General Question

tinyfaery's avatar

Quick. Should I lie to get out of jury duty?

Asked by tinyfaery (41392points) May 13th, 2009 from iPhone

When I went to work this morning my boss pretty much told me to get out of jury duty, she even told me what to say. I don’t want to be on a jury, but I don’t feel it is right that she did this. I work for a law firm for gawd’s sake.

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47 Answers

MrItty's avatar

No, you should not. You should also report your boss to the HR department. What she did is rather illegal. Companies are required to provide time off for jury duty.

There’s no reason you should put yourself in legal jeopardy to save your boss an annoyance.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

I can’t say that I admire your boss for telling you that. If you work for a law firm, she should know better. Shame on her!

If you’re going to get out of jury duty, you’d better have a pretty damn good excuse. They’re usually pretty strict about it. No, it’s not fun & it gets boring, but the two times I’ve been pulled in, it was very interesting.

Go do your duty & feel good about it.

tinyfaery's avatar

No HR dept. It’s her and the attorneys and that’s it. They expect her to deal with managment issues.

Stanley's avatar

It’s perjury.

MrItty's avatar

Then talk to the attorneys! Tell them your boss just instructed you to commit an illegal act!

chyna's avatar

You really shouldn’t lie to get out of jury duty. It is against the law. That said, if you want to keep your job, lie to get out of jury duty.

tinyfaery's avatar

She didn’t directly say it, she just had on her irritated demeanor, and she gave me advice on how to do it, if I wanted to, of course.

cwilbur's avatar

It’s your conscience. Would you be able to look yourself in the mirror if you lied to get out of jury duty?

SpatzieLover's avatar

If you do this…they will call you for jury duty again VERY soon. Just go & be done with it. You may not even be selected!

tinyfaery's avatar

Law shma. Really, after she pulled me in her office and said what she said, I wanted to be put on the jury just out of spite.

ben's avatar

No. Don’t lie about it.

I don’t think you need to report your boss, though. But especially given your line of work, it’s fair that you should serve. Odds are generally that it won’t happen. But if it does you can explain you felt comprised and decided not to lie.

tinyfaery's avatar

Whoops. Being called in to the courtroom now. Gotta go.

Darwin's avatar

While lying to get out of jury duty is wrong as well as illegal, there are ways to be certain that you don’t get on a jury panel that are perfectly legal. Typically, most attorneys during voir dire and jury selection ask jurors for their opinions of various matters. Give your honest opinion about something related to the trial that might affect your ability to be fair. You will probably be dismissed from jury duty.

And even if you do lie to get out of jury duty, you still lose the time spent telling the judge overseeing the jury room what your excuse is.

I would go ahead and report for jury duty, see what happens, and if you are selected for a jury panel, simply tell your boss that there was nothing you could do.

Supacase's avatar

You should go and she is soooo wrong to do this.

Any way you can email her about it so there is some sort of written record? You could say something as simple as the date you have to go to court and how you feel it is your duty to go. Don’t say anything that would make her think you are CYA, even though you are. Even if she doesn’t respond, you have a record that you told her. That way if you get fired you have something to defend your position instead of he said/she said.

MissAusten's avatar

I wouldn’t lie to get out of it. I’ve never been on a jury, and I think it could possibly be interesting. Just go through the process, and see what happens. Don’t you have to call the day before to see if they need you? The one time I was called for jury duty, I was all ready to go but the automated message said my services weren’t needed. Maybe you’ll luck out and that will happen, which will save you the trouble of lying and save your boss the aggravation of having you miss some time at work. It also gets you off the hook since it counts as you serving. That’s how it works here in CT anyway. I don’t know if other states have the same policy.

If you do have to go, just be matter-of-fact about it with your boss. I like @Supacase‘s idea about the email.

charliecompany34's avatar

no, you should just go. it’s your civic duty. jury selection is very detailed and lawyers are looking for key things in the make-up of the jury. chances are you’ll be sent home early and get gas money from the court system for your troubles.

EmpressPixie's avatar

I agree, it is your duty. Do not lie.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

When I was selected for jury duty, we all went in to talk to a judge. People got out of it unbelievably easy. Some people said that they couldn’t afford to go, because although you get paid for jury duty, it’s not nearly as much as most people make at work. If you can’t live off of what they’ll give you to serve, say so and you’re free to go, no questions asked. Some people said they had vacations planned too, which was a good enough reason for the judge.

There’s no need to lie. Getting out of it is already easy just by telling the truth.

spresto's avatar

The key word is “Duty.” They don’t call it “Jury-if-you-want-to.”

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@spresto You’re right. If you’re a registered voter, you’re obligated to do it at one point or another, which is how it should be. However, some people literally can’t afford to do it, find a babysitter, etc. Sometimes, people have to get out of it.

tinyfaery's avatar

Well, I got kicked-off the jury by my own merit. Turns out that the assis. DA doesn’t want a person who holds their conscience and morals above the law.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Haha! Of course not… A lot of the DAs want sheep.

MrItty's avatar

@DrasticDreamer the “if you’re a registered voter” is pure mythology, used by people too lazy or apathetic to vote, to convince others they have a good reason not to register. Jury selection lists come from many places, including voter records, census records, driving license records, and more.

