Jury duty?

I work 28 and 14 in the gulf of mexico, and I am having an issue with jury duty. I have recieved a summons for jury duty two times in the past year. I have been able to get an exemption from duty, because of being scheduled to work offshore during the requested dates. Now I have recieved a third summons. I contacted the clerk and told her of my predicament. She moved the date back one month for me, so I could try work my schedule around it. She said that I was given a waiver two times already and that there would not be a third(she was actually really nice about this). The date I have been assigned is one day before I am scheduled to go back to the boat. As most of you know now is not a time to be asking for more time off or adjusting your shedule in the gulf of mexico! My question is does anyone out there have previous experience with this? Are there any exemptions for being a Merchant Mariner? I do not want to shirk my civil duty, but I also dont want to miss my crew change and risk being left home for a month or more!


Time off for public duties won’t be available if you are any of the following:

An agency worker that isn’t classified as an employee
A member of the police service or armed forces
Employed on a gas or oil rig at sea
A merchant seaman
Employed on a fishing vessel
A civil servant whose public duties are connected to political activities restricted under the terms of your employment

That’s a British web site.

My bad, that will teach me to be more careful in the future

The county clerks I’ve delt with over the years have always been understanding.

[QUOTE=Mr 100-ton;47062]My bad, that will teach me to be more careful in the future[/QUOTE]

Being a good shipmate has it’s challenges…lol…Jolly good show!

hi i’m corey do you know of any offshore companies that need an ab now i’m an unlimited ab?

I got a note from my office. I think being a mariner is one of the ways you can get out of it.

[B][U]IMHO[/U][/B]…upon returning to my residence in Florida from an extended overseas trip discovered that I had during that period been summoned for jury duty and had a warrant outstanding for not reporting…went to the courthouse and showed my license, documents and discharge…have never heard from them since…if you can’t dazzle them bull shit them??

i was overseas when i got the letter for jury duty, i had the captain write up a letter saying i worked on a ship and i was out of the country, blah blah, i e-mailed that letter to my gf who printed it out and sent it in, havnt herd any thing since.

Seadawg: how are you notified you’ve been summoned for jury duty in Florida? Where I’ve lived it’s been by mail–and regular mail at that. Plus the envelope is rather innocuous for what it is. Since it’s not certified mail, there’s really no way for them to prove I ever received any summons. I know it’s pretty cheesy, but I generally just deposit the summons directly into the recycle bin. It’s never been a problem for me yet. If it ever came down to it I would just tell them I never received any summons–“sorry, it must have been lost in the mail”. One time years ago when I was still living in Alaska I did actually call in to plead my case–the report date for my jury duty was during my work schedule. I let them know and I was easily excused.

Let’s suppose for a moment that being a mariner isn’t a valid excuse from jury duty–by law, can your employer terminate your employment because you had to miss for jury duty? Or are they required to give you your job back once your jury duty is completed (much like a military reservist being called to active duty)? This is, of course, setting aside any financial implications like losing your salary for the duration of jury duty.

And back to Seadawg: supposing they did put out a warrant for your arrest for skipping jury duty and you could prove you weren’t even home for the summons–shouldn’t they let you know unequivocally that your warrant has been taken away, rather than you just not ever hearing back from them? It would seem like they should issue you some sort of letter. It would suck to be pulled over for speeding and then be bundled into the squad car for something you thought was over with.

Good question! I’ve been lucky but I always wondered what the solution to this problem is. I know many companies will give you the time off if you ask but, at least if your a supervisor, taking off for jury duty isn’t the best career move.

But I can attest to Seadawg’s comment. I got an unrelated summons to court (it was a traffic related mix-up) which ended up in a warrant for my arrest. I arrived home after 3 months at see to a box of mail filled with white, yellow, red and one black envelope from the local DA. The white was the court request, the yellow was the automatic rescheduling, the red was a warning and the black was my arrest warrant. I knew the local police chief and he fixed everything but suggested I A) did not show up to the police precinct or DA office and B) didn’t drive until he was able to get the warrant cleared. I took his advice (it sucked not being able to drive!) and 3 weeks later he called with the all clear.

One important note! A friend get’s called for jury selection all the time and it’s because she once filled for unemployment during her time off a union ship. Apparently filling for unemployment in some states makes you immediately available for jury duty… and once your on the available list, it’s hard to get off.

[QUOTE=awulfclark;47088]Seadawg: how are you notified you’ve been summoned for jury duty in Florida?And back to Seadawg: supposing they did put out a warrant for your arrest for skipping jury duty and you could prove you weren’t even home for the summons–shouldn’t they let you know unequivocally that your warrant has been taken away, rather than you just not ever hearing back from them? It would seem like they should issue you some sort of letter.[/QUOTE]

[U][B]IMHO[/B][/U]…I believe that Florida uses their DMV data base to draw from for the jury process…when I went thru the mail upon my return the whole chronological process from summons to warrant was in the mail…when I went to the courthouse and presented EVERYTHING to the SUPERVISOR she rescinded the “bench warrant” and gave me a copy…evidently they had previous experience dealing with this issue??

