(Topic ID: 239585)

Legal Advice: Jury Duty


By Zitt

1 year ago



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  • Latest reply 1 year ago by TheHueManatee
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-12
#1 1 year ago

Looking for some realistic legal advice (or supportive and/or cooler heads) regarding jury duty here in the State of Texas. To be specific; I fully understand and respect that it's my civil duty to serve the community as a juror. This is not the issue - it all comes down to what is right and what is not.

Basically; I was summoned to jury duty on Wed of this month. (IE 3/27/2019) with less than a month's notice. To that end; I followed the "online juror" system where it asked a bunch of questions seemingly randomly selecting me to serve on the 450th District Court on the 8th of April. I was fine with this... and had no concerns.

This changed today when I got the week in advanced reminder about serving today at 6pm. That when I sent a very strongly worded email back to the travis county jury account stating that I wouldn't be reporting for jury duty. Let me explain.

The form email to me today stated the following (I'll trim it down to only relevant portions):

==quote==
VERY IMPORTANT: Please confirm receipt of your assignment by replying to this email stating your full name. 

Dear Juror:

Thank you for completing the summons response.  Unless otherwise instructed, you must report for jury duty service on the anticipated report date/time listed above.  Failing to report may result in the court issuing a Show Cause Order requiring you to appear in court to explain your reason for your failure to report for jury duty service.

2.      Reserved juror parking is not available.  You are encouraged to use public transportation (CapMetro http://capmetro.org/) or other available means of transportation.  Please keep in mind that the courts are not able to validate or reimburse you for parking garage tickets (any parking garage) or reimburse towing costs, so if you park at a garage or in a space subject to towing, any fees incurred will be your responsibility.

If you use metered parking around the courthouse on the first day of your jury selection, please follow the instructions on the meter.  Here is the link for where the meters are located in downtown Austin:   https://www.austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/files/Transportation/Parking/meter_areas_042015.pdf

If you receive a parking citation with the stated violation of “Expired Meter” or “Expired Pay Station,” it can be dismissed by the City of Austin if you turn it in to the bailiff of the court you are assigned to or, send a picture of the parking citation and email to the jury office at:  ijury@traviscountytx.gov along with your contact information.  Please submit within 5 days to avoid a late notice by the City of Austin.

Very Important!  If you receive a parking citation for any other violation other than “Expired Meter” or “Expired Pay Station” you are personally responsible for paying that ticket.  

==end quote==
This is what ended it for me.

1) Let's just state for the record right now; that my day-time employeer has no issues allowing me to serve. It's not even a concern. They will continue to pay me my salary while I serve.
2) I'm not in financial stress. I can afford to pay for parking... if it was something I needed to do. IE If it was a pinball festival... or some other recreational activity I wanted to do.

This is how I responded to that email at 6:43pm tonight:

I will not be reporting due to this email.

As a Citizen of the United States; I expect there to be no financial hardship incurred because of this civil duty.

The fact that the state ( or County) government refuses to pay for parking or provide reserved parking for Jurors indicates you really don’t understand your responsibilities. My tax dollars should go to this; the fact that it doesn’t indicates a broken system.

I won’t be paying for my own parking or taking the inconvenient and expensive public transportation.

and "signed" with my full name.

The fact of the matter is I'm funking pissed about the balls on our government... thinking they can dictate to me how *I* choose to spend my money. I pay my damn taxes... I support my community thru those takes and proudly exercise my right to vote.
What makes ZERO sense to me is how the hell the state government thinks it's their right to trample my liberties and "tax" me additionally for the "privileged" for "serving" as a juror. I know those are a lot of big words which really shouldn't be used to describe this situation... but I'm really angry at the audacity of the government.

No. I don't think this is the end of it; and no... I'm sure they'll may some bullsh1t threat to me that I really don't have a choice. But; really?! Ummm… I'm pretty sure the constitution doesn't say they have this right.
I'm sure at some point early next week I'll get an email from them. And/or I'll be forced to call them on the telephone to "discuss" this matter... but really; I'm "done" with this. If they want to issue a "Show Cause Order" - that's fine. This is just something I feel very strongly about.

So; what would you do? Yes, I know that 99% of other people would say it's far cheaper to pay for parking than to have to hire a lawyer to go against the state for contempt of court charges or whatever... but damnit... really? If I don't standup for what is right; who will?

#3 1 year ago
Quoted from cheshirefilms:

You've got only one life to fight the important battles. This isn't one of them.

