Top Ten Things Not to Do If You Are Called for Jury Duty

Top Ten Things Not to Do


The inspiration for this list was reading about Dan Antion’s experience with being called for jury duty. I asked Dan if he wouldn’t mind sharing what it was like. He graciously sent the rules of jury duty for my review. I have to tell you, Dan is the kind of guy who would never do any of these.

10 If you are called for jury duty, do not ignore the summons. If you do, at best the sheriff will greet you before you go to work. At worst, your co-workers will be entertained by the process known as the “perp walk.” (Who takes official papers seriously, Dubhgan? looks like the courts do.)

9 If you are called for jury duty, do not forget to wear your “jurist badge.” If you do, at best someone may confuse you with a lawyer. At worst, Tiny the WWF champ and newest member of the sheriff’s department will have you on the floor with your hand’s zip-tied behind you. (You do look good in that jumpsuit, Dughall. I know, it would have been kind of Tiny to ask who you were but he had a job to do.)

8 If you are called for jury duty, do not forget to check in with the clerk when you go on breaks or leave for the day. If you do, at best you’ll be marked absent and will have to serve again. At worst, an overzealous judge will think you are ignoring your duty and issue a summons for your arrest for contempt of court. (Now that past due parking ticket takes on a new meaning right, Duran? BTW what is a SWAT team doing at the front door with that battering ram?)

7 If you are called for jury duty, do not park anywhere but in the designated juror parking lot. If you do, at best you might get a ticket or be towed. At worst, you’ll return to your car and find it up on cement blocks. (Why are courthouses in the worst neighborhoods, Dusty? Oh look your engine is gone too.)

6 If you are called for jury duty, do not think beingΒ excused early means you don’t have to return to work. If you do, at best your boss will get a report of the hours. At worst, while you are celebrating the half day off in your favorite place, your boss and the boss’ boss all come in for lunch.(Kinda hard to explain why you are not at the courthouse, Devyn. Especially since it is after 1:00 and ten miles away from here.)

5 If you are called for jury duty, do not turn on the news in the juror’s lounge. If you do, at best the burley bailiff will turn it off. At worst, you will be singled out as the person responsible for the motion by the defense for a new trial. (Of course, the trial has been going on for four weeks, and now all your fellow jurors have you to thank for the huge waste of time, Dixon.)

4 If you are called for jury duty, do not forget to turn off your cell phone. If you do, at best you’ll get no calls. At worst, just as the defense has concluded an emotional final argument, your phone goes off blaring your custom ringtone by the Who. (That long serious silence the defense was counting on just evaporated in laughter, Daegan. I’m not sure how they will feel about that move. I do know the judge just pounded the gavel head into sawdust.)

3 If you are called for jury duty, do not forget to bring your lunch. If you do, at best there will be a vending machine. At worst, there will be a vending machine but no way to make change. (You can still use that fiver, Dallen but I agree, five bucks seems like a lot for a Snickers bar.)

2 If you are called for jury duty, do not ignore the rules for walking around the courthouse. If you do, at best you may wander into the wrong court. At worst, you may go through a door that closes and locks behind you. (This is great, Damak. You have entered the private chambers of the judge and are being asked your name and what you are doing there. I think the next step is forced removal by that burley bailiff. Β Yup here he comes.)

1 If you are called for jury duty, do not think you can leave without filling out the attendance report. If you do, at best you’ll have to serve again. At worse, you won’t have proof you spent the last three weeks as a juror to give to your employer. (You thought the bureaucracy was terrible during jury duty. How about the red tape at the unemployment office, Danhy?)



  1. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Something to make you smile this morning from John Howell. with one of his Not to Do lists.. this time if you are called for Jury duty.. always entertaining and make a note.. you never know when you will get that summons..

    1. Thank you, Sally

      1. Another funny and very true I am sure post John… I have never done Jury duty…. probably just as well. hugs

      2. You are lucky for sure.

  2. Very amusing πŸ˜€

    1. Thank you. πŸ˜€

      1. Well it was πŸ’œ

  3. Ah, jury duty. The ‘joy’ of standing around for a day and being moved around a courthouse until they tell you to go home. Think I always looked too bored and aloof to get picked. To be fair, I usually am bored and daydreaming by the second hour.

    1. I cn hold up for about three. Thats how long it takes to study everyone in the room. After that i’m with you.

      1. I always remember Homer Simpson’s advice to get out of jury duty. “The trick is to say you’re prejudice against all races.” I actually saw someone try that in Florida once. Not sure if it worked.

      2. I think saying, “I see dead people,” might do it too.

      3. Could get you a lawyer career these days.

  4. I think the court should start using this post instead of the “Jury duty is an honor and a privilege speech.” They don’t put a lot of humor in those lectures. Thanks for the kind words, John, you did a great job with this.

    While not a technical violation, there really wasn’t time to go back to work, so I may have bent #6 a little by going to the bar instead. Hey, I had to do some research for Saturday’s post.

    1. You are excused. I think the bar choice shows a high degree of proper priority setting. πŸ˜€

      1. Thank you , your honor!

      2. Ha ha ha. Rap rap. Order.

  5. In my forty something years of living in Northern Virginia, I only got called once…the week I was getting ready to move. When I came to Charlotte, I was called within the first year. It’s a good place to get some reading and writing done. Great list, John!

    1. Thank you, Jill. Happy Monday. Oh wait. What am I saying? πŸ˜€

  6. Sounds pretty accurate to me.

  7. The Who as my ring tone . . I am ALL about it, thank you!

    When it comes to his job, Tiny Tim has tunnel vision, which is a commendable trait for any employee. As long as you’re not in his headlights at the end of that tunnel . .

