1,494
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It might depend on what state you live in (I'm in CA)but doesn't the form that comes to you in the mail have a place to put that you want to be excused for such and such reasons? I remember the last time I got a jury duty notice, I had to register by phone even if I had planned to be excused. It was just a recorded message that would tell me to push *such number* for this and *such number* for that.

There were a couple reasons for why I needed to be excused, and you hopefully have the same options.
#1- you are the primary caretaker of your children and their is no one else to take care of them for you.
#2- you are breastfeeding and for that reason can't be away from your child for too long (I wouldn't tell them my DC was a toddler unless I specifically was instructed to do so. It's none of their business in my opinion)

I don't know about the homeschooling thing though. I don't know if they would accept that as a valuable excuse. They should though! Maybe you can say it would be too big a hardship on your family to have to pay a babysitter? I know if you are working and it's too big a hardship to be without that pay you can use that as an excuse (at least here in CA)

If none of those options are available to you, do you know any officers? Stating that you have family/friends that are officers usually will be enough for you to not be picked. You could be to biased for the side of the law. I found that out when I showed up for jurty duty and had to let them know that DH, my cousin, and all my friends (because of DH) where peace officers.

All in all, if there are no excuses available to you, maybe you can have someone watch your kids while you go the first day and try to get out of it that day without being picked. Good luck!
ccasanova is offline  
#4 of 18 Old 04-28-2008, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
Gracefulmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: I think I live in the laundry room!
Posts: 730
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Unfortunately, my state doesn't have any of those options for being excused, at least not on the official form to return to jury administration. I'm hoping a letter might gain some sympathy for my situation, even though it's not a "pre-approved" reason to opt out.

Wife and Mama who homeschools-- mostly in the kitchen!
Gracefulmom is offline  
#5 of 18 Old 04-28-2008, 03:55 PM
 
clane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 943
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I believe the Federal guidelines prohibit them from requiring the primary caregiver for a child under the age of 5 to serve. I would expect the state's guidelines to be comparable with that. They can't require a SAHM to go find daycare and pay for it off the minimal stipend they allot for serving. Not to mention that most SAHM are that way because they are opposed to having said child(ren) in daycare.

They really do need establish guidelines for homeschooling parents as well. We can't just leave our kids alone and go off for x hours.
clane is offline  
#6 of 18 Old 04-28-2008, 10:26 PM
 
loveandkindness's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 438
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just call up, tell them you are breastfeeding and need to be excused. The clerk may ask you how much longer you'll be breastfeeding -- tell them a year (that is about as long as they will give you). The clerk will tell you that your name will be put back on the rolls in a year.

It's no big deal -- happens all the time. So don't worry about it!


Edited to add that they will not ask you how old your baby is that you are breastfeeding.
loveandkindness is offline  
#7 of 18 Old 04-28-2008, 10:57 PM
 
happydoulamama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Up Yonder
Posts: 474
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I got out of jury duty last August by telling them that I am a breastfeeding mother who couldn't be separated from my child and that I could get a medical note from her doctor if necessary. They DID ask me how old she was...not sure how legal that is, but I answered anyway (she was 8 months). They gave me an extension for one year. I will be called back in August and will be happy to serve (as my dd is only nursing a few times a day now, and it wouldn't be nearly as traumatic as it was a year ago!)

I hope that they don't give you a hard time about it. Maybe you can get an extension and be better prepared to serve in a year or so as well.
happydoulamama is offline  
#8 of 18 Old 04-28-2008, 11:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
Gracefulmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: I think I live in the laundry room!
Posts: 730
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks, everyone! I'll give a phone call in the morning and send the letter if necessary. And I'll sleep well tonight, thanks to your insight!

Wife and Mama who homeschools-- mostly in the kitchen!
Gracefulmom is offline  
#9 of 18 Old 04-29-2008, 09:13 AM
 
phathui5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Oregon
Posts: 17,474
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
They really do need establish guidelines for homeschooling parents as well. We can't just leave our kids alone and go off for x hours.
I disagree that we should get out of jury duty just for homeschooling. There are options for childcare when you're homeschooling. It's one thing to say that you can't do it while you're nursing, which is just a short period of time that baby physically needs mom there all day. But saying that homeschoolers shoulf get out of it is asking for an 16-18 year exemption.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
13yo ds   10yo dd  8yo ds and 6yo ds and 1yo ds  
phathui5 is offline  
#10 of 18 Old 04-29-2008, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
Gracefulmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: I think I live in the laundry room!
Posts: 730
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
I disagree that we should get out of jury duty just for homeschooling. There are options for childcare when you're homeschooling. It's one thing to say that you can't do it while you're nursing, which is just a short period of time that baby physically needs mom there all day. But saying that homeschoolers shoulf get out of it is asking for an 16-18 year exemption.
I'm not sure how I feel about this. I do feel that it's a civic duty that I'm willing to serve... and having a nursing toddler is the real crunch for me... but the unknown length of service time makes it pretty awkward for homeschooling. I guess that's one more benefit of our flexible schedule, though!

