20 Effective Ways to Avoid Jury Duty
Jury duty is a long, boring pain in the rear. No one likes to do it, but sometimes you have to. There are a handful of ways to avoid jury duty, but trying to pull a stunt can get you in trouble with the law. Some of these tips are in jest unless it really applies to you. Be honest with the judge and yourself. Cross your fingers in the meantime and hope that stinking summons doesn’t arrive in your mailbox.
1. Two words: jury nullification. Use your right to jury nullification if asked to find a verdict based on only case facts. Juries have a right to find and deliver a verdict as they see fit according to the Supreme Court. Do some research on this before you attend jury duty to be sure of your rights, but declining to swear that you will find a verdict on case facts will probably get you booted.
2. Bladder control problems, explosive diarrhea due to Irritable Bowel Syndrome, asthma attacks in when you sit too close to people, panic attacks at the sight of police officers or criminals. You name it. Fill it out in the blank space as the reason you cannot serve jury duty after you receive your summons.
3. Trauma victims or close family members of trauma victims can often dip out of jury duty. Car accidents, robberies, or even assaults qualify. Instances like those are not pretty, but it may work if you’re desperate.
4. Request a date change after you receive your jury duty summons. Date changes can push your civil duty up to a year or more.
5. Don’t register to vote. If you don’t vote, it’s like you have never been born.
6. Prove that you can’t miss work or some other solid reason that serving jury duty would deeply interfere with, like childcare.
7. Be biased. Neutrality is the number one feature desired in jurors. Just don’t take it too far. Everything you say is on public record.
8. Be a chatty Kathy. Or tell them you’re a journalist or writer. It’s almost worse than being a lawyer.
9. Fall asleep during the pretrial jury examination. No one wants a juror that can’t keep his or her eyes open.
10. Have you served jury duty in the past 24 months? You may be able to be excused if you have already performed your civil duty recently.
11. Member of a legislative branch? Maybe a very close family member is a police officer. Make mention of it and you’ll probably be excused.
12. Relate the case to any similar experience you or your wife’s second cousin’s ex-girlfriend had and recant it during the pretrial evaluation. Heck, it could even be an episode of CSI, just make it work. Remember prosecutors and defendants want objective, not subjective.
13. Pretend to be hard of hearing. Blank stares work especially well.
14. Break out the conspiracy theories. Yeah, you know that JFK was really abducted by aliens and the man in the car next to Jackie was a fake.
15. Don’t show anyone that you are easily swayed. A stubborn juror is a bad juror because they won’t change their minds or opinions based on the facts of a case.
16. Dress down at the pretrial interview. Most lawyers don’t want a slob in the juror box.
17. Tell the judge that omission of evidence in cases looks like the lawyers are trying to lie, so you can’t possibly make an unbiased verdict.
18. Ask a million questions, particularly stupid, annoying questions.
19. Tell the judge you can spot a liar from a mile away and you can’t wait to perform your civil duty and bring some scum bucket to justice.
20. Claim that you can’t serve due to religious reasons.
Just remember, jury duty is your civil duty. In a way it’s an inconvenient honor. Don’t lie or try anything illegal to escape your civil honor, and don’t say you weren’t warned. Not responding to a jury summons can land you in hot water.