How do OTR truckers handle the call to serve jury duty? Is the company able to exempt you, or are they able to schedule you around your days of service?
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I just tell the court that I drive truck, and they don't bother me after that. When I worked at Fedex, I had to go to court. So when they interviewed us potential jurors, I just acted like the biggest bigot this side of the Grand Dragon, and was excused.
One of the most PC acts in the trucking industry today...ranting about politics and our Judicial System.
Less than half of truckers are registered to vote, and of that, only half actually vote....of that less than 10% participate in the judicial system, we so often bash.
I'm willing to bet $100 bill that fewer than 50% of the ranters on the "Political" forum could produce a valid voters registration card.
Getting out of jury duty is simple. Simply tell them you're an OTR driver. It's done.
Last time I appeared for jury duty selection, I brought along a book to read during the wait. It was a book by Rush Limbaugh, as per Rush's advice for avoiding jury duty.
When asked if I thought I could render a guilty verdict in that particular case, I replied "SURE!"
As long as the evidence was sufficient to eliminate any and all of my reasonable doubts. And, considering if I didn't witness the alleged crime, I'd probably have reasonable doubts.
I was excused.
But I don't know if it was the book I brought, or my quest for the truth that caused the court to reject me.
I suspect Rush was right.
It was his book.
Is it time to consider professional jurors?
My initial question was simply to learn how you deal with getting home time to serve on a jury when called... or if your profession allows you exemption from jury duty. In reading your responses, though, another thought comes to mind:
The jury system is set up to assure that each person is tried by a "jury of their peers". But the ordinary Joe and Jill don't want to serve... and we make every excuse under the sun not to have to sit on a jury. Heck, I was exempted when I was nursing my firstborn (who is now 26 years old) and I haven't been called back since (knock on wood)!
I have no desire to be called to judge another human being. On the other hand, if I were being tried I would want someone with my morals, values, and ability to think and reason sitting in that jury. And everytime I hear of someone being called to jury duty, I'm torn between "thank goodness it isn't me" and "I'm shirking my civil duty and may pay for it some day".
It really is a dilemma for me... <sigh>
Although, in my case, I don't so much not WANT to serve on a jury as it is that I expect to hear and discern the truth. Apparently either the defense attorney or the District Attorney seem to shy away from that attitude.
A day in the life of a POTENTIAL juror.
1. while out on the road, a Big truck driver calls home and is informed that they're summoned for jury duty.
NO phone number to call where you DON'T have to wait on hold for around 45 minutes to an hour to be informed you MUST appear in PERSON to determine if you are able to be excused due to your distance from home and unpredictable schedule.
You ARE, however, entitled to have your jury duty rescheduled ONE TIME, to yet another unknown time in the future. Who knows where you'll be then?
2. Next you notify your company of a need to get back home in time to appear. Now, you don't have to appear in person, just be on call for a day or two, maybe more. But how can a OTR Big truck driver be "on call"? When you're On Call, and you're LATE to arrive in court, you're in contempt of court. So, to be safe, dispatch might getcha home a day or two early, depends on the freight.
Wheels ain't turnin'.
Good thing too.
Because the courts inform potential jurors that, if chosen, trial could last a week or MORE, the Big truck company requires you to clean your truck out and turn in the keys. It's now up for grabs to any driver under a load and has a tractor in for repair. Keeping a Big truck clean and nice only guarantees it won't last two days before it's claimed.
And it's pretty likely the Big truck you'll be reassigned to will be less than stellar, and probably one of the repaired break-downs that hasn't seen a Big truck wash in years. Interior?
Jury duty pays less than $20 a day.
And you wouldn't eat where they send jurors for the free lunch.
Meanwhile, payments continue.
3. Whether called, or if you serve, you lose money.
How much all depends.
In the case of some Big truck companies, you lose your assigned Big truck.
Some might offer jury duty pay.
What frame of mind would a juror like that be in?
When I appeared for a jury duty summons, another gentleman told me he lived in the high desert, about an hour to an hour and a half drive from the court house.
He was retired, living on Social Security fixed income, in a travel trailer parked in the open desert in an encampment of others like himself.
He owned a car, but he only drove it a few miles to fetch groceries and propane. The car was old and not in very good condition. He figured the judge would understand and excuse him, seeing as how there is NO rapid transit bus service from where he lived to the court house he was expected to show up at by 8:00 every morning.
The judge didn't.
I saw the car and heard it run.
If it makes it three trips, I'd be surprised.
If it breaks down, and he's late to court, he'd be in contempt of court.
The judge said so.
The Court Thanks You For Your Service.
I also know a Big truck driver who was summoned for jury duty three times in two years. An owner/operator who did his civic duty by considering his jury duty as his family's vacation. Two years, --- no family vacation.
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