View Full Version : Getting out of jury service

10th Apr 2009, 08:23
Any prooners out there got a foolproof way of getting out of jury service after getting the summons?


10th Apr 2009, 08:29
I heard that one guy got out of it because he wrote to the court to explain that his wife was about to conceive, the judge liked his humour and excused him.

Seriously, you could try getting your employer to write to say you're indispensible to the business.



10th Apr 2009, 08:39
Go and do your civic duty young chap.

Otherwise juries will consist of the retired, the unemployed and the seriously underemployed looking for some beer money and company.

10th Apr 2009, 08:42
Like voting, the ability to sit in judgement on one's peers is not a "right" to be given up lightly. Otherwise we would have dictatorships and secret juntas deciding on who goes to jail or is executed.

These rights were hard won. Go and do your duty. You might even enjoy it.

10th Apr 2009, 08:53
I doubt it. Not enough juicy murders to go around. I found it a boring waste of time, especially since the case we were judging was mistrialled halfway through. However, it is a duty & you should do it if you can,

There are though legitimate grounds for excuse, wife having a baby, self employed etc. You can only be called for jury duty three times. Not a lot of people know that.

Roger Sofarover
10th Apr 2009, 08:57
you could always just make yourself 'unsuitable' on the day when they quiz you before the trial. Say you are familiar with the case, have a view, have a prejudice etc, or maybe you are prone to narcolepsy!

10th Apr 2009, 09:00
Say you are familiar with the caseThat would get you plonked back in the waiting room until the next case comes up.

10th Apr 2009, 09:13
The system doesn't work.I have been called twice,the first case took 3 days when it wasn't worth 3 hours.
The second time we were keep hanging around for 4 days until the clerk could find a courtroom,a judge and the lawyers.
When everyone was in place the accused couldn't be found.He had apparently returned to London saying he had better things to do.
When I received a third summons I sent it back telling them what I thought of the criminal justice system.

10th Apr 2009, 09:13
Commit a crime (and get caught for it). Foolproof.

10th Apr 2009, 09:15
Say you are familiar with the case
That would get you plonked back in the waiting room until the next case comes up.

To say your predjuice against the police is a different matter. I cannot do jury duty for this reason, I got prosecuted for something I was innocent of and it got proven. So when asked for jury duty said I had no faith and why - it got dismissed (quite rightly so) for I not being able to give a fair verdict.

And yes to this day I hold no faith - I can tell you of an incident 3 weeks ago to substantiate it.

10th Apr 2009, 09:22
Say you are familiar with the case

Best be careful how familiar you claim to be. or you may find yourself having a jury decide your fate!;)

10th Apr 2009, 09:24
I got prosecuted for something I was innocent of and it got proven
Er, wouldn't be doing me job if i didn't question that one?;)

10th Apr 2009, 09:40
I got prosecuted for something I was innocent of and it got proven

It got proven I was innocent

10th Apr 2009, 09:45
It got proven I was innocent

Seems to me you should have faith. The system worked in your case.

10th Apr 2009, 09:50
Not easy to get out of jury service. Mrs 1DC was called when our first sprog was a month old, she still had to go but to give them their due she was always the first one to be sent home if they were just hanging around.Mind you things may have changed over time as said sprog is now in her forties.

10th Apr 2009, 10:19
Write back to them along the lines....'If the bloody silly judge can't deal with it, what the hell do you think I can do? Find the feckers guilty and move on, my probation officer, says I am not fit to be on the streets, it's [email protected] like judges that allow me on them.

We are selected for jury service on a random pin stick on the electoral roll. It has been my lot to serve three times. One, a GBH trial...not guilty. Another, dangerous driving, motor vehicle.....not guilty (foreman this time) The third time, a case was withdrawn and though on standby for a week I was not called to another trial. Pretty enjoyable really!

10th Apr 2009, 11:11
Some years ago a colleague got called for jury service, our MD, being a fine upstanding citizen wrote a letter to the judge explaining that we were extremely short staffed and that the airport may have to reduce it's operating hours if said colleague was made to attend.
The judge responded by summoning the MD to court and giving him a 30 minute, very public lecture, on the advantages of a citizen carrying out his public duty over keeping an airport open for two mail flights.

