Jury Duty vs Duty to Hospital

  1. I recently received a jury summons. Although my hospital will pay me for the days I will be fulfulling my civic duty, my nurse mgr. strongly encouraged me to write a financial hardship letter requesting to be excused. I am a 7p-7a nurse and have worked on the unit for over a year. I suggested that if it was a hardship on the department that perhaps she could write a letter to explain why my absence would create a hardship. It was suggested that people get out of this all the time and that it would be easier if I would write a letter. This is a large hospital with a large pool of nurses. I want to serve but fear possible repercussions. Does anyone have any experience with this issue?
  2. Visit transkat profile page

    About transkat

    Joined: May '08; Posts: 15; Likes: 8


  3. by   Atheos
    Here in VA I have seen it rejected. The judge said the facility had no hardship getting another nurse since they could utilize an agency. He also said that duty to country trumped duty to self.

    There would be no harm in trying. They can only tell you no.
  4. by   suanna
    Do your civic duty. Dodging jury duty is a bit flakey for a health care professional. Your leadership skills and judgment abilities may be crucial to a just handling of the case. It's a week or two- If you had a minor surgery you would be off 4-6 weeks. The hospital will get along without you but our justice system can't get along without the best and brightest(you) contributing thier fair share! I was pulled for jury duty for 2 weeks a couple of years ago. It was one of the worst experiences of my life but half a day into deliberations we we hung on 6 of the 7 counts. The foreman threw up her hands and offerd the job to whoever would take it. I DID. We convicted a rapist on 6 of 7 counts of raping a mentaly disabled girl. We found out afterward he had been charged with rape several times in the past-always against mentaly disabled girls who made poor witnesses. Previously the juries were unable to come to a concensus he was never convicted. If I hadn't done my civic duty he would have gotten away with it again.
  5. by   Batman24
    Your manager is wrong to ask you to write that letter. This is your civic duty and you shouldn't be pressured not to fulfill your obligation to society. You can write them but chances are it will be denied anyway. They are really cracking down in my area on jurors. Very few excuses are considered valid these days.
  6. by   Atheos
    Medical necessity and financial hardship are excusable as are other things. I have been excused because I told the judge I needed lithium but had to go to the doctor that day. He let me out quickly. I have also answered a question concerning my dislike for gang members and stated 'They should all be thrown in jail.' When the lawyers question you expressing bias works, unless you do it too blatantly.

    Slackerish? Maybe. 4 years of military duty trumps 2 weeks of jury duty though. MY duty is done. If you can be excused, and you want to be excused. Go for it.

    Besides, that 1 or 2 days can turn into 1 or 2 months and all the people telling you to do your duty won't be volunteering to pay your bills.
  7. by   I love my cat!
    Quote from Stanley-RN2B
    Slackerish? Maybe. 4 years of military duty trumps 2 weeks of jury duty though.
    Really? Tell that to the poor, INNOCENT person sitting up on the stand being accused of some crime that could land them in prison for 20 years.
  8. by   transkat
    I want to serve on the jury I just don't want to face repercussions from my nurse manager for being absent from work.
  9. by   JBudd
    Your manager is asking you to lie to the courts so she won't have to go to the trouble of covering your shifts. It isn't a financial difficulty since the hospital pays for your days. When I was called for Federal jury duty, we were told only active duty military, police and firemen were excused, specifically NOT health care workers including doctors and nurses, not to even bother asking. That lawyers complained that educated professionals got out too easily, and there wasn't enough selection for their jury choices.

    It is part of citizenship, and frankly, if I were to ever end up in court, I'd want educated and professional people on my jury! As far as trying to get out of it during the questioning, you are under oath to tell the truth.

    Good thinking on your part to tell her to write it, notice she didn't want HER name on the letter.
  10. by   transkat
    I want to serve on the jury I just don't want to face repercussions for being absent from work.
  11. by   JBudd
    Quote from transkat
    I want to serve on the jury I just don't want to face repercussions from my nurse manager for being absent from work.

    Ah, that one. When I told the Court Clerk my boss was giving me a hard time, she said she'd have the judge write a letter for me, that harrasment or punative actions were illegal. Neither your manager nor your hospital really wants to be in trouble with the courts.

    Your manager is just pushing so she won't have to work harder. Since you are fairly new, she'll see how far she can push you. If there are any problems, tell the clerk and also go up the chain over your manager's head. Your hospital obviously doesn't object to jury duty, since they pay you for it!

    I've been called by the city, the county and the Feds... just my lucky numbers I guess.
  12. by   Batman24
    Quote from transkat
    I want to serve on the jury I just don't want to face repercussions for being absent from work.
    If you face retribution upon your return to the unit you will call an attorney. Being called doesn't necessarily mean you will have to serve. I went last year around this time and was let go at noon same day because they didn't need us. Do your civic duty and go. Don't lie to the court. I'm sorry you are being pressured like this. It's not fair. If she continues report her to the courts. She can get in huge trouble for this. Let your HR and Legal Department know as well. She'll stop.
  13. by   Ruby Vee
    i got called for jury duty years ago when i was working straight nights every friday, saturday and sunday. my manager told me that if i wanted to claim a hardship to the unit, she'd back me up. but if i wanted to serve that was fine, too. of course, since trials were monday-friday in the day time, there was no impediment to my working friday, saturday and sunday nights.

    i showed up at the jury pool on monday morning, the same day they were looking for jurors for the mary kay letourneau trial. i imagine the snoring and drooling may have explained why i wasn't picked for a jury -- i was released after sitting in the jury room monday and tuesday. now i shudder to think what would have happened had i been chosen for a long trial . . .
  14. by   oramar
    From time to time we get a post here about this same situation. Someone needs to remind these managment people that it is illegal to do what they are doing. A person has a legal and moral rersponsibility to serve when called to Jury duty. There employer has a legal and moral responsibility to be supportive.