You did it! You finally retired, made the transition to full-timing, or took an extended amount of time off of work to travel the road and camp. Nothing but you and the open road, forest, desert, beach, or wherever your travels have taken you.
Then, out of the blue, you get a letter in the mail. Or, if you’re like me you get a call from a family member that stopped over your house and picked up your mail. That little piece of mail is telling you that you have to go all the way back home and possibly sit in court. That little piece of paper is a Jury Summons…
You’re nowhere close to home and you know it’s one of your civil duties, just like taxes. So what do you do?
First, if you can return in time or the date on the summons is not an issue then go. If you are not able to make the date listed in the summons here are some steps.
- Find a point of contact with the court that sent the summons. It can be email, phone, or even mailing address.
- Contact the court and explain your situation as early as you can.*
- Wait for feedback.
- Based on the feedback you’ll either have to go or are exempt this time.
*Here is a list of State courts in the US. If your summons is for a district-level court please google it to get the official website.
The steps above are how to complete the process, here are some tips and information I gathered from other campers about the process.
- Be polite, honest, and explain the situation you are in.
- Contact the court as early as possible, don’t wait until a week before the summon date.
- Some states have a “one free pass” meaning you able to get out of jury duty only once. Make sure you ask or read the court standards.
Overall, no one likes being summoned but it is part of being a citizen. Please do not abuse these tips to get out of jury duty if you are able to attend.