My colleague did the jury service and the MD took heed of the advice.

10th Apr 2009, 11:17
Yes, there are ways. I've never been called (I think I know why).

Get yourself appointed to the House of Lords. Get yourself locked up in prison. Both of those work.

Otherwise, do your civic duty. It's what separates the UK from dictatorships.

Effluent Man
10th Apr 2009, 11:25
Carry a copy of the Daily Torygraph prominently displayed.The defence will object to you because of your rabidly right-wing pro police mindset and you will be discharged.

Gertrude the Wombat
10th Apr 2009, 11:38
foolproof way of getting out of jury service
One that I've know work is to write a polite letter explaining that you're breast feeding and hoping that it won't upset anyone when you continue to do so in the jury room and in the court.

It was only a temporary excuse, though, she got summoned again a while later.

Seriously though, if you're ever up in front of a jury for something you haven't done, like others have said, do you really want it to consist entirely of chavs because all the middle class people have wriggled out of it?

10th Apr 2009, 11:50
My boss lived in Washington, DC, and was called to sit on the Watergate jury. When quizzed, he responded that he thought the defendants must be guilty or they wouldn't have been charged - or a similar response. He escaped sitting on that trial, which lasted a very, very long time.

10th Apr 2009, 12:00
Quite old but you might get some pointers here


10th Apr 2009, 12:02
Friend of ours got called for jury service. It turned out to be one of those marathon financial scandal type of trials and none of the jury understood even a half of what was being said. Nearly six months of commitment and when asked to consider a verdict they really hadn't clue so voted to acquit as the accused, "seemed like a nice bloke".:rolleyes: Hopefully the policy for very complicated trials is changing.

Flying Lawyer
10th Apr 2009, 12:05
A reluctant juror asked a Judge to excuse him from jury service because it would cause great difficulty if he was away from work for two weeks. His explanation included that he was the only person who did his particular job.

"So, what you're saying is that you are indispensible to your employers?", asked the Judge.
"No", said the man, "that's the problem. I'm not, but I don't want them to find out!"
The amused and understanding Judge excused him.

The story is said to be true, but I've never met anyone who claimed to be there when it happened. ;)


Roger Sofarover
10th Apr 2009, 12:20
Flying Lawyer

Now that's funny. Is the Judge allowed to laugh loudly at such things?

Now come on while your here hop over to the Mr Tomlinson thread and give us the lowdown eh!

10th Apr 2009, 13:18
What I have always done for civil cases, never been called for a criminal trial--and it has always worked for me--is tell the truth: when the lawyers who are questioning me to determine my suitability ask if there's anything else they should know, I say, "I would be delighted to serve on this jury, but I need to tell you that I believe life is a risk and that people should take full responsibility for their actions."

That's the last thing a lawyer needs to hear, and they invariably say, "Thanks, you may go. Next!"

No fibbing required.

Low Flier
10th Apr 2009, 13:44
There are thee categories of people who are automatically exempt:

Members of the House of Lords;
Mentally deranged people;
Criminals who've been sentenced to a multi-year jail term.

That's Jeffrey Archer exempt, then.

10th Apr 2009, 14:30
There are thee categories of people who are automatically exempt:

Members of the House of Lords;
Mentally deranged people;
Criminals who've been sentenced to a multi-year jail term.

I would present them with about one year of your postings in Jetblast, that should get you excused :)

10th Apr 2009, 16:06
In England and Wales anyone between 18 and 70, 5 yrs resident and not 'mentally disordered' is eligible for Jury service unless disqualified.Those 'disqualified' are generally people who have received immediate or suspended custodial sentences or certain Community Orders or who are on bail.The whole thrust of S321 and Schedule 33 of the CJA 2003 was to enlarge the available jury pool.
Get out there and do it -good experience !

None of the above
10th Apr 2009, 16:56
It is said that there is a graffito in the cells area of the Old Bailey which reads: 'Help! I am being tried by twelve people too stupid to have got out of jury service'.:uhoh:

Vankem Spankfaart
10th Apr 2009, 17:33
Barrister mate told me that you should write to the Clerk of the Court with a response thus.....

"I greatly appreciate the offer of Jury Service and accept my public service wholeheartedly. I cannot wait to send some *Chav* down.