    Three weeks on jury duty with no proof? Thank you for my next nightmare, John.

    Peace and plea bargains

    1. Thank you, Marc. Loved the comments. πŸ˜€

      1. Loved the post!

  8. What made you write about Jury Duty? I go in 2 weeks and those 2 hellish words have been haunting me all around wordpress!!

    1. Ha ha ha. Must be Kismet. Thanks, GP

  9. No food?! No wonder I keep sliding out of it πŸ˜‰

    1. Ha ha ha. It is no wonder. Thank you, Luanne

  10. Think that must cover it! Thorough list, Good Knight John of Aranas! β™₯

    1. Thank you, Billy Ray. πŸ˜€

  11. ROFLMAO!!! πŸ˜€

    1. Thank you, Jan. πŸ˜€

  12. And uh…..another rule………… Don’t fall asleep – though I am not quite sure how a person avoids sleep during most trials.

    1. “Your honor would yo please caution the jury about falling asleep.” “The jury is reminded not to close your eyes no matter how boring the councilor’s remarks.”

  13. One nice thing about being a journalist is NOT being called for jury duty. Can’t say the same for web designers and writers. Thanks for the handy tips, John!

    1. My pleasure. Thanks, Debbie.

  14. Well done, good sir! Be thankful your jurors don’t have to wear wigs and monkey robes!

    1. Yes. We are lucky to get them with shoes.

  15. Reblogged this on Cindy's Notebook and commented:
    I got out of jury duty because I knew the defending attorney.

    1. Good person to know. Make Friends with the DA as well. Thank you for the reblog too.

    1. Thank you, Jan πŸ˜€

  16. D.L Finn, Author · · Reply

    Another fun list! I have only been picked once but I wouldn’t go against any of your list…lol.

    1. You are too nice, Denise. πŸ˜€

  17. Funny. And timely since I just got my notice in the mail

    1. Ha ha ha. Take the list with you.

      1. lol They don’t let you read. Not here in NY.

      2. Well that sucks for sure. Can you write?

      3. Nope. I will hide in the back of the room and blog via phone.

  18. A good list for my Monday … and a good one to spark my return. I’ve been called twice …. served once … dismissed the other time – which I found insulting.

    1. Yes. This feeling goes back to not being selected on the playground. One to get over. Thanks, Frank

  19. This was absolutely delightful, John. I really enjoyed it. As it happens, I just received a summons last week. Little did I know that being over 70 is enough to excuse a person from jury duty — at leas, in Galveston County. Best of all, it took about ten minutes to send in my form to their eJury services center and receive permission to cross that little duty off my list for the rest of my life. Hoorah!

    1. Good for you. I’m 77 so am exempt as well.

  20. #5 is kinda scary. Jeez… what a humiliating legacy πŸ™‚

    1. I know right? No news is good news.

    1. Thank you for the reblog, Michael

  21. This was a fun 10 things list, John. I think I got a laugh from every nunber on the list. πŸ˜…

    1. Thank you, Rhani. I’m glad you got a laugh. πŸ˜€

  22. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    It’s another top ten list from John Howell’s Fiction Favorites blog. This one is the top ten things not to do if you are called for jury duty.

      1. You’re welcome.

  23. To add to the list – if you are the (male) defense attorney, don’t walk into the ladies restroom when a female jurist is in there without reporting it to the burly bailiff. Another risk of having a mistrial declared!

    1. Hmm. Sounds like an unusual occurrence. Thanks for the addition. πŸ˜€

  24. Hilarious stuff, John. I only ever had to serve once. It was just for one day and I followed directions. No problem. Tiny might have found his true calling at last. I love the cartoon up top. That’s adding insult to injury but the guy probably asked for it. Have a great day. πŸ˜€ — Suzanne

    1. Thank you, Suzanne. Have a super day as well. πŸ˜€

  25. This is good!! I love #4, and can picture The Who blaring on the phone. Hilarious! Then #6, running into your boss at lunch. And of course Tiny, just doing his job. Thank you for a great round of laughs, John.

    1. Thanks Jennie. I’m glad you liked it.

      1. Very much so, John.

  26. Nice! I’ve only been called for jury duty once, and it was 2 years after moving out of that state. Very odd.

    1. Ha ha ha. Shows how much they pay attention.

  27. Ugh! I can’t stand jury duty and for at least 3 years I was being called every year. The last time around I sent them a letter letting them know that they’ve called me three years in a row, while friends and co-workers my age have never been called in for jury duty––I went on and on. Needless to say, I have not been called back since. Phew! I felt guilty at first but then I said, “Nah!” There are plenty of people in the U.S.A., no one should have to do jury duty more than once. πŸ˜‰

    1. Good for you. Thanks, Vashti.

  28. Good advice! I think I might be safe though… Seems that everybody’s name on jury duty starts with a “D”. I have a ways to go before they get to me.

    1. Ha haha. I think you are right. R’s are a long way off. πŸ˜€

    2. Also, thank you for the visit. πŸ˜€

  29. LOL! I’m passing this onto He-Man. He received a summons for Jury Duty last week. These rules might come in handy. πŸ™‚

    1. I think so. Thanks, Deborah. πŸ˜€

  30. Ah jury duty – we don’t have that hear. I bet that could be interesting.

  31. I submitted to jury duty at the start of this year and it was an eye opener on many levels. I would not choose to do it again. This is a funny piece John. Hugs Xx

    1. Thank you, Jan. I’m glad you survived.

  32. […] upgraded to the new electric and cable-driven streetcars. 1 remains         John W. Howell: Top Ten Things Not to Do If You Are Called for Jury Duty         By Mary Frances Knapp: Her Biggest Secret Made Her One of a Kind   […]

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