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JRW2
R.I.P. Mom, Brian, Ziggy, Max and Zen.
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Jury Duty

Last week I got a summons for Jury Duty, for Suffolk County.
I will be on vacation the week they wanted me to serve, so yesterday I postponed it until February.

In yesterday's mail I get a jury summons for FEDERAL court!!
I can't postpone that one, unless I am dead.

OK, how does this work, I will have to serve for the federal one. Does this get me out of having to serve the county one, or will I have to serve that one too??

Thanks in advance...
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HardwareGeek

join:2003-11-15
Brooklyn, NY
Why can't you get out of the Federal court one? I got out of a Federal court one when I had a trip to Los Angeles but that was 3 years ago.

All you do is request a deferral
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Email/MSN: Michael at hardwaregeeks.comAIM: MikeR35292


JRW2
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said by HardwareGeek:

Why can't you get out of the Federal court one? I got out of a Federal court one when I had a trip to Los Angeles but that was 3 years ago.

All you do is request a deferral
I believe it stated you could only get a deferral in a "hardship" case. All other requests had to have supporting documentation and was at their discretion if they would grant it...
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DC DSL
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Federal and local jury duty are two different critters, though they follow similar rules for juries. You can defer either (though with Federal you have to document a hardship...if you have existing travel reservations that are non-refundable or for an occasion such as a wedding they might allow it). The summons will have details on it.

Local jury duty can usually be deferred without much hassle (here in DC they have a checkbox on the qual form that you mark off and enter a date when you will be available). However, you usually can't defer that date (unless you're incapacitated, serving active duty in the military, or fall into one of the other excusable categories). If you defer, pick a date that you can set in stone (as in tell your employer now that you will need that time off for jury duty).

For a Grand Jury summons, be prepared for it possibly running for several weeks or even months if you are selected. Often in those situations, you aren't meeting every day for the duration, but it isn't unheard of. I sat on both NY and Fed Grand Juries back in the 80s: One lasted for 5 weeks and another for 4 months. Some weeks we met only once, some two or three days, some not at all. It was rather inconvenient, but it is one's civic duty and after it was over, I felt it was fully worth it. (I can't and won't go into details, but the cases involved major scumbags and in the end they were convicted and got what they deserved.)

Were they to potentially have overlapping service dates, the local court will usually defer to the Fed and most likely excuse you for this cycle. Fed *might* excuse you but typically doesn't unless you happen to be selected to serve on a jury. If you only reported and weren't selected, they probably won't let you go.

Petit Juries are generally "one day, one trial" deals. If you aren't impaneled or selected on your first (or subsequent day if you were impaneled but voir dire wasn't completed), then you're off the hook for being summoned again for however long where you live gives before recycling the pool. (It's 2 years here in DC.)

Even if you're selected as a juror and the case is scheduled to take "x" time, quite often settlements are reached before that (particularly in malpractice or liability cases). Deliberation can be the real hard part, especially in criminal cases involving murder or manslaughter...that can drag on for a week or more until a verdict or mistrial is called.

Word: Fed judges do not have much of a sense of humor in the courtroom and can be quick to slap someone upside the head with a contempt citation if he or she thinks a lack of courtesy, professionalism or respect is being exhibited.

As much as a pain it can be, jury duty is a vital civic duty. Don't try to get out of it if you don't have a legitimate reason for doing so.
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JRW2
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said by DC DSL:

As much as a pain it can be, jury duty is a vital civic duty. Don't try to get out of it if you don't have a legitimate reason for doing so.
Please don't think I am trying to dodge my responsibility to serve, I'm not, it was just a strange set of occurrences with these two arriving as they did.

I see too many who actively try to avoid serving, ever.

I have been QUITE lucky so far, in my 30 years of eligibility, I have had to serve ONE day...

I've had people tell all kinds of strange things about how to avoid getting picked to serve on a jury.

"Tell them you don't like cops!" is a big one.

I will be completely honest with them if they ask me any questions. I have VERY harsh viewpoints on crimes and punishment, and I won't hide that fact.
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dharel1705

join:2009-06-09
Merrick, NY
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reply to JRW2
You can postpone both. There should be instructions on both summonses on how to do so. If you serve on either, you are then exempt from the other, for a short period of time.

I recently served in Nassau County, sent federal proof of service and was excused.


HardwareGeek

join:2003-11-15
Brooklyn, NY
reply to JRW2
There is hardship you have travel you can't cancel just provide proof of travel
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Irun Man
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Walden, NY
reply to JRW2
Deja vu... I got the federal JD summons for US District Court, Southern NY division (White Plains) back in February. They allow three postponements of up to six months each, and I took one since I had a vacation planned already.

Like clockwork I got a second one for August, which I did not defer and I remain on call all this month, so far I HAVEN'T been required to come in, call back next week they say.
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reply to JRW2
I served in a criminal case about six years ago, and the trial lasted close to a month.

I cringed at the thought of serving, but once having served, I would do it all over again.

This city is full of cynical convicting bubble heads. On my watch, the fellow on trial was not getting convicted for circumstantial evidence and a good offense story at best.


AVD
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
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join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
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reply to JRW2
can you send them a copy of you local jury summons and tell them you already committed?
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Irun Man
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reply to JRW2
I lucked out, didn't have to report at all... me likes!

Vitanic

join:2006-10-06
Rockville Centre, NY
reply to JRW2
I got a jury summons to the Mineola courthouses (I'm guessing state, not county) about 2 years after serving on a Brooklyn Federal Court case (2 days for an interstate traffic accident). I got a letter of completion of jury duty from the Federal courthouse. I think serving excused you for 3 years of further service.

My sister's jury duty- she was sequestered. For 30 days. She stayed in pretty much every hotel around JFK. That was for duty in Manhattan. With someone she couldn't stand. My 2 days of service laughed a mighty guffaw at her 30 days. MIGHTY!