Looking forward to seeing you on <date>"

* - insert your own racist or sexist comment

10th Apr 2009, 17:45
My Mum has lost her marbles, and I can't do jury service because
she keeps wandering off looking for them, and I have to keep
wandering off looking for her. Excused.

10th Apr 2009, 17:56
Take it from someone who is intimately acquainted with the system, telling
a supreme court justice that you are indispensible to your employer will not make an impression, because in his mind, his lordship (and the delivery of justice) is the only thing that is truly indispensible.

10th Apr 2009, 18:05
Try "Where is the guilty bugger then? when you first sut down:ok:

Worrals in the wilds
10th Apr 2009, 18:13
The pet barrister's sage advice was to write and tell them you don't feel you could possibly convict anyone.

If that fails tell them the same thing on call up day and apparently the Crown will practically throw you out of the courthouse themselves.

10th Apr 2009, 18:47
Good reason to avoid.

IIRC most of the jurors in the Texaco case lost their jobs and houses and ended up bankrupt. They spent 10 months of their lives adjudicating a 10 billion dollar squabble between 2 greedy orginizations and got paid something like $6.00 per diem for their trouble.

After an excellent landing etc...

10th Apr 2009, 19:45
Say you suffer from incontinence.

10th Apr 2009, 19:54
I have been excused twice. Both times the dates I was to serve were when my children were due. I was called again last year, didn't have an excuse so served, guess what, I really enjoyed it. Quite an eye opener what some folks get up to.

10th Apr 2009, 21:08
Any prooners out there got a foolproof way of getting out of jury service after getting the summons?


If you write back enthusiastically telling them that you sincerely hope that the defendant is black/lesbian/disabled/on benefits/<insert prejudice here> because their sort need locking up irrespective of whether they're innocent or not and they're all screwing the system anyway, I am reliably informed that you will receive a letter telling you that your services are not required after all.

10th Apr 2009, 21:43
Prosecution to potential Jurors: "Mr. X is charged with offering to sell drugs to an undercover officer. Though he had no drugs to sell, it is a violation to offer to sell drugs."

Questions? Me: "Offering to sell something you don't have is actually against the Law?"

Prosecution: "Excused".

Me: "Bye then"


22 Degree Halo
10th Apr 2009, 22:19
Getting out of jury service

"You never received the summons..what are they talking about...what summons??? "

[when they knock on your door] :E

11th Apr 2009, 09:07

I always though people didn't get proven innocent. Burden of proof is usually on the prosecution to prove you guilty. Maybe you got lucky on the day in question if the CPS had their C team prosecuting you.........:E

11th Apr 2009, 09:23
Thank them, and tell them you've been eagerly awaiting the day you can recommend the death sentence for someone...anyone.

11th Apr 2009, 09:24
Why would you want to get out of it? Just go there and hang the guilty bas**rds.


11th Apr 2009, 09:35
You have a duty to attend. Illness, and especially deafness are about the only get-outs.

11th Apr 2009, 09:37
You have a duty to attend. Illness, and especially deafness are about the only get-outs.

Pardon me?

11th Apr 2009, 10:19
Done it twice and it's effing crap.

Two wasted weeks of sitting about whilst the officials faff and fanny around, don't have the right files, witnesses don't turn up etc etc and at the end up some poxy little scroat got probation for assaulting a man with a tyre lever.

Two years ago I got a letter from the Fiscal saying I was on the list of potential jurors and would be for 2 years. I made up my mind that if I could not get a doctor to sign me off or otherwise get out of it I would just downright refuse and take the hit. Fortunately my name did not come out of the hat.

I understand that Jehovah's Witnesses are excused on the grounds that they will not stand in judgement of their fellow man. You could try that.

Forget about turning up in filthy jeans and T shirt and not having shaved for 3 weeks in the hope that the defending council will knock you back. They seem to assess people on the basis of their occupation.

11th Apr 2009, 10:30
In years gone by, only professional people, shopkeepers, businessmen, graduates etc, were allowed to sit on juries.

The most boring part of the experience is hearing the same shit expounded time after time after time, depending on which barrister was parroting it, with varying slants.

....and...in the main, the seats you sit on are about as hard as they come.