I’ve only been summoned once so I guess I’m lucky or not trusted. Anyway I got a letter from my office, went to the courthouse a day before the selection process and got out of it. There wasn’t much to the letter, I was kind of disappointed. I thought it was going to be some legal jargon filled letter or either some big lie. It pretty much stated I work 28 / 14 as a captain offshore in the GoM. I asked the clerk how often this is going to happen and the way I heard it was that I’ll be put way in the back of the pool and it would be unlikely that I get selected again. Good Luck.

If you have to show up. when the judge asks if you know the defendant just say, I think so, and if they are who I think they are they are guilty no matter what the defense says. You WILL be asked to leave. I did this when I had a seasonal job years ago and each day I missed would cost me alot. I missed three hours of work.

Hey guys, thanks for the replies. I’m home now, so I think i’ll run down there and talk to them in person. I definitley don’t want any surprises waiting for me in my mailbox when I get home!

What worked for me was that I sent a letter saying I am a merchant mariner and the date they wanted me for, conflicted with my work schedule. “If” I had to take off for Jury Duty, I am losing money because I will not be compensated what my day rate is offshore and what would be worse, is if I am not even chosen. It is not as if I have an 8-5 job where I can miss just one day of work.

A week later, I received a phone call from the court saying I was excused from Jury Duty.

Interesting question. I actually have jury duty next week - I delayed it from last summer when I was going to be at work. I’m going to go but try and tell them that I may get called back to work soon and see what they say. Or just say that the guy is guilty no matter what he did!

You are eligible for jury duty as a registered voter. Being a registered voter usually meets their minimum requirements for jury duty, such as age and lack of any felony convictions, etc. Makes the process of identifying qualified people easier.

As far as exemptions, this is a state by state issue. http://www.ncsconline.org/WC/Publications/Memos/JurManExemptionsMemo.htm. The link provides information on each states exemptions. For Alabama, there are none.

Being fired or losing your job due to jury duty is prohibited by law. Now, I’m not saying that you can’t be fired or lose your job because of jury duty, I’m merely saying that you have legal recourse against your former employer for doing so. We all know that isn’t going to pay your bills in the mean time and while you may regain your job, your employer will not be happy with you and will get rid of you at their first opportunity for cause.

If I were called for jury duty I would obtain the statute’s applicable for my state and provide a copy to my employer to indicate there is no automatic exemption I can claim. I would also include the portions of the statute pertaining to my not losing employment, but they would just be extra pages I printed and threw it all together because I was in a hurry…

I would also try and exploit the financial hardship aspect. We typically travel great distances for our employment. For me it’s a flight from St Louis to New York, for you it’s a crew boat once every 14 days. Changing a flight or requesting a crewboat for 1 man ain’t cheap. Due to the fact that it’s a crewboat every 14 days, if you miss one day, you’re going to miss 14 which is a huge financial hardship (I realize they’re probably running more frequently than that, but you don’t have to tell the court clerk as much).

A little status update. After asking to be excused from duty, I was kindly informed that I would not be excused from duty no matter what! I dont guess that a wife and a eighteen month old baby girl at home; that I never get to see is enough “undue hardship or extreme inconvenience” for the court system to excuse me. This is rediculous! So I had to report to jury duty this monday. After several hours of government inefficiency, my group was finally selcted to be vetted(lack of a better word) for a trial. It was a civil case, and as soon as I walked in, I knew I wouldnt be selected because of knowing some parties invoved. So, I sit through the question and answer bs and get rejected. Day wasted 0700-1400. Today I go in and immediately get selected to be vetted for another trial. This was a criminal trial, as soon as I walk in I immediately know I’m not going to be selected for this one either because of a relationship with the detective(old school buddy) and the forensic team(family member). Have to go through the question and answer bs again. Day wasted 0800-1500. So, I go to the clerk and ask if I could be excused for the rest of the week, since I hadnt been selected and most likely would not be( If I was an attorney I wouldn’t select me either) selected for any other trials. I was greeted with a friendly NO. She said that I and the other fifty or so other people that havent been selected, would have to come in for the rest of the week just INCASE they have to start a trial that would only take a day or two. I am starting to get perturbed and she reminded me that If I didnt continue to show up I would have a failure to appear put out on me. The county of Mobile is rediculous! For being a town full of mariners, they surely have no consideration for us. I gave them two days is that not enough? So I will end up wasting five of my fourteen( really twelve) days off sitting in a room just incase they want to start a trial. My calls to elected officials is about to begin! Sorry about the rant, but if you live in Mobile be aware.:mad::mad::mad::mad: