How I get out of jury duty


I received my official jury summons this month. Every few years it arrives and each time I send the following letter back to them. I never hear from them again until a few years later, when I get another jury summons. Feel free to use this template if you want to easily get out of jury duty. Modify where necessary.

LDS Anarchist
123 Anarchy Lane
Anarchism City, Anarcho-State 12345-6789

July 11, 2008

Mr. Some Guy
Manager, Juror Services Division
Office of the Jury Commissioner
PO Box 123456
Anarchism City, Anarcho-State 12345-6789

Re; JID Number – 012345678

Dear Mr. Guy,

I have recently received a “Juror Summons” in the mail. This is my response to the Summons. In order to know if I am “qualified” to be a juror, I must complete the Juror Affidavit Questionnaire. I notice that I am expected to sign the Affidavit under penalty of perjury. In light of this fact, and to insure that I fully understand the legal terms being used on the Affidavit and the nature of the duty that may fall upon me in this matter, I will need your office to provide me with certain information.

1. In the Juror Affidavit Questionnaire section, question 1, I am being asked if I am a “citizen of the United States”. Please provide me with the statutory definition that you are using for the term “citizen of the United States” in question 1. Please include the source of the definition so that it may be seen in proper context.

2. In the Juror Affidavit Questionnaire section, question 4, I am being asked if I am a “resident” of Anarchism County. Please provide me with the statutory definition that you are using for the term “resident” in question 4. Please include the source of the definition so that it may be seen in proper context.

3. In the Juror Affidavit Questionnaire section (step 2) it instructs a person to sign the affidavit under penalty of perjury. Please provide me with your authority to compel me to affix my signature to any document (including the affidavit) under penalty of perjury.

You may mail your response to the address shown at the top of this page. I appreciate your assistance in this matter.

Sincerely,

LDS Anarchist

Thanks goes out to Original Intent for providing me this jury summons response letter which I’ve now used many times. It works every time and it feels good to assert my rights. Hats off to you guys.

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16 Comments

  1. Hmmm, I’ve been on ONE 1/2 day civil jury in the last 30 years. (Before I took the red pill). I haven’t decided what to do if I get another summons. If there is any chance that I could rule against the government I might be tempted to ‘serve’.

    Thanks for the template in case I decide to bail.

  2. I just throw the summons away and pretend like I didn’t receive it.

    Jurors have a very important function:

    “I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.”
    —Thomas Jefferson, 1789 letter to Thomas Paine

    “The jury has the right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy.”
    —John Jay, first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court

    It is important that potential jurors understand their right of “jury nullification”!

    This business about citizenship is B.S., though. It is entrapment. You are better off as a 14th Amendment slave than as someone who has renounced citizenship through official channels.

    “The [14th] amendment provides a broad definition of United States citizenship, superseding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford that had excluded slaves imported from Africa and their descendants.”

    “Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

    Actually, State citizenship is sometimes dependent upon qualifications defined in that State’s constitution (some require 2 years of residency for state citizenship or property ownership to be a “freeholder”, etc.). I think we are also citizens of the States in which we’re born (by way of our birth certificates). So I am a citizen of the U.S.A. (and subject to the U.S. Code), I am a citizen of Missouri (where I reside) and Iowa (where I was born).

  3. ed42, glad to help, if ever needed.

    Derek, the citizenship I always assert is of the State I was born into and nothing else. Even when filling out forms that have a check box for “U.S. citizen,” I cross off “U.S.” and put “of the State of _____” after “citizen.” My understanding is that I have more rights with that type of citizenship, than of any other kind.

    I would love to use jury nullification, but I know I’d never be called to be on a jury. They usually don’t want anarchists. It is unfortunate that most juries do not know of jury nullification, as we might live in a very different country (no income tax, etc.)

    Btw, don’t you feel guilty pretending never to have received the summons? (Of course, I’ve never looked up the definition of “receive” in Black’s Law Dictionary, so maybe one of the legal terms allows you to do this without being dishonest.)

  4. I’ve never had a problem not showing up for jury selection, so I have had no chance to be dishonest. If they came after me for not showing up and I had received the summons in a timely manner, I would probably just say, “Oh, yeah, I didn’t go.” I receive jury & voter information at a residence that I do not frequent, so the few jury summonses I’ve gotten usually get to me very late anyhow.

    But, hey, I never sent in my draft card either.

    If you wanna talk legalese and rights, then never hire an attorney to represent you before the court, appear ‘pro se’ when possible and hire a lawyer for advice if needed. The process of having someone represent you proves your negligence to represent yourself, so you become a ward of the court by operation of law. As ignorance of the law is consent under the law, people make themselves wards of the court every time they hire an attorney to represent them. The attorney’s ethical contract is first to the execution of justice and the interests of the court, and second the interests of the client. All of this is quite clearly spelled out in the “attorney/client relationship” chapters of most legal dictionaries.