That sentimentality is exactly why this pisses me off.
Not going unless they issue a "stop order". I have no problems telling the judge why I won't serve. But this now a matter of principle.
They can find me a jury where there is free parking or go pound sand

-1
#5 1 year ago
Quoted from Patentlaw:

It is your choice to drive a car and make it convenient. You could walk and not have to pay. Your argument is then not valid.

LOL. What? Really?
Umm. Nope.

#6 1 year ago

Is this really going to be a trend here? I mean I get it... it's not your problem.
But I can't really believe no one understands my anger at this.

#12 1 year ago
Quoted from chrismcb:

As far as paying for parking, take the bus. They will typically reimburse you for the bus fare.

They don't clearly state that they don't pay for ANY transportation to the courthouse but it's clear in the tone of the email that no travel costs will be reimbursed.

And no; I intend to call them and simply tell them I won't be serving and the reason why.

https://www.uscourts.gov/services-forms/jury-service/juror-pay

That is for the US GOV.
For the state of texas; does not apply.

Jurors are paid $6 for their first day of service ($10 if selected & trial starts the same day) and $40 for every subsequent day of service.

Quoted from fosaisu:

It looks like you may have trimmed out the part of their email that talked about parking (or at least it's not showing up on my display) so I can't tell what the issue was exactly.

I didn't trim it out... looks like the block quote part of Pinside is doing something weird. Here's the full except of bullet 2:

2.      Reserved juror parking is not available.  You are encouraged to use public transportation (CapMetro http://capmetro.org/) or other available means of transportation.  Please keep in mind that the courts are not able to validate or reimburse you for parking garage tickets (any parking garage) or reimburse towing costs, so if you park at a garage or in a space subject to towing, any fees incurred will be your responsibility.

If you use metered parking around the courthouse on the first day of your jury selection, please follow the instructions on the meter.  Here is the link for where the meters are located in downtown Austin:   https://www.austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/files/Transportation/Parking/meter_areas_042015.pdf

If you receive a parking citation with the stated violation of “Expired Meter” or “Expired Pay Station,” it can be dismissed by the City of Austin if you turn it in to the bailiff of the court you are assigned to or, send a picture of the parking citation and email to the jury office at:  ijury@traviscountytx.gov along with your contact information.  Please submit within 5 days to avoid a late notice by the City of Austin.

Very Important!  If you receive a parking citation for any other violation other than “Expired Meter” or “Expired Pay Station” you are personally responsible for paying that ticket.  

#20 1 year ago
Quoted from gambit3113:

I do think you are missing the point of civic duty, but I don’t have any interest in debating you.

So it's my civic duty to pay Parking fees to some corporation to the privilege to serve on a jury?
When it's clear by TheHueManatee 's two links that both the federal government and the state government do re-imburse for these fees.
I'm pretty sure that when I last did jury duty in Oregon... they also re-imbursed for parking.

I'm really have a real issue with this whole "civic duty" argument when I've already stated I was PERFECTLY OK serving until that bullcrap email came to me indicating that parking wasn't covered.

#23 1 year ago

gambit3113 - fair argument from that view point. I see your point.

Quoted from gambit3113:

Ok. You drive downtown and choose to park where? A parking garage for the District Court that is state owned and geographically convenient to the courthouse? The Constitution doesn’t guarantee you that convenience, and certainly not for free.

Actually; that is exactly what I expect. I don't force the local county government to "sell" all their parking spaces to corporation or for them not to actually provide parking.
I do actually expect them to provide reasonable parking for jurors. From the moment I start at 9am on Monday until I'm officially dismissed from duty. My expectation is not unreasonable.
Do I expect them to provide me a helicopter port and allow me to fly in to jury duty? No. But I also shouldn't expect them to say; f'it… it's your problem not ours either.

But as a juror/civic duty; isn't it the responsibility of the government to provide for a trial for these people?
And by providing; doesn't that duty follow that the courts duty is to ensure the jurors are of sound mind and would be able to give that person a fair trial.

The fact that I'm actually spending MY MONEY to support this persons' trial isn't at all setting well with me. and frankly; it shouldn't set well with you.

Just because the gov "can" request that the jurors should pay for parking... or to walk to trial... or to catch a bus to trial shouldn't mean they SHOULD request it. It's not my civic responsibility endorse yet another form of corp taxation just for the civic duty to give someone a fair trial. It's completely within my right and expectation that the government properly fund and staff this keystone capability of our free society.