11th Apr 2009, 10:40
OK, looks like it is not easy but I will have a go. Thanks for the input and nice one Airfoilmod!!

To those of you who say "Do your duty" (nice to be called "young chap", by the way, Wod) I ask you to consider this:-

1) It is the duty (and contractual obligation as well) of the Police and CPS to put up a case that, while I do not expect it to be flawless, might at least hold enough water to stand a chance of success.

2) It is the duty of the Jury Selection Service to find 11 other jurors to sit with me who have no prejudices and enough intelligence to understand basic concepts, such as "beyond reasonable doubt".

3) It is the duty of the Judge to try the case and not to dismiss it on ridiculous technicalities, such as "The prosecution case is too good", and, upon conviction, to hand down a sentence in accordance with the severity of the crime and the wishes of the population, and not in consideration of the prison population.

4) It is the duty of the Prison Service to provide a punishment regime such that the offender is not willing to repeat his offence.

5) It is the duty of the government to ensure the above takes place, according to the wishes of the population.

These people are paid (many of them very handsomely indeed) for performing these duties by me and the other taxpayer. If I could be convinced that they would actually achieve any sensible amount of the above then I might be persuaded that I should go and do my duty and thereby lose a lot of money.

Interesting to note that the one prooner who really had the authority to tell me to do my duty didn't - thanks FL, and please don't take any of the above as aimed at you, it's the system that's wrong.


11th Apr 2009, 11:45
I didn't have to try! Got called recently and was due to start on Tuesday after Easter. Bit of a pain reorganising the busy diary to clear two weeks and to travel back on Easter Monday (although scary allowances paperwork with the summons states: "Allowances change after the 211th day of the trial" :eek:)

No sympathy from boss, whose opening gambit was: "Well I did it two years ago! Don't do what I did and turn up in a suit carrying a briefcase - they'll make you the foreman"

Resigned to it and (in a way) looking forward to it (not many new experiences at my time of life! :uhoh:)

Got a 'phone call from the Court last week - "We've got too many people for that day, can we reschedule you for later in the year?" I explained the hassle it had caused to my diary, and said I'd rather do it when I'd rearranged my life to do it!

"OK then, we'll excuse you!" All seemed a little odd ......

11th Apr 2009, 11:52
As others have said, just go and do your civic duty!!

In the UK were are not required to:-

Vote (as you are in several countries)
Do National Service (as you are in most european countries)
Carry ID Cards (yet!!)
Carry driving documents when driving the car (again as in most countries)

About the only thing we have to do is jury service. Is it really not too much to ask for an employer to allow you time to do your duty, and for you to give your time??

Actually, it's also not a bad earner in UK (travel expenses and food taken care of - at least it was the only time I've been called, and 6 years ago).

11th Apr 2009, 12:03
Why would you want to get out of it? Just go there and hang the guilty bas**rds.

I'm sure that if you were ever wrongly charged with a serious offence that you didn't commit (you do trust the Police to act in every case with fairness and impartiality I'm sure :hmm:), that you'd be hoping for a jury of 12 'ShyTorques' who have decided that you're guilty before you enter the dock. :=

11th Apr 2009, 12:20
Barrister mate told me that you should write to the Clerk of the Court with a response thus.....

"I greatly appreciate the offer of Jury Service and accept my public service wholeheartedly. I cannot wait to send some *Chav* down.

Looking forward to seeing you on <date>"

Yes, and add to that, that you'll know if the scumbag is guilty as soon as you clap eyes on him.

11th Apr 2009, 12:21
I still haven't been called. The only time I did get selected I really DID have to not attend. It was when I was with Customs or the Navy - can't remember which.

I'd like to get called up; I think it would be quite interesting. A number of workmates have been called up for (military) jury duty of late; it seems there was a backlog. I've even missed out on that, so far. Some of the cases they have attended have been worth listening to!

11th Apr 2009, 12:25
I'll do it!!!

My view is there is no smoke without fire. If you manage to find yourself in the court in the first place, you must have done something.

GUILTY ON ALL CHARGES, your honour!!


