Follow
Share

Call to jury duty with alzheimer's and dementia. I received a letter today stated that I must be a juror for starting on September 16. I am the caregiver for an 80-year-old with dementia and Alzheimer's who does not need to be alone at all. Unfortunately, there seems to be no way at all out of this commitment, meaning that I will be forced to spend over $200 a day to put her in an Adult Day Care facility for Mom for the duration of the trial. There is no place at all on the juror's questionnaire to express my concerns. I do not want to go to jail for non-compliance! What other other options for daily care for her are available?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
jbzook, when I received a letter for jury duty, they gave a date. On that initial letter, it states who can be excused - example: doctors, registered nurses, dentists, and anyone age 55 and over.

I went to the initial date. At that time, they have us fill out another form. At that time, the court employee discusses who can be excused and what is required. One of those who can be excused are full-time caregivers who is at the home full-time and caregiving the elderly. To be excused, the elderly's doctor must write a certified letter on the clinic's letterhead stating that so-and-so is the primary caregiver of the patient so-and-so. This letter Must Be Sealed in the clinic's envelope and turned in sealed. There is a box in the jury's room that you can drop it off. Again - this is from here. It may be different in your area.

So, you may need to put your mom in the Adult Day Care for that day, Sept 16. Please get a receipt and bring it with you. Show that not only are you a full time caregiver but it will also be a hardship to pay this amount every time you are called in for jury duty. I would also have in hand before the 16th, a certified letter from her doctor, sealed in the envelope (proof it wasn't tampered). Just in case....

FYI, this is how tedious it can get. In our jury pool, there was one person who works for the court - in the file room. Every time we had to show up for court for the next 16 months, in front of the judge and the lawyers and the person in trial, this person had to Every Single Time raise her hand and asked to be excused. And they will ask why, and she will say that she works for the court in the file room. And every time, she gets excused. Hello? Just permanently excuse her! (Unless they figure she might quit her job in the next 16 months???)
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

So, jbzook, what is happening on this? Have you been deferred?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I believe if you get a doctor's letter stating that the person you care for will be put at serious safety risk that the court must relieve you. I have seen people relieved from jury duty for much less things.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

JB, sorry for this added stress on you. I had my parents Dr sign the notification I was sent in CA, stating I am their full-time caregiver. So, far it worked. I have not gotten any more jury summons.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My husband and I both recieved jury duty letters, his Aug. mine Nov. I added a letter stating I was needed to care for my mil when I sent in my first jury notice letter back in and was deferred. My husband did not and was called in last week, while jury selection was happening they were asked to go up before the judge if there was a reason why they couldnt serve, he told them why and he was dismissed immediately.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I just did it last year! You say you are primary caregiver for, in my case, a parent under hospice care. They gladly defer you until the next term. Dad died three month ago. My name was just picked on August 3, but was one of 47 jurors, but never picked for duty on a trial. Problem solved. Lots of folks want to serve to get out of their paid jobs... Problem solved.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

JB, are you actually impaneled to serve on a jury, or appearing with othesr to be selected for the next jury term? I'm only familiar with how jurors are impaneled in our area, but this is how it works.

Potential jurors are notified to appear on a certain date. We all sit around for hours waiting and waiting. Some are called; some aren't. Some fall asleep. Some play with their electronic gadgets. One by one, people are randomlyh called to be impanelled.

The attorneys for each side ask various questions, such as whether or not the potential jurors know the plaintiff, defendant and/or their attorneys, whether they've been situations similar to the case, etc. It's my understanding that another question typically asked is whether or not there are any impediments to serving. That's when you explain your situation.

After all the trials scheduled for that jury term are impaneled, the rest are sent home.

But I would try to avoid even having to go to the courthouse. I would call the clerk of the Circuit Court, or whatever court sent you the letter, and explain your situation. You may be asked to provide documentation, in which case call your patient's doctor and ask for a letter addressed to the court. If the doctor will send it directly to the court, that's great, but ask for a copy for your records as well.

There's another way which is kind of round-about, and that's to call the clerk's office and tell them you have to bring with you on Sept. 16 the patient you care for, and that you'll need special accommodations. You'll need to know where the wheelchair ramp is, oxygen hookup (if she's on oxygen), a place for her to nap during the day, special meals ..... list everything she has at home that you would need.

More than likely someone will be doing a reality check and tell you that you can be excused, but would need to document that you're caring for this person.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Years ago I was called for jury duty while caring for a loved one (not a family member) who was recovering from a near-fatal bout of pancreatitis. On the first day the judge asked all the potential jurors about issues that would interfere with our ability to serve on a jury, and when I mentioned my situation I was dismissed. You may be called back eventually, but by that time your care recipient may have passed on or be in a care facility or whatever, so I wouldn't be concerned about that. You can always do the same thing again.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Here in MD we can request a waiver for hardship/preplanned vacay, etc. I would hope a letter from her Dr stating the situation would be enough. If not.. I can pretty much be sure if you bring her along....as a tag team... LOL I know it;s not really funny but they are clueless if they think some things are not excusable!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

My sister has never done jury duty, and I don't think she votes. If she ever gets a letter, she throws it away.

I would never do that.

Re-read the instructions, follow the financial hardship part.
Can you take your patient to the courthouse in a wheelchair that day?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

You can also "kick the can down the road" by saying you have an important medical situation and cannot serve at this time. Often, they will put you back into the pool and must serve later on.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

There must be a phone number to call. Call it and say, "I am the sole caregiver for my mother who cannot be left alone. She has Alzheimer's Disease. What do you need from her doctor or me to get me excused from jury duty?"

If they will give you no quarter, then I think you must do whatever you would do if you were hospitalized for a few days. Hopefully you have a backup plan . . .
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

P.S. Even if the Court say's no to your request, if called in for jury pick, you could be let go because the case settled out of court...... or while being questioned by the Attorneys for jury pick you could mentioned a financial hardship because of the cost of adult day care.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Have you telephoned the County/City to where you need to go for jury duty? I would think you have a valid excuse for not being able to do jury duty.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.