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Unread 05-23-2012, 04:14 PM
 
5 posts, read 9,965 times
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Default Unusual Jury Duty Issue

I live in both the Bronx and Arlington Va (about 3/4 of the time in VA, and 1/4 in the Bronx). I have a Manhattan mail drop. I received a jury duty notice with the Manhattan address. I tried to explain that I don't live in Manhattan, but the clerk will not accept that without a list of proofs (which I do NOT have enough of). No drivers license, other peoples' names are on the leases, the utility accounts are in other people's names. The only proof I have as ID is a valid U.S. Passport, and the only proof of address I have is a Federal tax return which shows the VA address.

The clerk's only response was to 'get proof, or serve'.

2 questions:

1- What is done when there is no real proof of residence?

2- Can I serve in Manhattan (per its notice) without actually living there?

I am not trying to get out of jury duty, but I don't want to serve where I may not be eligible, and risk screwing up a verdict because I was not a valid juror. Please advise. (The clerk had no answer to this.)
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Unread 05-23-2012, 04:58 PM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
7,227 posts, read 11,907,122 times
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Try to get more proof. Can you get a letter from your landlord (or copy of mortgage) where you live most of the year, taxes, letter from employer anything like that...
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Unread 05-23-2012, 05:33 PM
 
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Again, neither lease is in my name, nor are the utilities, and neither party will put my name on these things (long story). I am not employed now.

As for taxes, the only proof of address I have are Federal and State tax returns (Virginia), but the clerk says this is not enough.

The clerk (apparently a supervisor) said, in so many words, 'get your name on a lease, and a utility bill, and a drivers license (or state ID, which itself requires proof of address), AND a tax return'. She gave me a piece of paper with these items on it, signed it, and said I needed ALL of them.

I MAY be able to get something in writing from one of the leaseholders, but this doesn't seem to be enough.

I told her I was more than willing to serve in Manhattan, but she did not respond directly when I questioned whether I would be a valid juror if I am not a Manhattan resident (I just receive mail at a Manhattan address/mail-drop office). She only said that I 'must' establish residency by the time the notice arrives, and then laid out the various penalties (fines, arrest warrants, jail) for not complying with the notice.

Maybe I need to just go to jury duty in Manhattan, and when (if) an attorney asks me if I am a resident or otherwise valid, simply say no and explain all this to the judge.

Last edited by lrj123nyc; 05-23-2012 at 05:45 PM.. Reason: Clarification, typo
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Unread 05-23-2012, 05:55 PM
 
1,348 posts, read 1,080,897 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrj123nyc View Post
Maybe I need to just go to jury duty in Manhattan, and when (if) an attorney asks me if I am a resident or otherwise valid, simply say no and explain all this to the judge.
Yes, this is exactly what you should do. I've been excused for all sorts of reasons (all valid) related to work and/or school. It's a pain though because you do have to show up but if you get called, just explain your situation to the lawyers and judge.
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Unread 05-24-2012, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Manhattan
9,843 posts, read 7,646,281 times
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How do you manage living in Arlington without driving?

Most states now offer photo ID cards which are in essence, driver's license WITHOUT driving privileges.

Did you file VA state income tax?
To whom do you pay your rent? Can your landlord write a notarized letter attesting to where you live.
Do you have bank statements to your VA address?


Failing all that, you will have to "tell it too the judge" and let him determine whether you must serve or not.

(Living somewhere as an adult without a name on a lease or a deed is rather foolish.)
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Unread 05-24-2012, 11:34 AM
 
5 posts, read 9,965 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kefir King View Post
How do you manage living in Arlington without driving?

Most states now offer photo ID cards which are in essence, driver's license WITHOUT driving privileges.

Did you file VA state income tax?
To whom do you pay your rent? Can your landlord write a notarized letter attesting to where you live.
Do you have bank statements to your VA address?


Failing all that, you will have to "tell it too the judge" and let him determine whether you must serve or not.

(Living somewhere as an adult without a name on a lease or a deed is rather foolish.)
My wife does the driving as necessary. We live in a very convenient part of Arlington where all the necessities (stores, subway, etc) are within easy walking distance. Downtown Washington D.C. is 10-15 minutes away max, via metro. Being a long time native New Yorker, mass transit has always been my preferred mode of transportation. The lack of a driver's license has never really been an issue, neither in New York, nor Arlington.

The photo ID cards also require proofs of address which I don't (at the moment) have.

As mentioned, I do file (jointly) a Virginia tax return. The clerk said this was not enough.

