(Last updated June 16, 2005)

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family friendly jury duty for Massachusetts!    Page 1

Family Friendly Jury Duty initiative for Massachusetts

A Family Friendly Jury Duty initiative was filed ( Senate Bill 2225) for the 2003-2004 Session of Massachusetts’ General Assembly.  Unfortunately, SB 2225 did not pass.  Currently, efforts are underway to resubmit the bill for the next legislative session. 

 

SB 2225, AN ACT EXEMPTING CERTAIN PERSONS FROM JURY DUTY , would have allowed  persons having custody of and who are solely responsible for the daily supervision of a child under the age of 10 the option to claim disqualification from Jury Duty service in a Massachusetts State Court.

 

Currently, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires that a stay-at-home parent serve Jury Duty in a State Court without regard to whether or not alternative childcare is available for that family.  Many stay-at-home parents do not have immediate access to full-time childcare that is safe, affordable, and adequate.  This presents an awful predicament for both the parent and the children involved.

 

A stay-at-home parent who does have access to alternative childcare would, of course, still be allowed to serve on Jury Duty.  But for those stay-at-home parents who do not have access to appropriate childcare, this law would allow them to postpone Jury Duty service until their children are older.

 

Those of us who are stay-at-home parents certainly understand and respect our civic duty to our state and country to serve on Jury Duty.  And we look forward to fulfilling this duty for many years to come.  But we need to ask that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts acknowledges our duty to the safety and well-being of our young children first.

 

How can you help:

If you would like to help enact this worthwhile, compassionate legislation, please contact:

·           Senator Steven Panagiotakos, sponsor of SB 2225,and tell him you support family friendly jury duty legislation and would like to see a similar bill filed for the next legislative session.

·           Your Massachusetts Senator  Ask him/her to file a family friendly jury duty bill similar to the 2003-04 session’s SB 2225.

·           Click here for a sample letter you may use for this purpose, if you wish.

 

If you have any questions about this legislation, please contact:

Elizabeth S. Bridge at ebridge@charter.net

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