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Jury Duty and Homeschool-Friendly Laws


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#1 learningmama

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 07:58 AM

Just went through the whole try to excuse/reschedule jury duty because I am a homeschooler fiasco. Does anyone live in a state that has official laws about jury duty and homeschooling? I know it varies widely, but just wanted some info because I want to address this in the future.

#2 freeindeed

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 08:03 AM

I'm not sure. I was summoned for jury duty about three years ago, but I didn't have to serve b/c they had me scheduled for the week we left to go to China to adopt dd4.:) Hopefully someone else will know more.

#3 Excelsior! Academy

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 08:03 AM

No. Our state doesn't care. at. all.

I was raising my sister's children when I was called for jury duty. At the time I had 8 under 11 and I was homeschooling. She was in jail. They would not let me out of jury duty.

#4 Down_the_Rabbit_Hole

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 08:06 AM

A few years ago I was called for jury duty. I contacted the courts and was told to write a letter explaining why I did not feel I could do jury duty. I was excused.

#5 HollyBee

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 08:12 AM

Our state allows you to postpone your jury duty if you are the primary teacher in a home education program (or words to that effect). When I got my first summons after we began homeschooling, I sent in the form letter stating such, and had no trouble. The problem is, you stay on the list, they just push you further down, so I get a summons every year. And I send in the form. And I get a summons...

It's pretty much part of my homeschool process now, unfortunately. Send in letter of intent, check. Send in form for jury summons, check.

#6 jentancalann

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 08:15 AM

Our state allows you to postpone your jury duty if you are the primary teacher in a home education program (or words to that effect). When I got my first summons after we began homeschooling, I sent in the form letter stating such, and had no trouble. The problem is, you stay on the list, they just push you further down, so I get a summons every year. And I send in the form. And I get a summons...

It's pretty much part of my homeschool process now, unfortunately. Send in letter of intent, check. Send in form for jury summons, check.


ditto (also in GA). however, i don't think i've ever been called back a second time.

#7 Pink and Green Mom

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 08:26 AM

I just got a jury duty notice to our old address in VA and one of the exemptions was something to the effect that you had a minor child in your primary care during regular jury hours. I don't have the paper in front of me, but that was different than the exemption from a few years back which stated that you had a minor child not yet of school age in your primary care during regular jury hours.

#8 learningmama

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 08:27 AM


It's pretty much part of my homeschool process now, unfortunately. Send in letter of intent, check. Send in form for jury summons, check.


:lol: I like this!

#9 learningmama

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 08:36 AM

I just got a jury duty notice to our old address in VA and one of the exemptions was something to the effect that you had a minor child in your primary care during regular jury hours. I don't have the paper in front of me, but that was different than the exemption from a few years back which stated that you had a minor child not yet of school age in your primary care during regular jury hours.



Here it is under 6. My son is 6. I know the courts don't care and once you arrive, the judge/attorneys may very well dismiss someone for homeschool/childcare issues. It just eats me up. My dh is very busy, we don't have family in the state, no trustworthy people to watch the kids during the day. DH and I don't even go out alone because of our unique situation. I feel bad for all those (homeschoolers or otherwise) who have to jump through hoops for a brief time of "civic duty".

Someone had written on the internet, "Call me once menopause hits". :rofl:

#10 Truscifi

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 08:37 AM

I believe here you are excused if you are the primary caretaker for a child during normal work hours. I actually go anyway, because I think it is important, but I'm never selected. Probably because I used to work for law enforcement.

#11 Garga

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 09:02 AM

My dh is very busy, we don't have family in the state, no trustworthy people to watch the kids during the day. DH and I don't even go out alone because of our unique situation. I feel bad for all those (homeschoolers or otherwise) who have to jump through hoops for a brief time of "civic duty".



If there's no one, truely no one to watch the kids, then I can understand.

However, if there's any way to find someone else to watch the kids, I do feel that this is a civic duty, and more than just a quote-civic duty-unquote.

I was almost summoned, but in the end, my number wasn't called, so I didn't have to go in. I had a bunch of people lined up to care for the kids if my number was called. (Mom on Monday from 8-2, then hand off the kids to Wendy from 2 until DH got home, ...etc.)

I think it's an important part of citizenship, and a part of me was looking forward to going. Again, this only works if you have someone to watch the kids for that week (my paperwork promised it wouldn't be more than a week.)