The rent is paid out of a checking account in my wife's name. Bank statements are all in my wife's name, and are sent to the Arlington address.

It may be possible to get a notarized letter from the landlord, but even this (combined with the VA tax return) still was not enough to satisfy the clerk.

Foolish as it may be, in an age of cohabitation, living as an adult without a name on a lease or deed is a lot more common than you may think.
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Unread 05-27-2012, 06:53 AM
 
Location: Manhattan
9,843 posts, read 7,646,281 times
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Quote:
and the only proof of address I have is a Federal tax return which shows the VA address.
Is that the only proof of address you have or is it the only proof that you live in VIRGINIA...There is a difference.

Do you have a lease in your name in NYC? Could you prove to the court that you live in the Bronx if it were necessary?
If so, then perhaps you do INDEED, live in the Bronx.


Where do you work? To which address are your W-2's and and 1099's sent? What is the address on your major checking account? Credit cards? Where did you vote last, register for voting last? Are you listed in the NYC phone book? DO you have a cable connection in NYC?

All these things go into determining your primary address.

How long have you shared a home with your wife in Virgina?
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Unread 05-27-2012, 11:22 AM
 
5,459 posts, read 3,367,901 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kefir King View Post
Is that the only proof of address you have or is it the only proof that you live in VIRGINIA...There is a difference.

Do you have a lease in your name in NYC? Could you prove to the court that you live in the Bronx if it were necessary?
If so, then perhaps you do INDEED, live in the Bronx.
He might be a resident of the Bronx for jury duty purposes, but he's certainly not a resident of Manhattan. And a Bronx resident isn't eligible for jury duty in Manhattan.
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Unread 05-27-2012, 01:02 PM
 
Location: New York City
517 posts, read 396,897 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrj123nyc View Post
I live in both the Bronx and Arlington Va (about 3/4 of the time in VA, and 1/4 in the Bronx). I have a Manhattan mail drop. I received a jury duty notice with the Manhattan address. I tried to explain that I don't live in Manhattan, but the clerk will not accept that without a list of proofs (which I do NOT have enough of). No drivers license, other peoples' names are on the leases, the utility accounts are in other people's names. The only proof I have as ID is a valid U.S. Passport, and the only proof of address I have is a Federal tax return which shows the VA address.

The clerk's only response was to 'get proof, or serve'.

2 questions:

1- What is done when there is no real proof of residence?

2- Can I serve in Manhattan (per its notice) without actually living there?

I am not trying to get out of jury duty, but I don't want to serve where I may not be eligible, and risk screwing up a verdict because I was not a valid juror. Please advise. (The clerk had no answer to this.)

Why not just come to NY and do jury duty, and treat it as vacation time? I'm suuuuuure you miss NY! Compared to Virginia (ugh)?
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Unread 05-30-2012, 08:15 PM
 
5 posts, read 9,965 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kefir King View Post
Is that the only proof of address you have or is it the only proof that you live in VIRGINIA...There is a difference.

Do you have a lease in your name in NYC? Could you prove to the court that you live in the Bronx if it were necessary?
If so, then perhaps you do INDEED, live in the Bronx.


Where do you work? To which address are your W-2's and and 1099's sent? What is the address on your major checking account? Credit cards? Where did you vote last, register for voting last? Are you listed in the NYC phone book? DO you have a cable connection in NYC?

All these things go into determining your primary address.

How long have you shared a home with your wife in Virgina?
That is the only proof of address I HAVE at the moment. Remember this is for Manhattan Jury Duty, not Bronx. The evidence that I have that I live in the Bronx (voting record, which has not been updated) was not enough for the clerk (she gave me a signed, very extensive list, and I needed ALL of the items). As mentioned, I am unemployed. All bank accounts, credit cards, W2s, cable, utilities, lease, car, etc were put in wife's name when she found a job and took the apartment in Washington DC some 10 years ago. I split my time between NYC (Bronx) and Arlington throughout that period. My name is NOT on the lease or cable, or utilities, etc. in the Bronx apartment either, though I can get letters from the leaseholder and the managing agent that I live there. (This is still NOT enough).

I can, however, get a Virginia State-issued ID with only a birth certificate, a passport, and a tax return. This is a significant document, and requires far less evidence than what the clerk is demanding for Jury Duty.

I guess the solution is to appear for Jury Duty in Manhattan as required, and take the State ID and the tax return with me, and just explain it all to the lawyers and the judge. If they say serve, then I certainly will, but at least the question of my validity will be put to rest.
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