If you’re a citizen of this country, and therefore are taking advantage of the laws and benefits of living in this country, it is your obligation. Period.

AstroChuck's avatar

Well, you said quick.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@MrItty Huh? My point is that if you are a registered voter, you will be selected for jury duty eventually and will be expected to serve – as I said it should be. My point is that those who are not registered to vote will not be asked to serve for jury duty – and why should they be, if they’re too lazy to vote on general issues in the first place?

justwannaknow's avatar

What is the big deal being on jury duty? just do it and get it over with.

chyna's avatar

I must be weird. I wanted to be on jury duty.
I finally got called to jury duty 2 years ago and I was on a murder case. Of course, I love Law & Order, CSI type shows.

bea2345's avatar

Just a thought: in many jurisdictions, finding qualified jurors is made additionally difficult by people going to great lengths to avoid jury duty. If the average jury is just that, average, whose fault is that?

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@chyna I also wanted to be on jury duty. I was 18 when I served and it was a very good learning experience. Tedious, at times, but well worth it overall.

skfinkel's avatar

No! It is your responsibility as a citizen.

And it’s interesting. You are contributing to the general good.

Stand strong and do it.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@chyna A murder case? Oh, how…. what do I say? Exciting really isn’t the word, but I envy you. I could get my teeth into one of them.

bea2345's avatar

Don’t lie. It is stupid, dangerous, illegal and immoral.

tinyfaery's avatar

This has taken an unexpected turn.

MrItty's avatar

@DrasticDreamer and my point is that you’re wrong. You are wrong to believe that people who aren’t registered to vote can’t be called for Jury Duty. As I said, the Jury selection lists come from more sources than just registered voters.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Can I see some links proving that? I was under the assumption that if people weren’t registered to vote they had no right in deciding if someone may or may not be guilty according to the law.

MrItty's avatar

Sure. Here’s one from Connecticut:
http://www.cga.ct.gov/2008/rpt/2008-R-0469.htm
“Connecticut’s law on how the jury administrator creates a master file for summoning jurors has changed over the years. The most significant change in recent years came in 1996. PA 06–179 expanded the lists of people used to make up the jury pool to include motor vehicle owners, state personal income taxpayers, and public assistance and unemployment compensation recipients, in addition to the registered voters and licensed motor vehicle operators previously required by law. ”

Here’s what Wikipedia says on the topic
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jury_selection
“In some jurisdictions, the first step of jury selection is composing a jury pool (also a “venire”). This is a panel selected for jury duty and from whom jurors are to be chosen. A common method for drafting jurors is to draw them at random from electoral rolls (known as allotment or sortition), lists of licensed drivers, or other broad-based lists of residents in the community (e.g., tax rolls, public utility consumers). Increasingly, courts combine multiple lists to compile the master jury list. In the U.S., the most common combination of source-lists is registered voters and licensed drivers — employed in 19 states.”

As I said, it is not the duty of registered voters. It is the duty of ALL (adult) citizens of the country. Whether you choose to exercise your right to vote or not is irrelevant.

MrItty's avatar

Here’s New York (my state)‘s answer:
http://www.nyjuror.gov/users/wwwucs/juryQandA.shtml
” Potential jurors are randomly selected from lists of registered voters, holders of drivers’ licenses or ID’s issued by the Division of Motor Vehicles, New York State income tax filers, recipients of unemployment insurance or family assistance, and from volunteers.”

I’m sure with enough Google’ing, you could find the rules for each state, but I think my point is proven, no?

tinyfaery's avatar

CA gets jury rolls from voter registration and the DMV. I was informed of this yesterday.

casheroo's avatar

Glad you got out without having to lie.
My husband always gets out because he’s the sole provider of the household, and it’d prevent him from taking care of his family. Also, his father was a public defender for many years lol.
I’ve never been called for jury duty, I want to be called haha

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Ah ha. I never knew that.

Darwin's avatar

I have been called frequently but so far made onto only one jury, a DWI. Then the case was settled and we were sent home.

I came close to being on a jury another time, a civil suit against an auto glass company, but I had a court date set to finalize the adoption of my son so the judge sent me home.

The only murder trial that I ever came close to being on the jury was one where I knew the victim, his fiancee, the DA and the prosecutor. I went in line to ask to be excused because I already knew exactly what should happen to the defendant. The DA told the judge he didn’t want me anywhere near anyone else in the jury pool, the judge said the prosecution had to agree, and the prosecutor (with whom I had had drinks the evening before) said to get me out of the jury room now.

The only good thing to come out of the day was that even without my input the guy was sentenced to death (of course that means he has now been living on Death Row 21 years, and Danny is still dead) and that I met the man who was to become my husband. He was the bailiff handling the jury room that day.

_bob's avatar

So, wait, how did you get out?

tinyfaery's avatar

I answered the Assis. DA’s questions truthfully. I would not be able to apply a law if I did not agree with it. Not a lot of attorneys would want me on a jury.

_bob's avatar

Oh. Like the death penalty and stuff?

steve6's avatar

I told the judge I had to have dental surgery.

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