  5. In all cases I’ve gone to court, I’ve always appeared pro se. I remember one particular case of traffic court, in which I was assigned a public pretender (public defender) who I summarily dismissed. (He was incredulous that I would do that.) Then I walked in and challenged the jurisdiction of the court on the basis that there was no complaint (as the police officer had never signed under penalty of perjury that I had committed any crime or infraction on the ticket–and they never do). The judge ridiculed me in front of the audience (making sure that no one in the court would attempt to do the same thing I was doing.) He then lied before the court, entered a plea of not guilty (as I would not plead either guilty or innocence, as I was challenging jurisdiction and with a plea of guilty or innocence, the court’s jurisdiction is established–this is how they get around the need of a complaint signed under penalty of perjury, as no cop wants to perjure him or herself) and sent me out of court. I forget all that happened with that case, but I remember that the transcript of the court session was conveniently “missing” (as the judge didn’t want me to have a written copy of the lie he was caught in) and I remember going to Superior Court and filing a writ of habeas corpus. I also remember asking that the whole case go to trial with a jury and all (for a traffic case!) and receiving a date and everything. When I showed up for the trial, I discovered that all charges had been dropped and there was no record of my ever having a court case.

    Technically, I didn’t “win” that case as it was as if there never “was” a case. Still, it was instructive that at least traffic court does not follow the legal necessity of a written complaint signed under penalty of perjury, but instead relies upon the perception of the general public that they must plead guilty or innocence in order to establish the court’s jurisdiction. If everyone was aware of these facts, and put this information into practice, traffic court would grind to a halt. It is, after all, just a means of the State making money. They don’t care about your guilt or innocence.

  6. I have “self-amended charges” before in traffic court. Just ask the prosecutor if you can “self-amend charges”, and they’ll reduce your moving violation to a non-moving violation and increase the fine. This is something most people pay a lawyer $200 to do for them, but anyone can do it themselves just knowing the right jargon: “self-amend charges”.

    I also represented myself while being prosecuted for marijuana possession in a podunk town. I was able to avoid probation by getting the prosecutor to recommend only a fine and no jail (probation can be given only to deffer a jail sentence). I dressed nice, stood in the line for lawyers to speak with the village’s council, and I just told the prosecutor, “I’ve looked up the criminal code for my violation, up to $500 fine and/or up to 90 days incarceration; I want to tell you I can afford the fine, but I work a regular job and I cannot afford any jail time.” He assured me he would not recommend jail. I asked to also “self-amend charges” on my speeding ticket, but he denied that.

    I got set straight by the judge in that case because I spoke out of turn, informing the prosecutor that I had all the cash and was prepared to pay the fine before he made a recommendation to the judge of what the fine should be. Well, duh, if I have max cash, he’ll impose max fine. Some judges are cool like that, especially if you treat them with respect, they’ll give you the tips you need along the way. In my case, the judge was basically saying, “Dude, you could’ve saved money if you didn’t let the prosecutor know you had $500!”

  7. Dear LDS Anarchist,

    I tried the letter you put up on your website and the Office of the Jury Commissioner mailed me back! (This is in San Diego County, CA for your reference.) The letter (doesn’t seem like a form letter) asserts the following:

    1. In response to your question about citizenship, the United States Constitution, Article 13, Section 1, states as follows: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and the State wherein they reside.”

    2. In response to your question about being a resident of San Diego County, according to Government Code Section 244, in determining the place of residence for jury service, “It is the place where one remains when not called elsewhere for labor or other special or temporary purpose, and to which he or she returns in seasons of repose.”

    3. In response to your third question that requests the authority that requires you to affix your signature to the summons form under penalty of perjury. Persuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 210, the information requested on the Jury Summons form is determined by the jury commissioner. Code of Civil Procedure section 196(a) provides in pertinent part that the “commissioner or the court may require any person to answer, under oath, orally or in written form, all questions as may be addressed to that person regarding the person’s qualifications and ability to serve as a prospective juror.”

    It seems like they answered all the questions…thought it probably took them plenty of time (2 months). Do you think I have any valid response? or am I done?

  8. Well, your being done depends upon whether you are a fourteenth amendment citizen (a “federal citizen”), whether Government Code Section 244 actually does apply to residency of prospective jurors, and if it does apply, whether you are a resident of that county, and whether Code of Civil Procedure section 196(a) applies to the jury summons form and not just to people appearing before the court. I suggest you go to the local law library, dig out those codes and look up the references to determine whether or not you fit the description. If you don’t fit the description, you can legally say no to this citizenship definition, no to this residency definition and refuse to sign the form.

    You might also want to forward the response you received to Original Intent and get their opinion on the matter.

  9. Try this one in Australia

  10. So how do you know that each time it worked? Isn’t it possible that each time you could have called in and the cased could have been canceled. This happens very often. Once to me and have heard it happening alot to others.

  11. I suppose that’s a possibility.

  12. Okay so I sent the letter. I received a notice requesting that I call in to discuss the jury service request. Should I call to explain myself or just ignore it?

  13. Personally, I prefer the paper trail. I would write them back and say to send the answers in writing. But that’s just me.

  14. I’ve uploaded a copy of the letter detailing how I got out of jury duty:

    https://archive.org/details/CAResponse

  15. While it is laudable that you live what you believe, you could have actually saved somebody’s life (from being ruined by the court system) by actually sitting on the jury and acquitting the person.

  16. Hi jackdale76, There are many “what if” scenarios but, as far as I’m aware, if a defendant is in court for a serious crime the jury would need to pass a unanimous verdict of “guilty”. A single “not guilty” verdict from one jury member will not acquit the person but just slow down the court and/or possibly stall the trial. If my ideology wrecks a trial the judge would wonder why I didn’t apply to be excused from jury service rather than wasting the courts time and taxpayers money. However with all that said if they didn’t accept my request to be excused from jury duty it may well have come down to this but at least by sending a letter in advance I’m covered from the judge’s wrath!


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