Wife and Mama who homeschools-- mostly in the kitchen!
Gracefulmom is offline  
#11 of 18 Old 04-29-2008, 03:43 PM
 
Sisyphus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 2,523
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I agree that it's our civic duty to serve, but, who are you to tell me that my duty to the state trumps my duty to my family???

I live in a city where we have NO family and while I have a couple of people who babysit for me from time to time, unless you expect a 16 year old to sit my kids for 8 - 9 hours a day every day possibly for weeks on end, just WHO is supposed to watch them for me? I'm not dumping them with some daycare worker I don't know from adam just to brag that I've done my "civic duty".
Sisyphus is offline  
#12 of 18 Old 04-29-2008, 04:34 PM
 
warriorprincess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Peoples Repub. of Treacle Mine Rd
Posts: 1,638
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
I disagree that we should get out of jury duty just for homeschooling. There are options for childcare when you're homeschooling. It's one thing to say that you can't do it while you're nursing, which is just a short period of time that baby physically needs mom there all day. But saying that homeschoolers shoulf get out of it is asking for an 16-18 year exemption.

I agree. I have been called twice since I began homeschooling and both times DH took off the time, schooeld the kids. Yes, we sacrificed a family vacation once to it but, I would hate to have all the thoughtful jurors excused if I ever went to trial. I know sometimes it's impossible, but sometimes it's just an inconvenience ( like a DH having to use his vacation time) and that's no real excuse.
warriorprincess is offline  
#13 of 18 Old 04-30-2008, 01:05 PM
 
tayndrewsmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: WI
Posts: 11,188
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Dh would lose his job if he had to serve. He would also lose it if he had to come home for me to serve for any long length of time. It sure would be nice if we weren't in that situation, but we are. Thankfully we haven't had to deal with it yet. I am sure it would be sticky.
tayndrewsmama is offline  
#14 of 18 Old 04-30-2008, 04:45 PM
 
warriorprincess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Peoples Repub. of Treacle Mine Rd
Posts: 1,638
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't know about time off to care for children so a spouse can serve jury duty- but if they would fire him because HE served jury duty, that is ILLEGAL.
warriorprincess is offline  
#15 of 18 Old 04-30-2008, 04:51 PM
 
tayndrewsmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: WI
Posts: 11,188
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by warriorprincess View Post
I don't know about time off to care for children so a spouse can serve jury duty- but if they would fire him because HE served jury duty, that is ILLEGAL.
He wouldn't be fired. He works on different jobs for a union. His job is extremely time sensitive and he would have to be replaced while gone. Union laws would not allow the replacement person to be let go when dh is free again. Dh would have to sit at home until the next job comes up and that could be as long as a year.
tayndrewsmama is offline  
#16 of 18 Old 05-01-2008, 08:28 PM
 
Dakota's Mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 1,821
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just filled out the form and said that I was the primary caretaker for a minor child and that I had no other child care available to me. I also said that it would be disruptive to his education to have me gone for any length of time as we homeschooled. A lady called me up and asked how old my child was. When I said he was 5 she said I was excused. A few days later I got a letter telling me that I was excused.

While I think it is a wonderful thing if you "WANT" to serve on a jury. I do not believe that you should EVER be REQUIRED to serve. To me that is conscription and as far as I know conscription has been outlawed in this country. Unless of course it is the government that is doing the conscripting. I choose not to serve on a jury and will do everything I need to do to get out of it. Oh and before you ask, I also don't believe in the draft and already have a large file for my five year old to take with him if they ever do try to draft him that shows he is being raised as a conscientious objector.

Kathi

:::Mom to 5 adult children and 8 year old, Dakota "Why do they call it homeschool, we're never at home?"
Dakota's Mom is offline  
#17 of 18 Old 05-01-2008, 08:43 PM
 
Spookygirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: In the Central Valley, dreaming of my home by the bay..
Posts: 403
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I wrote for a Jury Duty exemption and they actually suggested I put my child in the court run day care! Umm, NO! I don't put my child in any day care, much less one I have not check out, done any research on, and that from day to day will have different children!! LOL!!

I finally got out for nursing, and they didn't ask what age. I didn't feel guilty, because I had gone in the previous year, and sat all day in the little room, 7 months pregnant, just to be sent home cause they didn't need me

SpiralScoutin' Homeschoolin' Mama to Michael, Citizen of Portlandia, age 21, Danielle, Artist in Residence, Age 9 & Jack-Jack, Minecraft Maniac, Age 6
Spookygirl is offline  
#18 of 18 Old 05-06-2008, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
Gracefulmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: I think I live in the laundry room!
Posts: 730
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just received an email after requesting to postpone my service:

You have been excused from jury duty under the above-referenced Juror I.D.
based on hardship (your childcare responsibilities). A notice confirming this should be received at your home address within one to two weeks.


Yay!

Wife and Mama who homeschools-- mostly in the kitchen!
Gracefulmom is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off