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  Reply # 1076431 29-Jun-2014 11:20
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It's now pretty much impossible to get off before the scheduled date. What you need to do is turn up on the date and plead your case to a judge who can waive the summons if he/she feels it would cause you harm by attending.

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  Reply # 1076457 29-Jun-2014 11:42
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Sideface: "A wee bit of civil disobedience" can be expensive: "If the registrar hasn’t excused you from jury service and you don’t attend, you can be fined up to $1000."
see: http://www.justice.govt.nz/services/access-to-justice/jury-service-1/just-been-summoned/if-you-cant-attend


surfisup1000: $1000 is pocket change compared to what I'd lose. My contract could be cancelled due to the fact they need 100% reliability. They are a foreign client so don't care about NZ jury system.


That's nothing, not even a deterrent for any professional. A week off work would cost me far far more than that. However if it's classed as a criminal offence that'd be different.




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  Reply # 1076458 29-Jun-2014 11:49
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I strongly recommend that the original poster does not wait until the scheduled date, but initiates their oral or written appeal process to the Judge well before the scheduled appearance date. I'd be interested in any evidence that waiting until the scheduled date is a good idea, or even effective, as I suspect it would greatly annoy the legal profession. Advance exemption allows them to provide alternative jurors.

There are community law WWW sites that generally describe the process for the final appeal to the Judge, and the court staff should provide the detail.

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  Reply # 1076496 29-Jun-2014 12:42
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sbiddle: It's now pretty much impossible to get off before the scheduled date. What you need to do is turn up on the date and plead your case to a judge who can waive the summons if he/she feels it would cause you harm by attending.


Has there been a recent change? I was summoned about two months ago and did the usual request to be excused 




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  Reply # 1076497 29-Jun-2014 12:46
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I am in a similar position to the OP, and decided that i would be in available to take a week off being self-employed and to do my duty. As it turned out they had way more potential jurors turn up on the day and about two thirds were excused, including me.
So I decided I would go back to being available for my clients on call for the rest of the week. When I told them this they excused me for the week.

Its just not possible for me to hang around not being paid for a "maybe" chance of serving on a jury.
Every week you are not earning is week you are going backwards financially. In my field of work where the jobs are intense and sporadic, I need to take as many paid days as I can.

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  Reply # 1076513 29-Jun-2014 13:29
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KiwiNZ:
sbiddle: It's now pretty much impossible to get off before the scheduled date. What you need to do is turn up on the date and plead your case to a judge who can waive the summons if he/she feels it would cause you harm by attending.


Has there been a recent change? I was summoned about two months ago and did the usual request to be excused 


I don't think there has been any change since 2010, as did a google search and that was the date that came up when changes were made. 

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  Reply # 1076545 29-Jun-2014 15:03
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BruceHamilton: I strongly recommend that the original poster does not wait until the scheduled date, but initiates their oral or written appeal process to the Judge well before the scheduled appearance date. I'd be interested in any evidence that waiting until the scheduled date is a good idea, or even effective, as I suspect it would greatly annoy the legal profession. Advance exemption allows them to provide alternative jurors.

There are community law WWW sites that generally describe the process for the final appeal to the Judge, and the court staff should provide the detail.


A judge/magistrate isn't the one who decides who will be called or excused from jury service. That's decided by MoJ staff based on the persons reasons why they shouldn't be selected once they've received the Jury service letter.

The judge/magistrate can exempt someone from serving on a jury, who is sitting in a courtroom waiting to see if they're selected for a jury. But you better have a really good reason why you cant be on that particular jury.




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  Reply # 1076568 29-Jun-2014 15:21
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eracode:
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.


The fine may be just an expense of doing business.
in my old job, I used to get alot of parking fines. Just another expense that we had to put up with.




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  Reply # 1076570 29-Jun-2014 15:27
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Bung:
mattwnz: Older people have far more life expericne and I believe are better rounded jurors.


Have you been on a jury? I have and seeing how some arrived at their decision is a good reason to stay out of trouble.


I was super keen to get on a high profile trial in napier a few years ago when they summoned me.
I wasnt selected unfortunatley.

After that point, i have had to be excused for work purposes on subsequent summons.

At this stage, the great monster in the sky gives me my decision making abilities by beaming the answers down from his noodley appendage in the form of a double sided coin- that can only face one side up.




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  Reply # 1076571 29-Jun-2014 15:27
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The problem I see with how jury service works, I think that they assume most people are 'employees', so the systems work on that basis. However many people are business owners and sole traders, where they can't take a week or more off, otherwise it would be detrimental to their business, and other businesses too that use their service. In those cases the people can request to be excused. I have no idea though what happens if that and the appeal  is turned down. I presume they have to give a reason why it is turned down.

