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Jury Duty Questionaire, Voir Dir, and Privacy

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posted on Jun, 11 2010 @ 03:05 PM
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I got a Federal Jury Duty questionnaire in the mail recently. It was to see if I'm eligible to serve on a jury. The only personal question was asking about my race, and specifically if I was spanish. If this was a census, I would have had lots of fun ignoring that question. But I didnt want some smart-ass judge finding me in contempt of court.

What kind of jury questionnaires have other people received? Were any the questions a violation of privacy? I read some qualifying questionnaires that actually wanted a social security number.

While i'm at it, what about voir dir? Has anyone been forced to answer a rather personal question asked by a lawyer trying to weed out a jury pool?




posted on Jun, 11 2010 @ 03:26 PM
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reply to post by rocketman70433
 


Federal Rules regarding jury questionnaires state:

Q: Who may serve as a juror?
The Jury Act, which is set out at Title 28, U.S. Code, Sections 1861-1878, calls for random selection of citizens' names from voters lists or combined voters and drivers lists. (Because random selection is required, individuals may not volunteer for service.) More on Jury Service
The act states that individuals are legally disqualified from service:
• if they are not a citizen of the United States 18 years old, who has resided for a period of one year within the judicial district;
• if they are unable to read, write, and understand the English language with a degree of proficiency necessary to fill out a qualification form;
• if they are unable to speak the English language;
• if they are incapable by reason of mental or physical infirmity to render jury service; or
• if they have felony charges pending against them or they have been convicted of a felony and their civil rights have not been restored.
In addition, the Jury Act lists three groups that are exempt from federal jury service:
• members of the armed forces on active duty;
• members of professional fire and police departments; and
• "public officers" of federal, state or local governments, who are actively engaged in the performance of public duties.
Persons belonging to these groups may not serve on federal juries, even if they so desire.
www.uscourts.gov...

If you were asked about being Hispanic, it may be because the case involves an Hispanic. You should not have to give your SS# out. If you question if the jury questionnaire is valid, there should be a number on there to call and confirm this.

As far as voir dire questions, if you are asked a sensitive question, you can ask them to answer in private and after the jury pool has been released, they will hold you back for your answer.

Hope this helps. peace



posted on Jun, 11 2010 @ 03:26 PM
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Originally posted by rocketman70433
I got a Federal Jury Duty questionnaire in the mail recently. It was to see if I'm eligible to serve on a jury. The only personal question was asking about my race, and specifically if I was spanish. If this was a census, I would have had lots of fun ignoring that question. But I didnt want some smart-ass judge finding me in contempt of court.

What kind of jury questionnaires have other people received? Were any the questions a violation of privacy? I read some qualifying questionnaires that actually wanted a social security number.

While i'm at it, what about voir dir? Has anyone been forced to answer a rather personal question asked by a lawyer trying to weed out a jury pool?



Read this before serving

www.fija.org...

You need to know your rights on a jury.

I would answer the questions truthfully.

During Voir, the questions the lawyers can ask is very limited and general in the time they have.

For example, they can't segregate based on political views, but they might ask you what cable news show you watch. If you say MSNBC, they know you are a democrat or a communist, if you say Fox, they know you are a neo-con.

At least from my understanding of how the selection works.

Here's the NY State courts Voir Dire handbook
www.courts.state.ny.us...

[edit on 11-6-2010 by mnemeth1]



posted on Jun, 11 2010 @ 03:33 PM
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I think what I got was just that general questionnaire. They asked if I had served on another jury, if I had a conviction against me, if there was a medical reason I couldnt serve.

It was when reading up on this stuff, that I found out about intrusive voir dires, and pretrial questionnaires.



posted on Jun, 11 2010 @ 03:45 PM
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Originally posted by rocketman70433
I think what I got was just that general questionnaire. They asked if I had served on another jury, if I had a conviction against me, if there was a medical reason I couldnt serve.

It was when reading up on this stuff, that I found out about intrusive voir dires, and pretrial questionnaires.


What ever they ask you is going to be looking for biases of opinion in regards to the case.

So they aren't going to ask you about how many men you've slept with unless the case is dealing with a homosexual mud wrestling match gone wrong.

Everything they ask (is supposed to be at least) strictly confidential and as was mentioned, if they are asking something you don't feel comfortable answering you can do so in private.




 
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