#12 happi duck

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 11:45 AM

:iagree:

There is no reason homeschoolong should be different. We can't insist to be treated like paid teachers and private schools and then want special treatment.
If there is truly an issue then you might be excused...in the same way as anyone who can't find childcare.

They might also agree to call you in the summer.

#13 Gailmegan

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 11:55 AM

I got the summons a year ago. I wrote a letter explaining the situation and was excused, but they called me again a few months later (still during the school year). I got that one postponed too. Got one again over the summer, for Sept. 10th. At the time I received the summons I hadn't finished scheduling this year, so I figured I would just do it. I got picked to be in the panel for a case that would last 5 days, so I went before the judge and attorneys and explained my homeschool situation. She dismissed me right away. I got a certificate that is good for 2 years, but then I could be called again.

#14 Susan C.

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 12:19 PM

I told them I would come, but the kids were coming too (no one to watch them).

I was excused.

#15 Word Nerd

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 01:13 PM

If there's no one, truely no one to watch the kids, then I can understand.

However, if there's any way to find someone else to watch the kids, I do feel that this is a civic duty, and more than just a quote-civic duty-unquote.
...
I think it's an important part of citizenship, and a part of me was looking forward to going. Again, this only works if you have someone to watch the kids for that week (my paperwork promised it wouldn't be more than a week.)


:iagree: Jury duty isn't convenient for pretty much anyone.

#16 NayfiesMama

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 01:14 PM

I'd be tempted to sign up my kids for just the days of jury duty. How many homeschoolers doing that would it take for the Public Schools to call the courthouse?

#17 Kinsa

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 02:17 PM

Here in Texas, you aren't exempt because of homeschooling. However, you can be exempt if you are the primary caregiver of a child under the age of 10yo.

#18 Entropymama

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 02:20 PM

I believe here you are excused if you are the primary caretaker for a child during normal work hours. I actually go anyway, because I think it is important, but I'm never selected. Probably because I used to work for law enforcement.


CA exempts you if you are the primary caretaker of any other individual (child, disabled individual, elderly, whatever). I got summoned last year and went online, checked a box and got out of it. I used to work for law enforcement, and that didn't stop the summons so maybe that's a state by state thing too.

#19 *Michelle*

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 02:26 PM

:iagree:

There is no reason homeschoolong should be different. We can't insist to be treated like paid teachers and private schools and then want special treatment.


Except the paid teachers get a substitute provided for their classes. I'll take a paid day at the courthouse if the city would like to send over a sub for my kid.

No? Oh, well.

#20 WendyAndMilo

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 02:41 PM

Here in ID, there are no exemptions for anyone.

#21 nestof3

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 02:44 PM

I'm sorry it's difficult for you to schedule in. I may have to serve in October, and I'm excited. I figure it will be a learning experience to share with the boys. Having a jury of peers is such a great thing.

#22 Rebel Yell

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 03:11 PM

I am all in favor of doing my civic duty and all of that, but you never know in advance HOW LONG you'll serve. You could get on a big giant mess of a trial and need to serve for days, or weeks, or worse.

#23 nestof3

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 03:21 PM

I am all in favor of doing my civic duty and all of that, but you never know in advance HOW LONG you'll serve. You could get on a big giant mess of a trial and need to serve for days, or weeks, or worse.


Oh, I know. My husband had to decline b/c of his business. I'm not saying its bad to have to decline. I'm just actually thinking that it will be a worthwhile experience. I don't think it's convenient for most of the population. Aside from retired persons, I cannot think of any adult it wouldn't cause trouble for. Let's hope mine doesn't get drawn out!

#24 Dinsfamily

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 03:26 PM

Here in Texas, you aren't exempt because of homeschooling. However, you can be exempt if you are the primary caregiver of a child under the age of 10yo.


Yep, I got summoned a few years ago (before ds8 was even in Kindy, I think) and was excused because of my dc. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to find temporary full-time childcare during the week for many of us. I will be happy to participate once my dc are okay to stay alone.

#25 Mom in High Heels

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 03:29 PM

I am all in favor of doing my civic duty and all of that, but you never know in advance HOW LONG you'll serve. You could get on a big giant mess of a trial and need to serve for days, or weeks, or worse.


This. What if you go on the jury for something like the Casey Anthony trial, where you had to be sequestered and it went on for quite a long time? What would happen to your kids while you're gone?

