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#1
Old 05-17-2014, 01:21 AM
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I've just received a summons for Federal Jury Duty. What should I expect?

I won't get picked, I never do.

When I get called for State jury duty, its only for one case. According to this summons I have to be available for an entire month.

I'm not unwilling to serve, its my civic duty.

I'm just wondering what I should expect for that experience. Should I bring my lunch and snacks? If I'm picked, will I be locked up in a hotel room for the month? Can I use my phone to record the voices, or just to take notes?
#2
Old 05-17-2014, 02:48 AM
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Try using your phone to take movies of the entire process. Start recording as soon as you get to the courthouse. That will probably take care of that whole having to be available for a month thing.
#3
Old 05-17-2014, 07:08 AM
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Back in the 80s or early 90s, I got a federal jury duty summons. I was instructed to call in at certain times to see if I needed to show up. I never got beyond the phone call stage.

That probably doesn't help you a lot. Sorry.
#4
Old 05-17-2014, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flatlined View Post
Can I use my phone to record the voices, or just to take notes?
Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think juries are permitted to take notes in the courtroom.
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#5
Old 05-17-2014, 09:45 AM
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I am one of those people who are ALWAYS summoned for jury duty. I get so many that it is quite amusing, because in Boston you only have to serve every 2-3 years in a State Court. When I get them inbetween my 2 or 3 yr period (I forget, but I am pretty sure it is 2) I just ignore them.

I am one of the few, so I have heard, that loves jury duty. Our State Courthouse is really old, and the inside of the building is quite beautiful to me. So I do not mind going their. Much more interesting than sitting at a desk typing all day. Besides, 9 out of 10 time nothing happens, and you get sent home early, which is a real treat for me.

I have only bee summoned to Fed Service twice, I think. That building is all new, and is rather quite boring. We heard the same spiel as they tell in the State courthouse. The only real difference is if you are not picked for a jury, I believe they have a certain amount of time, like someone else posted, to call you back in.

First time in the Fed jury system, boring day, nothing really happened. Almost got seated on a jury that they said would take a few months It was funny to hear all the excused people gave to try to not get picked, myself included. Who wants to sit on a jury that long? It was a suit against a certain prescription drug in the case of a death or a suicide, or something like that.

There were a lot of people there, and I was not chosen. We then were given an hour lunch break, and when we came back, they told us we could go home, but had to call a certain number the next business day to see if we needed to come back, and I did not.

Recently, after a few years, I received another summons for Fed Court. Like two or three weeks before I was suppose to show up, I received an automated message saying they did not need me. I was glad, I like the State Court building which is old and has so much character, but I do not like the Fed Court.
#6
Old 05-17-2014, 09:49 AM
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I am one of those people who are ALWAYS summoned for jury duty. I get so many that it is quite amusing, because in Boston you only have to serve every 2-3 years in a State Court. When I get them inbetween my 2 or 3 yr period (I forget, but I am pretty sure it is 2) I just ignore them.

I am one of the few, so I have heard, that loves jury duty. Our State Courthouse is really old, and the inside of the building is quite beautiful to me. So I do not mind going their. Much more interesting than sitting at a desk typing all day. Besides, 9 out of 10 time nothing happens, and you get sent home early, which is a real treat for me.

I have only bee summoned to Fed Service twice, I think. That building is all new, and is rather quite boring. We heard the same spiel as they tell in the State courthouse. The only real difference is if you are not picked for a jury, I believe they have a certain amount of time, like someone else posted, to call you back in.

First time in the Fed jury system, boring day, nothing really happened. Almost got seated on a jury that they said would take a few months It was funny to hear all the excuses people gave to try to not get picked, myself included. Who wants to sit on a jury that long? It was a suit against a certain prescription drug in the case of a death or a suicide, or something like that.

There were a lot of people there, and I was not chosen. We then were given an hour lunch break, and when we came back, they told us we could go home, but had to call a certain number the next business day to see if we needed to come back, and I did not.

Recently, after a few years, I received another summons for Fed Court. Like two or three weeks before I was suppose to show up, I received an automated phone message saying they did not need me. I was glad, I like the State Court building which is old and has so much character, but I do not like the Fed Court.
#7
Old 05-17-2014, 11:00 AM
And Full Contact Origami
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flatlined View Post
I won't get picked, I never do.

