What are the rules on this? Anyone know?
I run a small family business and if I go to jury duty I will have to close shop and take financial loss.
With unemployment so high why me?
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Depends on where you live. In IL you can send a letter asking to be excused stating your reasons. Your best bet is to tell the truth straight up and don't exaggerate at all or else they will flat out deny you. They will get back to you to let you know if you are off the hook or if they require you to come in. Be very courteous and explain your situation.
I've seen the 'powers that be' be quite understanding when folks present their case for being excused.
Whether that happens of not I figure is quite random.
Just show up with an NRA hat, and start asking whether or not you get to use the death penalty on this one too? Or (as I read in here somewhere) start every sentence with 'according to the prophecies'..
I got excused once because I knew about guns (single shot revolver as 'Exhibit A') and they were claiming 'accidental' shooting. Dude was shot like 4 times. That backfired the second time, got accepted because I knew about guns - dude tried to shoot two NYState Troopers. (shot at two of them, like 9 times) I helped get him a couple of 20 -> life sentences. Felt pretty good.
Good luck with getting out of it, but it'll cost you at least one day I expect.
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I don't know how it works where ever you are. Here in Canada your situation would most likely excuse you from duty. Otherwise just come across as racist and sexist, that way you'll be excused or at least elected jury foreman. Haha!
I'm in the same self-employed boat. I've been in the courtroom and seen that argument go absolutely nowhere, with the judge handing out the 'civic duty' lecture as if that mattered when it comes to feeding the family, keeping the employees employed, financial losses at bay etc.
My first rule is to never, ever return the jury questionnaire when it shows up. Got that advice from a friend and it helped keep me safe for years (The county I previously lived in wanted you to serve annually). Apparently they get wise to that one after a few years and after a fashion I get a summons with no questionnaire.
Once you get to that stage, you can almost certainly go down to the clerk's office and at least get it put off. Try and do the self-employed argument with the clerk and see if it works. From there, you are going to have to rely on your behavior to get off the panel, if you get put on. Fortunately my personal character has scared the defense enough that both times I have been empaneled I was the first one they excused after questioning. No need to fib. I have thought that I might take a magic marker and write 'GUILTY' across the side of my shaven head. Probably the judge would find it unamusing though.
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in ny self employed is no longer a valid excuse. i dont get paid only the 40 bucks a day ny law requires while on jury duty.