32 answers

Jury Duty: How Does It Work

Ok Mama's
I am 35 weeks pregnant and have gotten a jury duty summons, I am not sure what I should do, this is a postponed summons becuase the last time they sent me one my son had surgery the day before and I had to be available in case of complications. Anyways, do I need to go down there and hope that I am not picked or can I call and let them know? If I let them know will they make me do it next time? If they make me do it next time I will probably just be back at work and will be pumping milk. I am just not sure what I should do. Any suggestions? I will be 36 weeks when I have to report.

What can I do next?

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I don't know exactly where you live but when I got a summons and was pregnant they told me to get a note from my doctor saying how close to being due I was and that it would not be a good idea for me to sit for long periods of time and then I took it to them. This last time I just sent in the exemption paper. If you look at the summons even on the back it should tell you if you are exempt. I still had children under a certain age at home and that made me exempt. There should also be a number on the paper where you could call and ask someone what would be best thing to do. Good Luck!

If you read on the form they sent you there is a place to write an excuse and send it in and one of the excuses is being the caretaker of underaged children. If you write that you are caring for young children you are excused.

I believe just letting them know you are pregnant should take care of it. I have never had to report because I have no one to watch my children. I just tell them I have young children at home and I have not had a problem. I don't think they want to be responsible for someone 36 weeks pregnant. : ) Good luck.

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J., I believe you can take care of this online and I believe you will be exempt because of your pregnancy and later because you have a newborn. Your summons will have a website listed, I believe. If not call the courthouse.

1 mom found this helpful

It's done at random drawing. If you do get picked again then it just happens. Usually they send you a paper that you can check to say you can't do it for some reason .... Childcare or student or some other reason. GL

1 mom found this helpful

Different counties have different requirements, but you do have to comply with the requirements as stated on the summons. If they do not have options (calling or internet) listed on the summons, then you must appear, otherwise a warrant could be issued for your arrest. More than likely, once you appear and they see you are pregnant, you will be dismissed. Most lawyers will not want the disruption of having a pregnant woman that might or might not have to leave because they go into labor during the trial. Also, keep in mind that Texas law does not consider pregnancy or breastfeeding as an "excuse" for missing jury duty. Many states are now adopting new laws in this area, but so far, no change in Texas. HTH.

Might be easier to get it out of the way now...most places have a law that says you can't serve more than once every 1 to 2 years. If you are lucky (like I was), you'll get picked for a case that gets settled (plea bargained) at the last minute and you'll be good for a year.

...and if they interview you to sit for a bigger/longer case...and they don't let you off automatically because of your pregnancy...it is pretty easy to get yourself dismissed by making sure you NEVER give a "politically correct" answer to anything they ask. For example, if asked if you think some minority group is more likely to commit a crime, say "yes"...if asked if you think the police are often wrong in their accusations say, "no, I think only guilty people get to trial"...you'll get excused "for cause" by the defense attorney!

You may have to do it this time around, but if you are nursing a baby they will give you a pass. Show up and be a good citizen. Bring a cushion to sit on and take lots of bathroom breaks and maybe they'll feel sorry for you and let you go early. Otherwise bring a good book and go with the flow. It's everyone's turn eventually!

you dont have to serve jury duty if you have children under the age of 10

I was summoned to jury duty a couple of years ago. I was pregnant at the time and would have had my due date in the middle of when the trial would be. I went down there and then they just let me go home. I was probably there for a total of 30-45 minutes. Not bad. Try not to think of Jury duty as a disruption of your time but a privilege to take part in a very important way in our Justice system. It couldn't work with out people like us doing our part.

Go down to the court house and let them see you, fill out the paper that they will have for you. Give them your due date and when you are to report in. They will tell you what to do. Most likely they will say do not come. But better to do this then have a policeman show up at the door. Good luck with the baby.

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