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If you have been mistreated by the Courts in this way, or if you know of others that have, please click on the letter to e-mail me and share your story!

Nebraska Hall of SHAME! p1

Nebraska

Valerie Detour was summoned for jury duty for a high-profile trial by the Madison County Courthouse in Madison, Nebraska, set for February 2004.  Valerie, a stay-at-home mother of three small children (none of them in school yet) called the court and asked to be excused, claiming undue hardship and extreme inconvenience since she had no family or friends available to baby sit, and her husband could not take time off work to watch the kids.  Plus, Valerie and her husband could not afford to place all three of their children in daycare for a whole month; never mind the difficulty of finding a daycare willing to take care of her children on a temporary basis.

She was told by the clerk to FAX a letter stating why she couldn’t serve.  The clerk then made a very rude remark about Valerie being a stay-at-home mother, telling her it was ridiculous that Valerie had never used day care. 

When Valerie asked the clerk if she could bring her kids when she reported for jury duty, the clerk said she wouldn’t advise it because the judge would hold her in

contempt of court. 

 

Later, a letter from the judge arrived, denying Valerie’s request to be excused

The judge stated,  “I am not excusing you from jury service.  I realize that this may result in some inconvenience for you, but it is important that citizens step forward when they are asked to perform this civic obligation.” 

Isn’t it just , if not more,important” for Valerie to carry out her family obligation?   Valerie’s children are not some mere “inconvenience”, they are human beings that depend solely upon their mother for their needs.  They can’t just be put up on a shelf while Valerie performs her civic duty!  

Yes, jury duty is important... but can’t it wait until Valerie’s children are older and not in need of her constant care?

 

Valerie had to speak to the secretary when she called the Court the other day, since the clerk had to rush home to a sick kid.  It’s ironic that the clerk was excused from her court “duty” so she could care for her child, but Valerie wasn’t excused from her jury “duty” so she could care for *her* three children!

Hall of Shame!

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