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Topic # 148710 28-Jun-2014 13:49
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I received a summons for jury.  

My reason for not doing it was that I am a self employed IT contractor currently required on a 24x7 on-call basis according to the terms of my contract and that I have no backup staff. 

This is serious, because my current contract could be in jeopardy if I cannot meet the terms and conditions of the contract. 


But, they rejected my reasons. 

This is very bad for me. 

Sure, if i was in a cushy full-time job I'd not mind it. But, this is a disaster for my employement as I'm also in a highly specialised area where there has only been one other job advertised in the last year.   So, it is a case, do jury service, and maybe lose my job, or just don't turn up and get thrown in prison. 

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  Reply # 1076026 28-Jun-2014 13:58
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I would love to know exactly how they select jury candidates. I am 62 and have been summoned once - in 1974. Some much younger people I worked with were summoned several times over the last 5 - 10 years.



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  Reply # 1076041 28-Jun-2014 14:07
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eracode: I would love to know exactly how they select jury candidates. I am 62 and have been summoned once - in 1974. Some much younger people I worked with were summoned several times over the last 5 - 10 years.


I get summoned every year, i think for the last 8 years. But, the nature of my job is that i'm required to be on call and there is no-one in NZ who could actually take over my job at short notice (I'm contracted to an overseas company).  

My partner has been summoned 3 times. but, we have young children and she looks after them so she gets off on that. 

But, in the last 2 years the jury service letters have been increasingly threatening. 

I think it is despicable of the justice ministry to put me in this position when i've given very good reasons. 

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  Reply # 1076043 28-Jun-2014 14:11
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Get in touch with them and plead your case? Or simply don't turn up. Most don't and rarely does anything come of it.




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  Reply # 1076045 28-Jun-2014 14:12
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scuwp: Get in touch with them and plead your case? Or simply don't turn up. Most don't and rarely does anything come of it.


I guess I'm too law abiding!!

I already pleaded my case .They rejected . 

But, I'm going to get a letter from my contracting company and see if that helps. 

I'm always on - call, even on holiday so this is bad. 


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  Reply # 1076047 28-Jun-2014 14:15
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Totally weird - once in 40 years for me.

I sympathise with your position. The ironic thing is I now have all the time in the world and would be quite keen and interested to do it.

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  Reply # 1076048 28-Jun-2014 14:15
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The law is an a** sometimes.
As far as inefficient processes go, jury selection must be near the top.  So much time for so many people just waiting around when they could be at work being productive.  The real dollar cost also certainly isn't good value for the tax payer.




Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important. (T.S. Eliot)




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  Reply # 1076051 28-Jun-2014 14:21
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eracode: Totally weird - once in 40 years for me.

I sympathise with your position. The ironic thing is I now have all the time in the world and would be quite keen and interested to do it.


This is the thing, I'm looking to get out of my current employment in a couple of years to do something new - now I'm older this 24x7 on-call thing is becoming tiresome. 

Then, i'd be much more receptive to doing jury service. Just not now. 


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  Reply # 1076052 28-Jun-2014 14:22
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If you need to be excused, you must explain this too. It’s important to give proof of your reasons. For example, if you need to be excused because of work, please attach a supporting letter from your employer.

Taken from MoJ site.


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  Reply # 1076054 28-Jun-2014 14:25
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scuwp: Or simply don't turn up. Most don't and rarely does anything come of it.


Sounds like good advice to me under the circs. Seems OP has no real alternative - a wee bit of civil disobedience.

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  Reply # 1076058 28-Jun-2014 14:27
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Can you get yourself kicked off the jury with no punishment? If so yell guilty when the defendant walks in, that should do it.







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  Reply # 1076064 28-Jun-2014 14:59
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eracode: I would love to know exactly how they select jury candidates. I am 62 and have been summoned once - in 1974. Some much younger people I worked with were summoned several times over the last 5 - 10 years.


Never been summoned, know several people had it multiple times.




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  Reply # 1076069 28-Jun-2014 15:13
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What would your "employer" say if you had a heart attack with all this pressure?  Would he allow you to have some time off?

What would your overseas employer think of you if you chose to deliberately avoid your civic duty and break the law?

How far away are you when you are on holiday?  How soon can you respond to your contract if you are on the other island?

I wonder how many of the people who "avoid" their duty are the same people who criticise the outcome of trials,  or the efforts of the justice system to get a balanced jury.

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  Reply # 1076075 28-Jun-2014 15:19
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Bung: If you need to be excused, you must explain this too. It’s important to give proof of your reasons. For example, if you need to be excused because of work, please attach a supporting letter from your employer.

Taken from MoJ site.


The rules have changed recently.  Take the above statement with a grain of salt.

I've been summoned four times.  I was excused three times, and my excuse was rejected the most recent time (mid last year).

Self employment doesn't cut it anymore.  On my jury were two other self employed people, and one of only three emergency dentists at Middlemore (the DHB pleaded for her to serve at a later time, which was also rejected).  If she couldn't get off it, I knew I had no chance.

Lucky for me the case was over in a week.  I ended up just working furiously before court, during morning tea, during lunch, and returned voicemails on any other breaks we got.  I was working late into the evenings as well to catch up on the time I was in court.

I contemplated not turning up, but I am also the licensee for a place that sells alcohol, and was unsure if not turning up for jury service would jeopardise my liquor licence (police can apply for your licence to be revoked even after you have it).

Good luck.  I think your only course of action is to do it, and be thankful you are off the hook for two years.









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  Reply # 1076082 28-Jun-2014 15:24
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Makes no sense, I always get off with that excuse?

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  Reply # 1076083 28-Jun-2014 15:29
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Can they really throw you in jail just for not attending? I thought the penalty was just a fine. 

I haven't had a summons for a long time, but if I were to get one now then I would write a long hysterical letter ranting and raving about corruption, political interference, etc. I figure that if they think I'm a nutter then I've got a better chance of getting off than if I made a perfectly reasonable request as others in this thread have done. This worked for a colleague of mine.

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