(Last updated April 19, 2005)

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New Jersey Hall of Shame!  p1

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!

New Jersey

M. G. was summoned for jury duty by the Mercer County Courthouse in Trenton New Jersey in April 2004.  M. G., mother of FIVE children under the age of eight, including a set of 3-year-old twins, wrote a letter requesting to be excused since she is the primary caregiver for her family, and that jury service would be a severe hardship for her and her family.  M. G. indicated she would be glad to serve when her children are older, but at this point in her life, her responsibility is to be with and take care of her family.

 

When she didn’t hear back from the court, she assumed her excuse was accepted. 

She was surprised when she received another summons in September 2004.

 

M.G. again asked to be excused, but this time the Mercer County Court rejected her request.  To make matters worse, M. G. wasn’t notified that her request had been denied until she received a letter the day that she was supposed to report to court! 

 

When she called the court and said she couldn’t find immediate child-care arrangements, they postponed her service once again for seven months, leaving the stay-at-home mom wondering how to find care for her FIVE children in April 2005, her next summons date.

 

“This is my job,” M.G. said.  “I have kids I’m caring for.  I have no other employment.  How is my case going to change in April?”

 

When the reporter contacted the state’s administrative officer of the courts, he showed a complete lack of concern for the welfare of M. G. and her five young children.  Instead, he defended the court, saying, “...with appropriate notice, someone might be able to arrange for alternative care.”

 

Excerpts taken from: “For jury duty, even moms must report”, by Karen Ayers, The Trenton Times, Trenton, N.J., October 12, 2004, http://www.nj.com/times

 

What possible reason did the court have to put M. G. and her five children through this bureaucratic jungle?

It seems they were just being mean, because New Jersey Permanent Statute Title 2B:20-10. (3) ALREADY excuses a juror with “a personal obligation to care for ... a minor child, who requires the juror’s personal care and attention…”

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