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Old 02-16-2011, 02:15 PM
 
26 posts, read 66,716 times
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Not in Vermont! I am appalled to learn that this state offers no time off for carers of small children, breastfeeding or not, when it comes to jury duty. I think it's time we change this. My daughter and son in law have begun a new life in Windsor County and we "thought" were in a beautiful and kind place to raise a family. This unfair act on the part of the state has me second guessing if we should stay in Vermont. Technically they can call her on regular basis unless the law is changed and they are forced to have compassion for anyone not able to serve. This includes those with handicapped children and carers of the elderly. Shame on Vermont! Can anyone here help?
Mary~
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Old 02-16-2011, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Vermont
3,328 posts, read 8,763,998 times
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I'd contact your local House representative or Senator for starters.
I haven't yet been called for jury duty so I can't comment otherwise.
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Old 02-16-2011, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Winter Springs, FL
1,789 posts, read 4,056,149 times
Reputation: 925
I don't think moving will help or change anything. Jury duty is similar in all states. There are cases where a person can be excused, but there has to be a valid reason (not that caring for a child is not valid). A request to be excused from jury duty or to have the date delayed can be done by writing prior to the expected date of appearance. On the flip side, anyone that can take the time for a vacation should be able to take the time for jury duty. The rules are, a person is summoned for jury draw no more than three times. Your daughter or son in law will not be called every year to serve. I have lived in Vermont for 16 years and I have never been called yet. It's all in the luck of the draw. As a society, we look at jury duty as a big inconvenience, but anyone who expects to receive justice in court must be willing to provide justice in court.
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:34 PM
 
26 posts, read 66,716 times
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Many states have adopted "Family Friendly Jury Duty" to make sure those who care for others are exempt until they are able to serve. Often this is until the youngest child is 10yrs. old in the states that have stepped up to implement this. This law makes sense and there are plenty of others who might be glad to serve in their place. If I could step in I would, as would her husband. My mother loves this honor. This isn't about NOT wanting to serve, it's about an infants needs. Infants need their mother's, even more so if they are nursing. If they called her a year ago she might have been suffering from morning sickness but she could have still taken care of her child while serving. And yes, she sent in her request for a delay but without the law to back her she can not be given this time.
It seems we need to write to our legislator's and perhaps the media to bring about what I believe is a necessary change. If petitions are needed we will deal with that too.
What do you mean if they can take a vacation 68vette? Please don't make assumptions. You may be wrong. And, if you haven't been called in 16yrs. why is it my daughter has already been called 2x, the first in another state? Something is very wrong with this. I'm sure you'd be happy to serve even if it means driving the 40 miles as they are asking my daughter to do. Thank you for your input.
I believe new families wanting to move to Vermont need to be aware that this can happen to them unless we change the laws. Other states have done so and so can Vt.
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Winter Springs, FL
1,789 posts, read 4,056,149 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybear View Post
What do you mean if they can take a vacation 68vette? Please don't make assumptions. You may be wrong. And, if you haven't been called in 16yrs. why is it my daughter has already been called 2x, the first in another state? Something is very wrong with this. I'm sure you'd be happy to serve even if it means driving the 40 miles as they are asking my daughter to do. Thank you for your input.
I believe new families wanting to move to Vermont need to be aware that this can happen to them unless we change the laws. Other states have done so and so can Vt.
I am not making assumptions. I was pointing out what the courts see and hear as excuses for not wanting to go to jury duty. Many people will claim they can't go for various reasons, but they are able to take the time to go on a vacation. That was my point. I'm soory if you took it the wrong way.
In all honesty it is a draw to serve. She may never get called again. Contact your Representative or Senator, but know that even if a change were to come, it would not be soon. Also contact the court. They can still grant the time off or arrange the time to when your son in law is able to watch the child while she attends.
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:27 PM
 
26 posts, read 66,716 times
Reputation: 21
Thank you 68vette. Personally, I hate the distance that jury duty requires innocent citizens to drive, some of us in old vehicles. I've never sent in an excuse though.
It's not fully about her husband caring for her child. They can close down the family business, a hardship, and he will have to drive with her so my infant grandchild is near enough to feed as often as she gets a break. I guess the state has no comprehension of how supply and demand works.Her husband can not stand in for her as this would make too much sense.
It's up to us, the people to stand up and fight for this "family friendly jury duty", in all states. It's called compassion. The potential jurors have not committed a crime and should not be penalized for their choice in parenting. How ironic that she could be fined or possibly jailed if she did not find a way to appear. I'd hate to think the pool was coming from birth announcements but this is her most recent public notice.
I did laugh when I read that one judge in Vt. sent his officers out into the local post office and shopping center to gather jurors. That's something that might actually make sense! I believe they gathered 45 potential jurors. Well done!
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Vermont / NEK
5,772 posts, read 12,295,466 times
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I believe the incident you are referring to happened in St. J. a year or two ago when a trial was about to begin and there just weren't enough jurors to be found that day. I haven't been called either in my 25 years here and I think most would agree that it would make sense to call those who are able to serve without undue hardship. If such a law as you're describing isn't on the books the place to start would be to contact your local legislator followed up by one of our daily newspapers.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:24 PM
 
Location: Vermont
10,281 posts, read 11,166,011 times
Reputation: 14111
It's become much more common to eliminate automatic exclusions in recent years. As an attorney I thought I would never be called, but I did get called to serve in 2009. I went to voir dire twice, was selected to serve on one jury, and sat through a four-day trial. I thought it was a great experience.

It was, however, my first time in almost forty years as a registered voter in two different states. It really is random.

If you appear and explain that infant care duties preclude you from serving there is a good likelihood that you will be temporarily excused.

On the other hand, it is your duty as a citizen.
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Old 02-17-2011, 05:38 AM
 
Location: Vermont
10,281 posts, read 11,166,011 times
Reputation: 14111
I should follow up on my post from last night.

Vermont has no initiative or referendum process, so there is no way to circulate petitions to get a change in the law. On the other hand, your state representatives and senators live close to you, probably have their home phone numbers listed in the book, and read and respond to their e-mail. If you feel that some change in the law should be created to protect people from jury duty for some reason, you can undoubtedly talk to your elected representatives to see if they will introduce legislation to make this happen.

The legislature is in session right now, so you can take a shot at this if you want.
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:31 AM
 
26 posts, read 66,716 times
Reputation: 21
Thanks JackM. Some people are randomly called upon more than most and chances are they will continue to call on HER and rarely if ever on many people.
I will take this further, though I already heard how unlikely this will be because of the expense of passing this law and inconvenience of losing people in the jury pool. Really? A simple yea or nae won't be enough?
If a carer wants and is able to serve they could still do so but why should each and every mother with a young child, or carer of an invalid, have to fight to prove that someone needs them more at this time?
Maybe, we need a change in the way the jury is called upon so it's fair rather than the luck of the draw. It seems so many people get passed over and will never be called.
I need to learn more about the actually drawing of names. Is it hand picked by a human being with no true awareness of which name comes up? Is there a witness? Are recent DMV , birth announcements or public records where they select from? Ok, more homework for me.
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