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Old 12-16-2007, 06:22 AM
 
271 posts, read 766,103 times
Reputation: 129
Default Jury Duty in New Mexico

I was recently informed about how jury duty works in New Mexico. I was
told that you are one call for a period of six months and you could serve on
many different juries during that period of time. Also I was told that you are
pretty much tied down durning that period of time and it would be very difficult if you needed to leave for a trip or vacation during your time on jury
duty. I've been on jury duty in many different states and all the ones that I
have previously lived in I only had to serve on one jury and I was not on call
for another 18 to 24 months. So I called the local clerk of the court and she
said what I had been told was correct and it was a law in the state of New
Mexico. I'm now wondering if this is true or only true in the smaller communities in this state? Later I was told why do you think there are so many out of state car tags for people who reside here. Anyway is this
the law even in the larger communities like Santa Fe, Las Cruces and Albu?
I have mentioned this to some friends who were considering moving here and
they said they have changed their minds. Just curious how it works in all the
larger cities in New Mexico. Thanks
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Old 12-16-2007, 07:52 AM
 
215 posts, read 524,200 times
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I was called for jury duty recently in Otero Co. (very rural). I'm pretty sure the period was 3 months. I know it was not 6 months. I'm 100% self-employed and was excused because it would ruin my business to be called away for jury duty at random times over 3 months. Next time I'm called, I'll have to explain my situation again. I don't think the courts grant many permanent exemptions. I would not mind serving for a week or two, but to be on call for months at a time would indeed make life hard, even for someone whose income would not be put at risk.
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Old 12-17-2007, 04:53 AM
 
271 posts, read 766,103 times
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Yep it can really cause some serious hardships for many people. I'm retired
but had planned on make a lot of trips and I can until my time comes up.
I like you do not mind doing my civic duty and serve on one jury which I have
many times in other states but to be on the hook for 6 months here where I
live is not going to get it. I asked many people here in Sierra county what
they thought about it and they don't like it either but the court says there
are so few people to draw from. I know this law has driven quite a few
people away from new mexico but I was just wanting to make sure it is the
same over the state. If it's three months in Otero county that is different
from what I was told in Sierra county. I'll let the word out and maybe Otero
county will really start growing. Ha. Thanks for the info. I agree if you are
self employed that could soon make you unemployed.
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Old 12-17-2007, 07:55 AM
 
215 posts, read 524,200 times
Reputation: 120
You'll want to confirm the three-month period before you start spreading the word about Otero. I'm pretty sure that's what my summons card said, but it was a few weeks ago and I cannot swear to it now. Just call the courthouse in Alamogordo and ask to be sure.
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Old 12-18-2007, 10:47 AM
 
271 posts, read 766,103 times
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I called and it pretty much depends on which court system you are
assigned to. I could be for a 3 month or 6 month duration. I've never heard
of such a long period of time but I have always resided in large cities
where there is a larger pool to draw from. I can't imagine how it works if
somebody is employed. I know in Phoenix when I was last called I had to
report for two or three times and if I was not selected for a jury I was off
the hook for 1 year and if I served on a jury you were off for 18 to 24 months. Don't think I will be moving to New Mexico to retire as I plan to
travel a lot. I would hate to be tied up for 3 to six months and have to stay
home just waiting for a call to actually serve.
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Old 06-01-2010, 09:25 AM
 
1 posts, read 8,327 times
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The period is 4 months in Sandoval county. It ain't no big deal, really. You get called in for orientation, (don't even have to attend as long as you view the video on their website and print out the Jury duty PDF). However, if you want to get out of your 4 months then I strongly suggest you physically attend the orientation because that is where you can give your lame, and not so lame excuses to get out of your civic duty. Sorry, couldn't resist.

If you do not get excused then it is just a matter of you calling the phone number they give you, or visiting the court website every Friday and check when you are scheduled to go in for Jury selection. In my experience with Sandoval County, I was scheduled to go in for Jury Selection 4 times in 4 months, about once a month. In my case the appointments were canceled almost always at the last minute because of the parties settling out of court or plea bargaining the night before Jury selection was to take place. Only one time in the 4 months did I actually get selected to serve on a jury, and in mid trial they settled and we got to go home without rendering a verdict.
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Old 06-01-2010, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Exit 242
722 posts, read 863,422 times
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I recently served the 4 month jury duty in Sandoval county. My panel was called to report 6 times in that period and I served on one jury for 4 days. There were a couple of people in my panel that served on all 6 juries. The judge said that the jury duty was just lengthened to 4 months from 3 because there were so many jury trials.

I have a friend who was called to the Sandoval county grand jury. He had to report every Thursday for 3 months and almost always had to stay the entire day.

We moved here from Michigan, where you were only required to report for jury duty one day or one trial every 24 months.
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Old 06-01-2010, 06:10 PM
 
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I was called to jury duty about 14 years ago in Virginia for a period of TWO WEEKS.

Months? That's ridiculous...
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:15 PM
 
Location: Exit 242
722 posts, read 863,422 times
Reputation: 545
I couldn't agree more Mike. It is nuts to expect that someone can put the rest if their life on hold for 4 months. If something came up in the interim, I was fully prepared to call and tell the clerk I was unable to make it (and, apparently, a number of folks did that or just didn't show up, because there were always some different faces in the panel).
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Old 06-01-2010, 09:04 PM
 
1,974 posts, read 2,637,935 times
Reputation: 780
I think I'd tell the jury selection officials that I was so p*ssed at this system that I
doubted that I could ever overcome my frustration and therefore was incapable
of rendering a fair verdict because I'd be so prejudiced against the state...
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