When/how do they get your name for jury duty?
May 27, 2004 4:52 PM   Subscribe

Ok in regard to this thread, how do they get your name for jury duty? I thought it was when you registered to vote. Others say when you register for SS or start filing income taxes. I seriously doubt SS as it only applies to certain people. Any info on where the man gets our names?

This site guesses which.
posted by geoff. to Law & Government (16 answers total)
The answer is it depends on where you live. Examples:

For Ontario, where I currently live:

The process by which juries are selected is described in the Juries Act. The lists of names are taken from the most recent enumeration lists that we obtain from the Ontario Property Assessment Corporation. Names are selected randomly for each county or district and the questionnaires for jury service are mailed based on that criterion.

For BC, where I grew up:

Your name was chosen at random from the B.C. voters’ list. Unless disqualified (see "Do I Qualify to Serve") or exempted (see "Exemptions"), you must attend the jury selection process.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:59 PM on May 27, 2004

Oh my location is Kansas.
posted by geoff. at 5:00 PM on May 27, 2004

How does SS only apply to certain people? Everyone in the US is assigned a social security card at birth, aren't they?
posted by bcwinters at 5:11 PM on May 27, 2004

I've heard that getting a moving violation bumps you to the top of the list in some states. Personally, I got a speeding ticket and the jury duty survey came about a week after the court's mailing. Is this coincidence?
posted by tomorama at 5:14 PM on May 27, 2004

bcwinters: I believe he's referring to Selective Service, not social security.

geoff: It's usually a mix between voter registration and DMV records.
posted by bedhead at 5:14 PM on May 27, 2004

In Alaska, they get it from the PFD (permanent fund dividend) applications.
posted by rhapsodie at 5:25 PM on May 27, 2004

In NC it's definitely NOT voter registration. During college I got called twice in Charlotte (my permanent address, and the address on my driver's license) and never in Chapel Hill (my school address, and where I was registered to vote). Both times I was easily excused. Of course, now that I'd love to serve and easily can, I'll never get called.
posted by Cecilia at 5:29 PM on May 27, 2004

For Oregon, the Handbook for Jurors says

The clerk of the court in your county or judicial district compiles an annual master list of potential jurors. This list draws upon lists of registered voters, licensed drivers and other approved sources. Names are then drawn randomly from the list, and those people are summoned for jury service. If the master list has been exhausted (a rare circumstance) and an immediate need exists, the court may order that jurors be summoned from any source – even from people walking down a public street.

posted by cmonkey at 5:37 PM on May 27, 2004

Oh, and the Kansas specific version of the above.

Jury list are made up of names selected from the voter registration list and driver's license list.
posted by cmonkey at 5:39 PM on May 27, 2004

Everyone in the US is assigned a social security card at birth, aren't they?

I don't know how it is now, but it used to be that you had to apply for it. The hospital didn't do it for you or anything. Some people didn't apply for it until they need a SSN -- say, when they start their first job. I got mine when I was born, but my sister didn't get hers until she was in her teens.
posted by kindall at 5:57 PM on May 27, 2004

It might be the social security number. I'm Canadian, live in the U.S. and have a SS#. I've been asked to serve jury duty even though I'm not allowed to.
posted by substrate at 6:08 PM on May 27, 2004

Since 1991 or so, children have needed a social security number if their parents want to claim them as deductions on their taxes, so its the very very rare person who will get to teen years before they get a SSN. Not that kids born then are being called for jury duty, but just as a point of fact.

Some locales have had such difficulty in maintaining a sufficiently large and diverse juror pool that they have expanded their summons lists to include people culled not only from voter registries and DMV lists but property and business tax rolls, utility company listings and even lists of recent high school graduates. The rules vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and can be changed by the local courts.

It's so easy to excused, deferred or otherwise exempted from even having to show up at the courthouse these days, I don't know why anybody stresses about it.
posted by Dreama at 4:00 AM on May 28, 2004

I believe he's referring to Selective Service, not social security.

Only men have to register for selective service though, yah?

For what it's worth, when I had jury duty (in California), I was told you don't get called unless you have a driver's license and are registered to vote.
posted by DyRE at 11:05 AM on May 28, 2004

When I lived in the midwest (Chicago, St. Louis, and Iowa) it was definitely by voter registration. When I moved to Los Angeles, it was by vehicle registration. I thought it might still have something to do with voter reg. here as well, but I've spoken with a number of people who said they've been called for duty and weren't registered to vote at the time.
posted by scody at 12:50 PM on May 28, 2004

I personally doubt that they cull the social security rolls, since

A) Social Security is a federal program, while the vast majority of juries are convened by state and local authorities

B) States, counties, and municipalities have loads of other sources available to them: voter registrations, vehicle registrations, drivers licences, hunting/fishing/gun licences, tax returns, and so on.

It would not surprise me, however, if federal juries are selected from whatever info (read: lots) the federal govenment has on its citizens, including - though of course not limitted to - social security.

And anyway, all of this is pretty much a moot point. If you can't figure out a way to get out of jury duty, you deserve to serve. Unless of course you consider it your obligation as a citizen, or something.
posted by ChasFile at 1:36 PM on May 28, 2004

geoff., what part of kansas are you from?
posted by bingo at 4:26 PM on May 28, 2004

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