I got a letter once that was sent to our house in TN (we're legal residents of TN), but forwarded on to my mom's address. She called me and I had her open it. She called the number on the letter and explained to them that we were now living in Europe and I was taken off the list.

#26 jelbe5

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 03:38 PM

I was excused the first time when I said I would happily serve but had to bring my nursing infant with me.

Second time around I sent in a note from my son's doctor explaining I am currently his full-time care giver due to his autism. I would like to serve someday but having a child with a disability who can really be a handful complicates things.

My dh served on a one day DUI case.

#27 staceyobu

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 05:06 PM

:iagree:

There is no reason homeschoolong should be different. We can't insist to be treated like paid teachers and private schools and then want special treatment.
If there is truly an issue then you might be excused...in the same way as anyone who can't find childcare.

They might also agree to call you in the summer.


I think the difference of not having a sub is huge. If a public school teacher serves, she will get paid for the day and the school covers the expense of her sub. If I have to serve, there is no one to teach my kids and I will have to pay a babysitter to the tune of $10 an hour. So, one week of jury duty would cost us $450... maybe closer to $500 once you include my drive time. It doesn't seem reasonable to me for them to expect me to come up with $500 to sit on a jury.

DH doesn't mind jury duty at all. He gets to skip work and still gets paid for the day. Honestly, I wouldn't mind taking a day off from my kids to go sit at the courthouse, but it's really costly for me to do that.

#28 nestof3

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 05:56 PM

I think the difference of not having a sub is huge. If a public school teacher serves, she will get paid for the day and the school covers the expense of her sub. If I have to serve, there is no one to teach my kids and I will have to pay a babysitter to the tune of $10 an hour. So, one week of jury duty would cost us $450... maybe closer to $500 once you include my drive time. It doesn't seem reasonable to me for them to expect me to come up with $500 to sit on a jury.

DH doesn't mind jury duty at all. He gets to skip work and still gets paid for the day. Honestly, I wouldn't mind taking a day off from my kids to go sit at the courthouse, but it's really costly for me to do that.


You bring up something that makes me wonder. Who pays for your husband's day at jury duty? I can understand if it's paid by the taxpayer, but I don't think it's right requiring an employer to pay for something like this.

#29 happi duck

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 06:00 PM

Except the paid teachers get a substitute provided for their classes. I'll take a paid day at the courthouse if the city would like to send over a sub for my kid.

No? Oh, well.


I think the difference of not having a sub is huge. If a public school teacher serves, she will get paid for the day and the school covers the expense of her sub. If I have to serve, there is no one to teach my kids and I will have to pay a babysitter to the tune of $10 an hour. So, one week of jury duty would cost us $450... maybe closer to $500 once you include my drive time. It doesn't seem reasonable to me for them to expect me to come up with $500 to sit on a jury.

DH doesn't mind jury duty at all. He gets to skip work and still gets paid for the day. Honestly, I wouldn't mind taking a day off from my kids to go sit at the courthouse, but it's really costly for me to do that.


If one cannot find a "sub"/childcare whether due to not being able to afford it or find it then it would fall under the same guidelines that already exist for someone who is responsible for someone's care.

My point, and others have made it too, is that everyone is in the same boat and there's no reason homeschoolers need a special exemption.

The length of a trial is estimated ahead of time. I have never heard of a trial being estimated at five days and dragging out for months. When you go to jury duty you fill out a form...on that form you can put "I am the sole caregiver for my children at home and I have limited childcare options" They won't choose a sahm for a long trial.

The system would break down if there starts to be exceptions...homeschoolers? What about small business owners? They might be the sole person able to keep a shop open etc. What about doctors? Their patients need them. etc. etc.

I think the system tries to be reasonable but it can never make everyone happy. Dh served on a jury for a week and still had to keep up with his work, there was no 'sub' for his projects and it cost us money because transportation cost more than what jury duty paid. It was what it was.

#30 happi duck

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 06:04 PM

You bring up something that makes me wonder. Who pays for your husband's day at jury duty? I can understand if it's paid by the taxpayer, but I don't think it's right requiring an employer to pay for something like this.


When I worked and had jury duty I had to give my jury pay to my employer (or a could have kept the jury pay and taken the days as unpaid)

dh is salaried so he just got his paycheck as usual but he also kept up with his projects while serving.

Maybe someone else knows what the rules are. :bigear:


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