Does Jury Duty Equal Financial Ruin?

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    Can you rel8 to this?

    I read an article the other day in the New York Times about how jury duty was becoming the demise of people financially.  Plain and simple…many people being summoned are in a pinch.  They cannot afford to give 2-3 weeks of their lives away for pennies on the dollar when they are barely making ends meet as it is.  People are literally begging the Jury Administrator’s for a pardon claiming they are behind in their mortgages, etc.  In California, if you aren’t a government employee or one who’s job foots the bill, you are paid $15 per day AFTER the first day and at least .34c for each mile traveled ONE WAY (also paid on the second day of service).  I mean come on…who can live on $15 per day?  Granted, people hate jury duty anyway but to think (if you get on a case), you could be serving 2-3 weeks or more…that’s $150-225 that you will receive from the county for your “service.”  Ridiculous!  And people are supposed to be okay with that?  Now…after talking to my mother, she indicated that when she worked for Boeing, they paid her regular salary PLUS she received the benefit of the county stipend.  Heck…in that situation, I would love to serve.  That’s more like a vacation AND you can serve with clarity of thought – not being consumed by the fact that you have to now find a way to make up the financial deficit that serving is causing on you and your family.  But for those of us who are self-employed, work for small companies with a bare budgets, hardship is what it is.

    Interestingly enough, states are trying to find more attractive ways to lure people into wanting to become jurors.  They are considering the idea of “paying people according to the importance of their job.”  But the reality is, with state budget cuts, that isn’t a likely idea to pass anytime soon.  So they have to bank on the $15 per day after day one to suffice for now.  WOW!

    Funny, I can remember retrieving the mail, spotting the juror summon and breaking out in a cold sweat.  LOL!  I quickly ripped open the envelop to find out which of the “legitimate” excuses would worked for me.  Well…it’s no longer an excuse for people.  People are concerned about how they are going to put food on their tables IF they serve.  In Florida, a judge asked a self employed t-shirt manufacturer if he could have any of his employees fill in for him.  The gentleman told the judge, “I fired everybody.”  He was left with only 3 workers who were unable to take his place.  He was released from serving.

    So…here’s my question.  Who do you think should serve on jury duty, those whose job pays for them to be there or should we all – regardless of whether we are fully compensated or not?  What do you think is fair?

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