When I get called for State jury duty, its only for one case. According to this summons I have to be available for an entire month.

I'm not unwilling to serve, its my civic duty.

I'm just wondering what I should expect for that experience. Should I bring my lunch and snacks? If I'm picked, will I be locked up in a hotel room for the month? Can I use my phone to record the voices, or just to take notes?
Does your notice say whether this is for a petit jury or a grand jury?
#8
Old 05-17-2014, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fear Itself View Post
Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think juries are permitted to take notes in the courtroom.
I served on a state jury about five or six years ago and we were permitted to take notes, using notebooks provided by the court.
#9
Old 05-17-2014, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
I served on a state jury about five or six years ago and we were permitted to take notes, using notebooks provided by the court.
I came in to say this exact same thing, except it was one year ago. Note taking was encouraged, not forbidden. We were not allowed to take the notes with us after the trial was complete.

That said, it was a state charge in county court, not federal. I have no data on federal jury rules.
#10
Old 05-17-2014, 02:17 PM
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Federal Courthouses in major metropolitan areas know how to conduct a security search upon entrance. No scissors or cameras or knives. The SF federal courthouse conducts a full search. They haven't given me a cavity search yet. The Sacramento federal courthouse, while still putting the state courthouses to shame, is quite a bit less intense. There is no body scanner like the airport, but this isn't to TSA search where they are either insane bullies or asleep zombies. These are the older US Marshalls (think Art, not Raylan) and they seem to give a shit.
#11
Old 05-17-2014, 03:00 PM
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I was on a Federal jury once, about 22 years ago. I remember the jury service itself only slightly, as the culmination of a week of listening to agonizingly detailed financial testimony was to have the accused change his plea or take a deal or something about 15 minutes after we retired to deliberate, which resulted in my head asploding.

Although the entire thing was overcast slightly by daily having to enter a building named for this schumck.
#12
Old 05-17-2014, 05:05 PM
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I was on a Federal Jury pool once. I got to the voir dire business, where they asked me if I could be fair and impartial.

They dismissed me...and I think the reason might be that I bore a truly astonishing physical resemblance to the defendant! Many of you might have had trouble picking us apart in a line-up!

The worst part of the whole business was finding somewhere to park downtown. The lots tended to be expensive, and usually full. I had to walk twelve blocks. (San Diego's downtown blocks are small, so it isn't that bad.)
#13
Old 05-17-2014, 05:29 PM
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When I was on jury duty, one of the jurors was late coming back from a break in the trial. She explained to the bailiff that she had to feed the meter. He then announced to us that if any of us had to park in the street instead of the designated jury lot, that we should just not worry about the meter and that they would void any tickets for overtime parking. (Basically, they don't want to have court delayed by someone who is off feeding a parking meter.)
#14
Old 05-17-2014, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steatopygia View Post
Try using your phone to take movies of the entire process. Start recording as soon as you get to the courthouse. That will probably take care of that whole having to be available for a month thing.
Good idea Then I'll get to see the entire process from start to finish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bricker View Post
Does your notice say whether this is for a petit jury or a grand jury?
No, I just reread it and it doesn't say anything about that. Just Grand Jury. What is the difference, please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Do Not Taunt View Post
I came in to say this exact same thing, except it was one year ago. Note taking was encouraged, not forbidden. We were not allowed to take the notes with us after the trial was complete.

That said, it was a state charge in county court, not federal. I have no data on federal jury rules.
I've sat through enough jury selections to know that we can take notes, but must do them on the provided notebooks and the notebooks have to be left in the jury room. I just have really crappy handwriting and would rather use recordings as they are much more accurate than my notes would be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Second Stone View Post
Federal Courthouses in major metropolitan areas know how to conduct a security search upon entrance. No scissors or cameras or knives. The SF federal courthouse conducts a full search. They haven't given me a cavity search yet. The Sacramento federal courthouse, while still putting the state courthouses to shame, is quite a bit less intense. There is no body scanner like the airport, but this isn't to TSA search where they are either insane bullies or asleep zombies. These are the older US Marshalls (think Art, not Raylan) and they seem to give a shit.
This is very helpful, thank you. I've been in state courthouses a bunch, but as a government employee delivering files, I've only once gone through security. OK, that isn't quite true, I walked through the metal detectors all the time. Set them off every time. The only time anyone blinked it was a new guy who made me unload all of the bins so he could run them through their machine, then made me go through the metal detector 3 times before finding my little tiny pocket knife.

