Jury duty may be your civic duty, but that doesn’t change the fact that it interferes with your daily routine, it’s inconvenient and down-right annoying. Getting out of jury duty can be quite the challenge, especially if you don’t have a court-accepted excuse. However, there are plenty of ways to keep from getting chosen, and to turn off the judge, attorneys or your fellow jurors when your name is called. So, if you’re willing to make a bit of a scene and argue your excuse, here are 10 ways to get out of jury duty:
Whether you cry over the case, cry because you got chosen and had to miss work, or cry about your dog who just died, the judge, attorneys and fellow jurors will most likely think you’re unstable or too emotional to be a juror. The crying tactic can be tough to pull off, but if you can conjure up a believable story, you’ve got a shot at being dismissed or given a postponement.
- Share your Radical Views
Going into the court with an “I Voted for Bush” t-shirt, or an “End Capital Punishment” button, you can consider yourself dismissed. Sharing your radical views, whatever they may be, shows that you are partial and may not be a fair juror.
- Bring a Bible
If you are seen reading the Bible, you may have a shot at getting out of jury duty. Although the court is looking for a diverse, random group of people, reading the Bible at jury duty is a bold statement that may keep you from being selected. If your name is called, try talking to an attorney or judge about your moral dilemma of judging people and determining their punishment.
- No transportation
If you don’t have a vehicle or any reliable form of transportation to jury duty, you might get it excused or postponed for another date. This is a legitimate concern for those who live far from the courthouse or have limited access to public transportation.
- Pass Judgment
Gasping, shaking your finger and commenting on the details of the trial will help you stick out as a potentially judgmental juror. Since jurors are supposed to be objective and fair, you will look like the complete opposite and possibly get dismissed. If you get called out by a judge or attorney, tell them you feel too strongly about the case and are worried that you won’t be able to give the defendant a fair trial.
Jury duty isn’t a time to socialize and it could make you seem insubordinate or irresponsible, which is why you’ll want to chat your way out of there. You may even get some additional ideas on how to avoid your next jury duty summon.
- Fake a Sickness
An ear infection or stomach bug is not easily detected, and can realistically prevent you from performing your juror duties. In order to be extra convincing, you may want to put your finger in your ear and say, “huh” “what” and “please repeat” after every statement, or excuse yourself and run to the bathroom every five minutes. If you’re good at faking an illness, then this is one of your best defenses in the courthouse.
- Know the Witness/Defendant
If you just so happen to know the witness’ mother, went to college with the defendant or live on the street where the crime occurred, you’ll be out of the court in no time. If you try to lie about knowing someone involved in the case and get caught, pretend like you were thinking of another person with the same name.
- Be Skittish
Being skittish, jumpy and looking down-right uncomfortable can help your chances of being dismissed from jury duty. Not only will you make the people sitting next to you feel uncomfortable, but you’re bound to be called out for your unusual behavior. When you get the chance to talk to a judge, share your fears of courts, criminals or another believable excuse to why you are incapable of being a juror.
- No Child Care
Children are not allowed at jury duty and there’s no child care available at the courthouse. So, if your babysitter is unavailable or your spouse had to work, you may get to go home if you can prove that you’re the only available caretaker for your young children. This is a legitimate excuse that might get you a postponement or a dismissal from jury duty.