So I came home post-call this morning to a bright pink form from the Circuit Court, “SUMMONS FOR JURY DUTY.” In three weeks! Now, I am proud to be a citizen of the United States and glad to do my duty, but do they HAVE to ask me to do this now??? It is going to be a royal pain in the a$$ to try and rearrange my schedule…
Question for y’all: I would love to propose to the Court that I postpone my duty until after July 1 when my schedule will have significantly more flexibility. Has anyone in the OPM listening audience attempted such a thing? I am going to ask my Medical Staff Office for their assistance as well…
As if intern year wasn’t bad enough - this really feels like piling on. And I gotta say, they really should give you more of a heads-up than 3 weeks. Suppose I’d bought non-refundable plane tickets to Tahiti for that week? Would I be screwed? I am bracing myself for a fight. I hope it turns out to be easier than I’m anticipating.

When I lived in Florida I received a notice for jury duty. I called the office phone number on the notice and asked not to serve because of my work and childcare situation. The court said ok (At that time in FL, citizens were allowed to postpone once but were required to serve the second time they are called. Rules might vary from state to state). Rescheduling was easy, no documentation of my situation was required.
Good luck rescheduling.

The good thing is you aren’t in DC. The pool of potential jurors is registered voters and as there aren’t all that many it’s a harder deal to get out of but people have told me they haven’t had trouble in MD/VA.

I was called to jury duty during finals spring 2003. I asked to decline. I was allowed, but told I would be called again in 1 year. I was called again and did serve in 2004.
Just ask to not serve at this time.

Hey Mary,
I was summoned but excused when they found out that I was a physician. You may burn up one day but I think you will be excused.

I have served on jury duty twice, back in AR, and found it totally fascinating. Actually, was also fairly recently summoned for jury duty in Saginaw - a year after I had moved to NH - and was, of course, excused…at least I ass/u/me so as I have not yet been arrested, but they never replied to my letter either
Anyhow, from my 2-term tenure as a juror, it seemed as though the physicians were excused from the pool during the group question phase. The lawyers would ask the group of potential jurors: “Are you a member of profession x, y or z?” & generally physician was in that group - they were summarily excused. I suspect it is because physicians tends to be meek, unopinionated & not speak their minds ! Also, rumor has it, as Nat said, being a Doc can get you excused.
OTOH, Dartmouth has a policy for all residents, don;t know about staff, that if you are called you cannot use “physician” as an excuse & that coverage will be arranged by Dartmouth to allow you to fulfill this civic responsibility. So, we have to serve, but do so with the expressed support of DHMC.

Its’ funny you mention them excusing doctors. A few years ago, well, every two years I get called in DC and generally it’s just me going down there for a day but one time I did get on the panel and was excused because I had been mugged that year. They only asked if people were lawyers or cops.

Hello. I served jury duty once, and I thought it was totally awesome. I got to miss work for a day to serve my civic duty. The case was a car accident and not the interesting but just being part of the legal process was interesting.

If you are summoned, you should go. You may be eliminated from serving once you are down there. During voir dire, which I think is the process lawyers use to eliminate potential bias for either side, all potential jurors are asked a series of questions, one of which was (at least in my case), “Do you have any conflicts at work or do any of you not want to me here?” Those that said yes were excused from duty and allowed to go back to work. I guess the lawyers didn’t want to deal with cranky jurors. Also, the lawyers and law students were the first to be eliminated! They didn’t want you to know too much about the law…

If you explained your situation, the lawyers/judge may be sympathetic. At the time of my case, the judge and lawyers were sympathetic to “crunch work times” but I guess it depends on who you get!

If you don’t serve or don’t show up, you’ll probably at least be fined and they will place you back in the jury pool to be called again some other time. I doubt you’ll be able to get out of it twice.



I definitely want to do jury duty SOME time, I just don’t want to do it RIGHT NOW. Obviously I would never consider just ignoring the summons. Calvin mentioned D.C. - they’ve got such a crappy responder rate there for jury duty summonses that they have sent out the sheriff and arrested people for not showing up for jury duty, no lie.
No, if I can’t postpone the date, I’ll certainly do it. I am feeling more hopeful about postponement after these anecdotes.

I moved back to NY for a while and DC sent me a summons there and told me that being a resident of another state was not a valid reason to avoid jury duty there, which was just wrong, they then wrote and apologized for the ‘misunderstanding.’ The woman with whom I spoke said if I did not show and came to DC they would arrest me!

Mary, I received a summons down here in Fredericksburg,Va several years ago. At the time I was working 7 days a week at 3 jobs, alternating 2 jobs a day.(preparing for my future as a resident ) I spoke to and faxed the court clerk about my situation - their response was that I still had to appear at the initial stage, but that I would either be dismissed or they would limit the amount of cases I would have to sit on. I went down and sat in the jury room with several people for two hours and the judge dismissed us for the day (someone who was supposed to show up did not). After that I was not called back for any other cases, so I guess the clerk took care of it.
Good luck, but expect to have to show up for the first part of it.

What happened?

It was ridiculously easy. I called the clerk of the Circuit Court, explained that I was a resident physician with a schedule set far in advance and difficult to adjust, and that I would be happy to serve after July 1, when my schedule would be much more flexible. She immediately gave me dates in July. And that was IT. I am still pinching myself in amazement that there weren’t five layers of bureaucracy to negotiate.

My husband came home today to find HIS summons for jury duty. He is suspicious that they are “getting” us and that he is being punished for my unavailability in April. I doubt they are organized enough to do that. I think they are just working their way through the list. But still, it’s funny. He is not looking forward to it - whereas I think it’ll be pretty cool and interesting. We shall see.

With my 1st summons, I dreaded it until I actually got there. I found it utterly fascinating! I found myself paying more attention to the mental strategies employed by the various attorneys than the actual proceedings. Their mastery of language can be phenomenal! My 2nd time, I was very stoked to go.

Mary, its all george bush’s fault.
no seriously, I think these things are based on a computer algorhythm that picks randomly.
On the other hand…you did vote against him…

If anything I would think the admin would want jurors who voted FOR them but I don’t think that comes into play. It’s just if you are registered to vote (at least in most states).
Mary – did your husband serve? The first time I was called I went down and sat around all day until a guy got into the building with a gun and they evacuated it – we were excused from duty as a result and the second time I would have been on the jury had I not been mugged.
The defense lawyer’s name was “Johnny Christmas” (totally true). It was interesting.