For a while, I thought he was going to make me go into the restroom and take my bra off, that guy was serious about security.

I've become so used to bypassing security with an ID card and hand truck that I don't know what is required.

I do know that all tech toys must be shut off at the new Verde courthouse, but I understood the reason was that it interfered with the recording devices.
#15
Old 05-17-2014, 06:39 PM
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For my only federal jury duty experience, I got called to come in and had to be there at something like 6:30. I lived over an hour away, it was January, and snow was expected. That was charming.

They told us we were there for a six-week trial. Over 200 people were called, but most seemed like they were going to be able to get out of it.

Then we sat around for hours. Finally, they let us go at about 4:00 because there had been a deal made.

Not my favorite day.
#16
Old 05-17-2014, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsgoddess View Post
For my only federal jury duty experience, I got called to come in and had to be there at something like 6:30. I lived over an hour away, it was January, and snow was expected. That was charming.

They told us we were there for a six-week trial. Over 200 people were called, but most seemed like they were going to be able to get out of it.

Then we sat around for hours. Finally, they let us go at about 4:00 because there had been a deal made.

Not my favorite day.
OK, being there at 6:30 would not make me happy either. The bolded has happened to me several times. I understand that many times, they use jury selection to wake the defendant up and realize that this is really happening and if they don't make the deal, all of those strangers will be judging him/her. At least, that's how it worked in AZ.
#17
Old 05-17-2014, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flatlined View Post

No, I just reread it and it doesn't say anything about that. Just Grand Jury. What is the difference, please?
Wait, does the notice not say anything, or does it say it's for a grand jury?

A petit jury is a trial jury in either a criminal or civil case. A grand jury hears evidence from prosecutors and decides whether to issue indictments. A grand jury might serve for several weeks and hear many cases, or it might be a special grand jury convened to hear lots of evidence about one big case, possibly involving many indictments.
#18
Old 05-18-2014, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsgoddess View Post
They told us we were there for a six-week trial. Over 200 people were called, but most seemed like they were going to be able to get out of it.
My one federal jury duty voir dire was for a six week drug trial in NYC. I was like "I have to pay bills ya know". Of course it wasn't as simple as that. I had to get out of the jury box and go with the judge and a dozen lawyers into a side room where I was seated in a chair in the middle with the judge and lawyers in a semicircle around me and had to explain why I couldn't do it.

The courtroom was spectacular, though. It was pretty much brand new and so much nicer than the dingy state courtrooms.
#19
Old 05-18-2014, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by friedo View Post
Wait, does the notice not say anything, or does it say it's for a grand jury?

A petit jury is a trial jury in either a criminal or civil case. A grand jury hears evidence from prosecutors and decides whether to issue indictments. A grand jury might serve for several weeks and hear many cases, or it might be a special grand jury convened to hear lots of evidence about one big case, possibly involving many indictments.
I'm sorry for being inaccurate and assuming things. The summons just says that I have to report for "Federal Jury Duty". I assumed it was grand jury duty because that's what everyone I know has done. "Grand" and "petit" and "special" are not used.
#20
Old 05-18-2014, 11:07 PM
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I served on a federal grand jury. Every six weeks, for a year and a half, I had to be available for one to three days. In that time only once did I serve for more than a single day at a time.

This was in Kansas, where federal grand juries sat in three places, Kansas city, Topeka, or Wichita. I live in Topeka and was lucky enough to be called to serve right here in town.

There were twenty three jurors and cases went to court based on a majority vote. The only people present were the judge, the federal attorney, the court reporter, we jurors, and the person giving testimony. So at one point that meant that a thirteen year old girl, who had to give testimony, wasn't allowed to have her mother with her.

We didn't have the burden of deciding guilt or innocence, just whether or not a trial would take place.
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