Monday, November 16, 2009

What happens if you don't send in a questionnaire for jury duty?

I got a questionnaire a couple weeks ago and it says it needs to be sent back in ten days, and that it's not mandatory.

Well, I opened it, filled it out, and procrastinated about sending it. I kind of procrastinated until I forgot about it.

What do I do? Would there be a warrant out for my arrest or something?

What happens if you don't send in a questionnaire for jury duty?
If it was a federal questionnaire and said it was not mandatory, I would still contact the clerk of courts and tell them what happened...they're not usually an accomodating type of people and sometimes are rather rude, but bite the bullet and do it anyhow, Then ask where to send the questionnaire and if there is a penalty or any other ramifications for not sending the questionnaire in on time. Even if they say there is "no problem" send it in ASAP. It sounds like they are looking for people to be on a federal jury trial and failure to appear or respond can end you places you don't want to "visit" under any circumstances. Jury duty is a responsibility in the US, even though most of us hate having to do it. Just because you got a questionnaire doesn't necessarily mean that you will be called for the jury, but rather it's to see if you have biases either for or against a defenadant, whoever it might be. My guess is some of the questions were like "Have you ever been arrested?" Do you know anyone who was ever a defendant in a trial?" or things like that. It's probably an "exploratory" questionnaire to see if you could be open minded in a given situation. It is rarer to be called for a Federal jury that your County Courts. So if it were me, I would call immediately and send the thing back as fast as I could get it to the mailbox. Do a web search of "federal court jury questionnaire." When I did it, #2 was "instructions for completing the questionnaire," which confirmed my thoughts that they are just trying to determine if you meet the qualifications or if you have biases that might disqualify you. Good luck.
Reply:If it says that its not mandatory, then you don't have to return it.
Reply:There is liable to be a knock at your door from someone you wouldn't want a visit from.
Reply:I did the same thing. Call the office of whatever court it was. Was it State Court? County Court? Try calling the switchboard at whatever jurisdiction it was and ask for the number for the Jury Coordinator. There is a person that specifically is in charge of getting together a jury. They are usually very helpful. In my case, I just forgot to send the thing in and then lost it, and they told me to stop by and grab another. In most states it is a misdemeanor if you fail to show up for jury duty when summoned, without a valid excuse, but it's not exactly high priority crime or anything. Once you are given a jury number, there should be a recorded message you can call that is updated weekly or so that tells you which numbers have been called up.

I was a bit trepidacious about doing jury, but it was actually VERY interesting, and I gained a group of friends too! I found myself looking forward to it. I was on grand jury, not trial jury, so we met weekly or whenever requested for two months. Some weeks there wasn't anything for the District Attorney to present to us, so the Jury Coordinator would call and say don't come in tomorrow!

Hope this helped.
Reply:Beats me kiddoo.......

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