Jury duty questionnaire in Ontario
September 29, 2006 1:49 PM   Subscribe

Realistically, what will happen to me if I don't return my "Questionnaire as to Qualifications for Jury Service" in Ontario?

I know what the attorney general *says* will happen ($5000 fine, 6 months in prison.) But people must ignore these things all the time, right? Have any MeFites done it, and suffered consequences?

(And FWIW, I know jury duty is my responsibility as a citizen. I'm just curious here, is all.)
posted by ParsonWreck to Law & Government (7 answers total)
I'd imagine they don't have any proof you got it unless they sent it through a certified mail method.
posted by zek at 2:10 PM on September 29, 2006

I have always sent in my form (and been called for jury duty), but I've heard (yes, hearsay) of people being called by a court clerk to see why they haven't sent in their questionnaire, indicating they probably will give you a few chances to make amends before they slap you in irons and actually bring formal legal procedings into the picture.

The last time I was selected for jury duty (about a year ago) they phoned me the week before and told me not to show up, I guess because the courts were full up on all the potential jurors they could handle.
posted by cardboard at 2:17 PM on September 29, 2006

I live in NYC and I got that call. I probably threw it out thinking it was junk mail, if I got it at all (don't get me started on our local mail service). A subsequent questionnaire did come, and I got tapped for jury duty about a month later. Thankfully, it's only 1 day here now if you don't get put on a case.
posted by mkultra at 2:26 PM on September 29, 2006

I had exactly the same experience as cardboard, but a couple of weeks ago. A few days before my jury selection date I got a call telling me it had been "cancelled indefinitely" which was nice, as I'd booked vacation time months earlier.
posted by lowlife at 2:44 PM on September 29, 2006

in michigan, i was in the middle of a move and forgot about it ... i found it about a month past the time i was supposed to have sent it in, filled it out and mailed it

in time, i got a regular summons for jury duty ... when i got there, no one said a word about it - i doubt they even knew
posted by pyramid termite at 7:08 PM on September 29, 2006

I had the exact same experience as both cardboard and lowlife.

I got the questionnaire last year, filled it out and sent it away. A year later I got a summons to report for jury selection which was cancelled the week before the selection. Fine by me as I'm a grad student and can't afford time away from my job (that is, if I ever want to graduate).
posted by LunaticFringe at 6:30 AM on September 30, 2006

Best answer: If Ontario's like NYC, they'll send you another questionnaire; if you don't send that one in either, you'll get a court summons; if you don't respond, they'll send a second summons; if you don't respond to that, you're subject to contempt of court, and a bench warrant is issued. Potential fines and jail stints increase at each level.

Once you reach the point of being summoned, you will be fined but the judge probably won't impose the full amount (depending on your reasons for not responding, previous service, etc.). If you don't pay the fine within a certain period of time (10 days in NYC), a default judgment is entered against you, which will show up if you apply for a credit card, mortgage, etc.

Just fill the thing out and send it in. Bureaucracy grinds slow but it does grind exceedingly small.
posted by vetiver at 8:35 AM on September 30, 2006

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