11th Apr 2009, 12:43
Yes, and add to that, that you'll know if the scumbag is guilty as soon as you clap eyes on him.

sat in a jury selection hearing one time for a murder trial. Was convinced that the scumbag was guilty just by looking at him and his dress, turned out I had mixed him up with his lawyer.

11th Apr 2009, 13:08
UFO yeah, I was at school before you were born (just), so I have seniority:ok:.

But your post makes at least one of my points

You won't get 11 other jurors to sit with me who have no prejudices and enough intelligence to understand basic concepts, such as "beyond reasonable doubt".
unless you accept the summons.

Your proposal will get you the jury which I described earlier.

Some of your other points are dodgy. Your responsibility is clear: you can't refuse to participate unless the rest of us structure the system to suit your prejudices. That is why we need a jury of peers.

Please don't take this personally, I am by nature inclined to humour rather than argument, but I do feel strongly about what others have described as the priveledge of atttending to civic duty.

It does actually define civilisation.

Charlie Foxtrot India
11th Apr 2009, 13:15
I got summonsed for jury duty last week , would like to give it a go and have an opportunity to see some justice done for a change but being self employed and having to be "contactable by electronic means" I'm hoping to be excused.
Plus they want you there at some ungodly hour of the morning. I can't stay awake in meetings, seminars etc so god knows how I'd stay awake in a court room with a sleep deficit already!
Civic duty done thanks to our compulsory voting system.

11th Apr 2009, 13:16
Being a 'paid by the hour contractor' I wrote back to them last year and told them that unless they match my daily rate then don't expect me to turn up! They wrote back and said 'oh very well, maybe another time, we'll take your name off the list'.

Simple really.

And as for doing my duty, dont make me laugh. The day they successfully get all the pikeys and gypos to attend then I'll happily follow too.

Worrals in the wilds
11th Apr 2009, 15:43
turned out I had mixed him up with his lawyer.

Pet barrister was Counsel for the Defence in a reasonably high profile case involving a noted (alleged) brothel keeper and provider of 'incentives' to the State police.
Various friends of mine (unfamilar with PB) commented at the time "We saw PB on the news, next to this big dark scary criminal looking guy". Trouble was, the (alleged) brothel keeper was the respectable looking dude, and the scary criminal looking guy was the PB. Such is life :hmm:

Apparently in this state, if a jury cannot be found, the court officials are authorised to walk out on to the street in front of the court and press-gang a jury. It nearly happened recently in a high profile case, I've always walked on the other side of the street since hearing that :eek:

11th Apr 2009, 16:35
Wedge, do you have an American background? I only ask because you don't failed to see the irony and sarcasm in my post....

The original poster wanted a reason to get excused from Jury service. Declaring a personal prejudice might be one good reason a particular person should not be accepted.

Tonic Please
11th Apr 2009, 18:46
I can't see what all the fuss is about?

I got summoned about 2 months ago, once I had already moved here to Paris. Parents told me about the letter from the courts, wondered what I'd done, learnt I was summoned. I looked at how much I would earn for the period, compared it to what I would earn here, laughed at how stupid I would be to accept, so wrote an email to the address provided stating that I have moved to work full-time in Paris as this and that, can provide proof of travel tickets, housing, employment contracts, etc...

Response I got didn't question anything I wrote, just said I had been excused from future service.

You could try it yourself, but I don't know if they checked me out on some system, communicated with the French (pfff, hardly) or couldn't be arsed?

Just me pennies..

11th Apr 2009, 20:19
A Nigerian acquaintance who was picked up in the UK for being an illegal immigrant spent 18 months detained in confinement before being released as there was no evidence as to his crime.

We were told that in 65% of cases appearing before the Immigration Tribunal, (a) no evidence is presented against the person or (b) the lawyers don't turn up or (c) the prisoner cannot be located within the prison system and does not appear in court, either "in time" or "at all".

We were also told that the 65% is pretty much also applicable to the entire legal system of court hearings. Therefore, when you do your jury service, have a good book/your knitting/a bottle of diazepam/latest copy of the "Beano" in your bag/pocket - 'cos there's a LOT of waiting around to be done.

11th Apr 2009, 20:56
Served on it a couple of times in the USA when available.
Found it to be quite rewarding.
Was called up 2 years ago and could not comply since I work abroad , they dismissed me without any issues, took just a phone call.