I see this as yet another "cost cutting" tactic of our gov. They can't and won't fund infrastructure… instead opting to "sell" our road system to the Toll road foreign governments. Now our local gov can't afford to pay for jurors to not be inconvenienced to the "civic duty".

-3
#27 1 year ago
Quoted from gambit3113:

You aren’t spending your money to support anything other than your convenience.

So; in 1849... when the state of texas called jurors. They didn't provide compensation to the jurors for travel? They didn't provide a post for them to hitch their horse to?

I get it. Dallas county doesn't want to pay 30k in parking fees per day. Who would. But instead; they want the jurors to provide it?
How is that capitalism? Oh; I see... so the county of Dallas sells the right to park to the highest corp bidder... so they actually tax the jurors. That's the very definition of capitalism or socialism.

Note; that in no way did the summons or recent email identify any "free" methods to do this civic duty. CapMetro which they did provide a link to is actually a public transportation business whom charges the riders for this service.

#29 1 year ago

There are no free parking options anywhere in downtown.

This from 5 years ago confirms it:
https://www.reddit.com/r/Austin/comments/1qiecl/jury_duty_suggestions/

So basically; I can park at work... which is 1.25 hour walk via 6th street.
so yeah; this is an awesome service provided by our local government.

-4
#69 1 year ago

I haven't paid a single dollar for parking. As I stated in the original post; my duty doesn't begin until 4/8.
That said; I'm not "letting this go" as many of you suggested is my only option.
I'm going to pitch a fit... I'm going to make a scene as this isn't right.
I expect the judge won't be humored; but I intend to do it as respectfully as I can.
As for the court phone people; they will get the brunt of the anger on Monday.

As to those who claim I'm mental; that's fine. It's clear you'd be ok with this. I get it; it's really small potatoes.
That said; this isn't about can I afford to pay $12-$20/day? It's the principle of me have to pay that $20 on a $6 duty pay.
It's not right; I shouldn't have to pay some parking attendant / corporation because my lazy ass county decided I did because they didn't want to properly fund the legal system.

#71 1 year ago
Quoted from Furio:

This right here. Just show up and park. Take the ticket, and send it in to this email per the directions and your parking is paid for. Just follow the rules. It really seems like you are whining to whine. You don't even need to front load a quarter in the meter since you plan on eating the ticket.

Great advice.
So; break the law... premediated… run the risk of a tow which is clearly isn't covered.
Good plan

#75 1 year ago
Quoted from MikeS:

I've been to Austin a number of times without a vehicle and it's very easy to get around. Why not bike, catch a bus or ride one of those Bird scooters that you see every 10 feet when your downtown?

Same problem with every one of those options.
Every one of them - all of them are fee based.
The only "free" option is to walk from home.

I'm stick an tired of the government taking advantage of the people under the guise of "civic duty".

#79 1 year ago
Quoted from Black_Knight:

They said they would waive parking tickets for your first day.

Umm... no; they didn't. Go back and read post 1.
They were clear that parking WAS NOT covered... nor is public transportation (which is also fee based)

#82 1 year ago
Quoted from herbertbsharp:

Ugh, I was gonna stay out of this, but funds for the legal system come from taxes. So you're basically saying you'd rather pay higher taxes than pay directly. Between govt red tape and most people's income brackets around here, you'd be paying more.

Or the government actually find ways to spend money on what's important.
Tax the people whom actually do their civic duty? that makes a lot of sense. What about the people who dodge the jury summons every time... they should never get taxed? That's sound more mental than my stance.

Quoted from Black_Knight:

Then what does this mean?

It means... well; that they *MAY* waive you if your meter expires...but like anything else; they aren't committing to anything. If you read the rest of that bullet - it's clear the juror is ultimately responsible … and that anything else is at the descression of some bean counter.

-3
#91 1 year ago
Quoted from herbertbsharp:

? Everyone is supposed to pay taxes, so it wouldn't be selective based on who goes to jury duty.

The point people are making here... is that the cost of parking is the "cost of supporting the civil duty" I should be exercising.
My point is that just because this taxation is minimal doesn't make it right. As many have stated above; I think the example is that 1000 people a day "dodge" summons by just not showing up... so they in affect aren't paying their share of the "tax" because the never have to pay to park in the first place.

The issue that *I* am being taxed (in the form of parking fees) to do *MY* civil duty. It cost *ME* to actually go to the court house for the benefit of someone else's trial.

