Let’s face it, jury duty sucks! Although it’s a duty and obligation of being an American and living in a democracy, that doesn’t mean you want to waste days upon days sitting in a trail and trying to be objective.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of ways to help you get out of jury duty.
**These are general tips and ideas to help you not get chosen for jury duty. Please check both your local and state laws before proceeding. We are not responsible for your actions.**
The easiest way to get out jury duty is to simply ignore the request. Although the paperwork says it’s a criminal offense to not reply to your jury summons (and it is), the powers that be do not follow up on who responds and who doesn’t. If someone does follow up, according to the law, that person would need to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you in fact did receive the summons. You could argue that you didn’t get it: your mailman sucks, you were on vacation, the senile 97-year old next door always steals your mail. Either way, if you don’t show up, chances are nothing is going to happen.
The point of having a jury is to have a group of peers who are unbiased and objective. So don’t be objective. If you’re called to jury duty of a case of say, growing marijuana, openly disagree with the law. When asked questions, respond with a negative thought about what’s going on: “Well, I just think it’s ridiculous that you people are trying to fill up our jails and prison with people who smoke a little bit of wacky tobaccy. Hell, you should be awarding this guy for growing his own instead of buying off the street.”
I totally get that no one wants to be prejudice in this day and age, but if you can fake it for just a few hours, then you can save yourself from having to sit in on jury duty. It doesn’t matter if you’re racist, sexist, or just being an overall bigot, if you show any type of prejudice, you won’t get selected. And you don’t have to make it blatant (like going in with a shaved head and a swastika tattooed on your arm), but you could be overheard saying how you think homosexuals should be locked away or complain about how many Jews have been moving in to your neighborhood.
Also known as “be a victim,” you can make the case personal by having the crime be relevant to you or your life. You don’t necessarily need to be the victim of an armed robbery, but perhaps your mother or your best friend was. Or perhaps your girlfriend did some time upstate for doing the same thing a few years back. Regardless, portray a similar situation you’ve been involved with and you’ll be out of the final drawing. The courts don’t want you because you’re unable to remain unbiased and will personify the trial.
In small towns, this happens all the time. If you know someone, whether it’s the defendant or the plaintiff, a witness or one of the lawyers, you can easily get out of jury duty because of it. Say the witness was your next door neighbor as a kid, or you played baseball together in high school. Maybe that nice man with the machete is your cousin’s mother’s boyfriend and you sit next to each other at Thanksgiving dinner.
Another easy (and often times legit) way to get out of jury duty is to have a doctor write a note stating you have a medical problem. You don’t have to be dying from cancer, but a simply note that states you suffer from headaches or panic attacks can get you a clean break from having to serve. Also, if you’re the primary care provider for someone who needs medical attention, such as a parent or child, their sickness can keep you out of the court house as well.
If all else fails, be a hot mess when you go in. Look as though you just rolled out of bed. Smear some lipstick across your cheek. Chew bubblegum like you’re 12. If you’re obnoxious and don’t seem like you’ve got a head on your shoulders, chances are you’re not going to get picked.
Have you ever gotten out of jury duty? What strategies did you use? Share them in the comments!