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  Reply # 1076574 29-Jun-2014 15:37
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MaxLV:
BruceHamilton: I strongly recommend that the original poster does not wait until the scheduled date, but initiates their oral or written appeal process to the Judge well before the scheduled appearance date. I'd be interested in any evidence that waiting until the scheduled date is a good idea, or even effective, as I suspect it would greatly annoy the legal profession. Advance exemption allows them to provide alternative jurors.


A judge/magistrate isn't the one who decides who will be called or excused from jury service. That's decided by MoJ staff based on the persons reasons why they shouldn't be selected once they've received the Jury service letter.

The judge/magistrate can exempt someone from serving on a jury, who is sitting in a courtroom waiting to see if they're selected for a jury. But you better have a really good reason why you cant be on that particular jury. 


I must have misunderstood, as the first post in this thread clearly indicated the original poster has already been declined by the MoJ staff, in which case the OP can now appeal that MoJ decision orally or in writing to the Judge before having to turn up for jury selection.

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  Reply # 1076580 29-Jun-2014 16:09
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I am 30 and have been summoned three times but each time the little lotto barrel roll thing they do didn't select my ping pong ball and as such for me it was a big waste of time.

Here in Manawatu I read in the paper last year (when I was most recently summoned) that locally we have an extremely low turnout but when I arrived for jury selection the room was so full they had to get ~4 people outside the door listening in and many others standing!

From what I have personally witnessed they read out the details of the cases including witnesses etc then do the selection of the jury. At this stage you can ask to be excused due to conflicts of interest for any of the parties involved which seems like the most reliable way out.

Failing that dressing like a vagrant smelling of bourbon would work pretty well too I bet. Though there was one person who was drawn for the jury who was dressed like they just stepped off the netball court in almost entirely sports attire and they didn't get challenged!??! I was kind of set back by that. Very odd.

I do recall a few people being selected and walking up to the judge and as the trial was set for a week they moaned about childcare, tertiary exam study, bla bla bla and they were excused on the spot by the judge.

Anyways the whole point of the NZ system is so that you are judged by a jury of your PEERS not just the very young and unemployed or the old and retired. When someone is being tried in court you want people from all walks of life on the jury to avoid any unnecessary bias. If all the geeks on geekzone don't want anyone "like them" who share their beliefs and values on the jury when they are on trial then feel free to contemplate elaborate activities to avoid a fair system that in many countries they don't have.

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  Reply # 1076581 29-Jun-2014 16:11
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dejadeadnz: Personally, as someone who has had actual professional experience related to jury trials, the sooner we follow the European system where all cases are decided by a panel of judges required to give reasons, the better.




Completely disagree. There is huge potential for bias when those making these decisions know each other, may have worked with each other, may not want to offend each other etc...

New Zealand is a small place and there would be minimal chance that such issues would not be relevant.

As far as people being excused from Jury Service - it is a damn nuisance but while hopefully none of us will ever be before a Jury surely we would want a jury made of people who represent the community not just those who are retired, unemployed, or not smart enough to provide a good enough excuse like it just to be before the system was changed. 

What amazes me is that people (i) think they are indispensible or (ii) allow themselves to be in business in a situation where there is no contingency. Many people merely have a greatly exaggerated degree of self-importance.

I frequently have patients who despite having something serious such as a heart attack, stroke, cancer etc... want to self-discharge from hospital because "they have to work". While this actually may be a form of denial in response to awful news the obvious comment is that if they are dead they won't be any use to anyone. More importantly it is a poor reflection on their business when they have not planned for periods when they may be unavailable. Obviously many things cannot be predicted but there should always be some contingency planning and nobody should ever be indispensible.

One of the things the new jury system does allow is for someone to say that they are unavailable at a certain time but that they will select a week sometime in the next 12 months - and likely if the OP tried this approach it would give them time to get cover in place. The system implies that no-one is  that important that they can never do jury service and it is hard to not agree.

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  Reply # 1076582 29-Jun-2014 16:18
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What amazes me is that people (i) think they are indispensible or (ii) allow themselves to be in business in a situation where there is no contingency. Many people merely have a greatly exaggerated degree of self-importance. 



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  Reply # 1076585 29-Jun-2014 16:21
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alexj:
What amazes me is that people (i) think they are indispensible or (ii) allow themselves to be in business in a situation where there is no contingency. Many people merely have a greatly exaggerated degree of self-importance. 




Although some people are indefensible though for some businesses, and some of those people are paid huge salaries to reflect this. They may have contingencies too, but those maybe for illness or death, and result in big financial losses or business changes. Contingencies, and the pricing of them, always have to be weighed up against risk.

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