People here seem to think this is "ok" and "acceptable". As a tax paying citizen; I find it reprehensible and disgusting.
What about the single mom whom works 3 jobs to put food on the table... should she have to pay parking to do her civil duty?

I'm really tried of all the dismissive comments here … I should have known better; but thought there'd at least be a sympathetic ear or two. The simple fact here is that; people can be dismissive and call me mental all they want - I see this as a fundamental injustice and expect to make a point of it in court where it belongs.

#92 1 year ago
Quoted from Richthofen:

You live in the USA and own pinball machines. You are richer and luckier than most of the planet by those two facts alone. Outrage over $6 has cost you way more than $6 in time spent emailing the state and complaining on Pinside.

Sorry; what?

So you're saying because I have a freaking brain on my head... and went to college... to work my ass off... worked at the same company for 23freaking years surviving countless layoffs and stupid racist managers trying to run me out of the company... I'm not within my right to have a discussion about the "injustice" of a "flawed" judicial system?

So; it was "luck" that got me "rich"? Had nothing to do with the fact that I've worked hard for that $6 … and for the government to tell me I have to spend that $6 to attend the "civil duty" I'm required to do?

And I'm the one with a problem / "mental deficiency"?

Let's put that to rest right now... don't preach to me how I'm lucky and rich... I worked hard to get where I'm at. I don't need someone like you trying to color this in any light other than what it is.

-9
#112 1 year ago

You guys just don't get it... I've repeated myself a dozen times.
I think this will be my last post because; clearly I'm in the minority.

It's not that it's 2, 4, 200 or 1000 dollars.
It's the principle. I'm not f*ing paying the city (or parking structure management company) to "exercise" my civic duty. It's not right. I'm not going to burn good jue-jue with my friends to get them to chafer me to the court house so I don't have to pay for parking. That's would the only "non-dollar" way to get there short of walking for 1.5hrs.

The argument that it's trivial is immaterial. It won't "cost me" to serve on the jury. Originially; I thought it was laughable at the number of people that claim "financial hardship" to get out of jury duty... now; I actually see the reason. They shouldn't have to pay anyone to serve on a jury and neither should I. I guess that will be between me and the judge.

I'm glad ya'll think this was a humorous diversion for your day. Just remember; every time they charge you a parking fee... you can smile at this story.

#120 1 year ago
Quoted from newbieinKC:

Like has already been suggested, fire up a GoFundMe page. One or two donations should cover your cost to park.

LOL. Great idea!
(no not really.)
I'm mental. not that mental.

I was actually hoping some reading the story would have actual advice of how to handle this with the judge.
But I guess I'm just a mental basket case who stands on the wrong side of history.

As to the soldier giving life bit - that's just another way of being dismissive. The two have no bearing on each other.

#124 1 year ago
Quoted from newbieinKC:

ay. Travis County, arguably the most liberal county in the great state of Texas, decided that the publicly funded government should not entitle those selected for Jury Duty to free parking in city-owned spots.

By that argument; then the Judge shouldn't be entitled to free parking either nor any of his staff - a question I intend to ask when paneled.

I don't buy this argument at all... the likely scenario is that at some point; the Travis county representatives decided they could cut budget and earmark it for something more sinister; like ensuring we had a nice water front bike trail... rather than continue properly to fund the court system. Those same dolts that think a toll road is cheaper than actually building a real lane of travel.

Regardless; passing that on to the jurors WAS NOT the right thing to do in any form.

I'm a firm believer is the fact that our representatives cut corners all the time just to line their pet projects - this was no different.

I'm perfectly fine with the cost being passed to the tax payer's as a whole... As a whole 30k/day across millions of tax payers is a lot cheaper than forcing a select few whom ARE doing their civil duties. Put it to a vote and find out. But alas; they never will because they've quietly eliminated this and convinced a large portion of the population that it's our civic duty to pay parking to serve on a jury. Trivial is the word many have used... It's also trivial to pay 8% on top of your fast food bill... what's another 0.25%. Death by 1000 cuts.

It's simply that Travis, Dallas, and maybe one or two more densely populated areas with much larger tax bases are choosing to screw the jurors because they can. I have it on good authority that the surround areas are NOT forcing jurors to pay for parking. Example: Baxter and Hays counties.

The City Bus argument is null and void for Austin. They are not comping for city bus (or Uber or scooters) either.

