It’s the last thing someone wants to find sticking out of their mailbox after a long day. What’s even worse than getting bills, junk mail or the neighbor’s mail can often be a jury summons.
In exchange for being a U.S. citizen, people have to pay taxes and serve their jury duty summons. It can be a hassle, however, as it forces people to take days off work and potentially get on a case as a juror for an indefinite period of time.
To avoid the hassle, people make attempts to get out of their jury summons in really odd ways. Below we take a look at some of the most peculiar things people did to get out of their jury summons.
20 Forging A Jury Summons To Take Time Off From Work
Instead of getting out of jury duty, one person faked a summons. According to FindLaw.com, they did it so they could get out of work.
They ended up getting over two weeks off and got $3,300 for it. Just as there are people scamming their way out of jury duty, there are those who fake a summons to their benefit.
19 Pretending To Be An Alien
People are willing to come across crazy if it means they don’t have to serve time on a jury.
According to NY Post, someone went so far as to admit they were an alien. “My planet does not believe in the jury system,” said an attorney who quoted the prospective juror.
18 Wearing Inmate Stripes
People go to great lengths just to avoid serving their jury duty. One man was willing to discredit his image if it helped his chances of getting overlooked for the jury box.
The site FindLaw.com reports that one man actually wore inmate stripes and got exactly what he wanted: a dismissal.
17 The “Bias Excuse”
Donnie Does of Barstool Sports was as honest as can be the day of his jury summons. Of the plaintiff, he told the judge, “Look I’m sorry man, I’ve just met people that look exactly like that guy and have had bad experiences with them.”
Since the court can’t tolerate this kind of bias, he was out of the running for a spot on the jury.
16 Getting Plastic Surgery
If there’s one thing more important than jury duty, it’s getting plastic surgery. According to Business 2 Community, one person had a surgery scheduled and feared it would conflict if she got on the jury.
Apparently, she told the court it was a boob job, which must have elicited laughs across the room.
15 Using Death As A Way Out
Imagine the look on former New York County Clerk Norman Goodman’s face when a prospective juror came up with this reason for not being able to show up to jury duty. “This person is dead, here are his ashes,” said someone.
The source suggests it was an excuse, though it’s unclear whether the prospective juror got out of it or not (NBC New York).
14 A Woman Apologized and Said She Had Diarrhea
When you gotta go, you gotta go—except when you’re serving on a case, which isn’t a great place to be for those who have digestive issues. Facebook user Toni Galata, as per BuzzFeed, said a prospective juror was able to go home after she admitted to having diarrhea.
She even proclaimed it loudly to the courtroom, which may have helped in convincing everyone there.
13 Claiming To Have Friendships With Notorious Criminals
One prospective juror claimed he was friends with one of the country’s most notorious criminals.
As per a quote provided by FindLaw.com, John Backderf thought it best to inform the court of a past relationship, which got him dismissed. “I had a close friend in high school that killed 17 people,” he said.
12 When Reporting For Prison Conflicts With Jury Duty
Jury duty summons never comes at good times. Someone might have a trip coming up, an important meeting at work or some other conflict.
This prospective juror had another excuse in mind though. “I have to report to prison next week,” said one person. Whether it was true or not didn’t matter considering it got him out of jury duty (Business 2 Community).
11 Causing The Judge To Throw Up
This may not have been intentional, but it sure seemed to get everyone off the hook. According to BuzzFeed user symeansart, one prospective juror passed gas and it smelled bad enough that it caused the judge to throw up.
A lawyer even passed out and everyone got to go home as a result.
10 Self-Inducing Vomiting
If jurors can’t get the judge to throw up—as noted earlier—there’s always another approach.
BuzzFeed user JoeHolliday said, “My dad had jury duty a few months ago, and during the selection process, a man must've really not wanted to get chosen—because he stuffed his hand in his mouth to make himself vomit. There had to be an hour-long recess.”
9 Not Believing In The Law
While some dress strangely to get out of jury duty, others use words.
According to NY Post, someone said, “I don’t believe in the law.” Regardless of whether they meant it or not, as ridiculous as the claim was, the same source reports that it ultimately worked in getting them out of it.
8 Faking A Disorder, Then Spilling The Beans On The Radio
One woman hatched a plan to get out of jury duty that worked, though blabbing about it on the radio didn’t help.
According to FindLaw.com, she admitted to having “mental issues” and came dressed to her jury summons wearing clown makeup and odd mismatched clothing. After lying about her condition, she went on the radio and admitted it on air.
7 Working Two Jobs With Financial Difficulties
One juror did everything to try and get out of jury duty. According to an account by the Omaha World-Herald, he first expressed his difficulty in serving due to working two jobs and struggling to paying his bills.
When the attorneys and judge still didn’t release him, he even said something prejudiced about the plaintiff.
6 Claiming To Already Know The Outcome Of The Case
Having prophetic insight has no place in the courtroom, at least in the case of one prospective juror.
BuzzFeed user amberh4 notes that someone claimed they were psychic, knew the outcome of the case and therefore claimed to be exempt from serving. As crazy as it sounded, it ultimately worked and she didn’t have to serve on the case.
5 Acting Prejudiced Towards Others
“I strongly believe that it would be a serious injustice to the legal system to select me for jury service,” said a prospective juror, as per PRI.org. He even said he had prejudices towards others based on their race and sexual orientation.
The judge not only let the prospective juror off, but even prosecuted him with contempt of court.
4 Bringing This Book To Court Got Someone Off Jury Duty
Just taking along “The Best Defense” by Alan Dershowitz might discourage judges from accepting prospective jurors.
In a quote by the NY Post, lawyer Alan Dershowitz said, “When one of my books came out about how I defend people, someone on a jury in the Southern District in Manhattan was kicked off for carrying it.”
3 Going By The Name “Jesus Christ”
There are signs judges notice that make them less likely to keep prospective jurors around. For example, a woman in Alabama changed her name to Jesus Christ, according to FindLaw.com.
That, in turn, took her out of the running. We don’t recommend trying this for those who want to get out of jury duty.
2 When The Courthouse Is Too Far Away
This is one of the more understandable reasons for skipping jury duty. BuzzFeed user kcmama07 lives in Louisiana but is an Alaska resident, so whenever they receive a summons they request an exemption.
When an exemption form didn’t come with their summons one time, a representative gave them grief, though they eventually got off in the end.
1 Having A Weak Bladder
For many people, sitting in a courtroom all day poses a challenge. For one prospective juror, according to the NY Post, a weak bladder was her excuse for not being able to fulfill her summons.
An attorney took her out of the running out of fear she would need to take breaks every few minutes just to go to the bathroom.
Sources: FindLaw.com, NY Post, Business 2 Community, BuzzFeed, Omaha World-Herald, PRI.org, Barstool Sports, NBC New York