#155 1 year ago

STOP WITH THE PERSONAL ATTACKS.
I haven't attacked a single one of you - I expect you to follow community guidelines.
I haven't made this political. Haven't called any of your libitards or conservawacksados… so let's try and keep this civil.
Someone said something (I thought) about Allentown but it must have been edited between then and now as I can't find it.
I've never been to Allentown … I don't even know what a liberty buck is... so clearly that's someone else.

Quoted from jwilson:

You were a total prick to my face at Expo years ago and this thread does nothing to dissuade my impression. You must be exhausting to be around for any length of time.

Personal attack.
Sorry; your butthurt about the Expo thing. I honestly have no idea what you're talking about w/ regards to expo... but if you actually took the time to make sure you were talking to the correct person; you'd probably find out you weren't right. On the possibility I was a "prick" to you... I don't know what to say. That rarely happens to anyone but I won't even pretend it didn't happen because I honestly don't know what your talking about. I can make excuses; but I just don't see the point.

If you want to discuss this via PM; feel free. Otherwise; keep your personal attacks to yourself.

Quoted from grantopia:

I went for our county like 2 weeks ago and you get some minimal (25? 27?)

For Day 1; the "pay" is $6. That doesn't cover Parking; much less food or gas.

Quoted from VacFink:

. Would you rather they take more tax dollars to support convenience parking for court activities? This is what it comes down to ultimately.

As I stated; yes - within reason. Platifs / defendants / judges / staff should all have to pay their own parking. This is no different than a Employee whom works downtown... it's the cost of being an employee at the courthouse / downtown.

However, The juror's whom are there to do their civic duty should NOT have to fund parking in the courthouse. Obviously; I'm in the minority; but something I feel very strongly about.

Quoted from robotron911:

By extension, this isn’t far off from the guy who ended up shot because he got pulled over for a parking ticket.

Never going to happen in this case. Will I make an appropriate scene during jury selection… sure.. but not so much as I'm going to be held in contempt by the judge. Apparently; I'm radical... but not that radical.

Quoted from Sparky:

reimburse those lost wages, what makes you think the govt is going to pay for all your incidentals for showing up?

IDK... why don't you go read the two pages posted on Post#8. That's what I expect.
I don't expect lost wages; or meals; or whatever. I'm not going to get in semantics with you. That said; The county had free parking spaces at some time... Let's just assume they had land. The bean counters / politicians decided... hey; you know what'd be cool... let's make money from everyone and convert the free parking to paid parking and sell it to the highest bidder then use that revenue to fund something else. That's fine... but personally; I don't think it's right for them to require Jurors attend jury duty and not comp the parking fee. That's really not hard to understand is it?

Quoted from robotron911:

The fact that YOU don’t see a person’s right to a jury by their peers as valuable to you says volumes about you as a person

I never said that. I stated up front that I support Jury Duty and that I was perfectly fine severing until they told me I'd be out of pocket for parking. I'm glad you're ok with being told how to spend the money you earned. I'm not.

#156 1 year ago
Quoted from Travish:

Please record this conversation and post here.

Great advice. Record a privileged conversation in the court room. U know; just because I appear to have a crazy notation about what is fair doesn't mean I'm stupid enough to take the advice by some of you guys here. I can think of a couple of posts that just weren't one point as being funny. but whateves.

-2
#213 1 year ago
Quoted from Sparky:

I'm just worried that Zitt has taken his ball and gone home, and we won't hear about what happens. His jury duty is scheduled for Monday of next week, and I doubt he'll give us the satisfaction of letting us in on the details.

That's a currently my plan - just letting the thread die.
There was so much hate in this thread; I not sure it would provide anyone any catharsis and simply put - I no longer feel like sharing given the attitude of most.
Also reading comprehension is a problem for most people in this thread. A common problem is apparently people think public transportation is free (in Austin). it isn't.

Quoted from chrismcb:

lets start with a simple fact. THEY OFFER FREE PARKING for jurors. But there are limited spots, very limited.

Where are you getting your information? There is NO indication anywhere there is ANY Free parking for jurors in Austin, TX. Prove me wrong; provide a link.

Quoted from chrismcb:

What I'm saying is, even if you had to pay for jury duty, it would still be your duty. Fortunately you don't have to pay for parking, there are alternatives. Those alternatives are YOUR choice.

That's just it. There are no free options. The only thing close to free is to walk... but then that's a 1.5hr walk in the sun probably at 90+ degrees... before court. I'm sure that'd be fun for my fellow jurors. The bus isn't free. It'd probably be about $3 to get there. Parking is likely $12/day or worse. Uber? lol.

#244 1 year ago

Last post ill make on this subject

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