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Financial Tidbits on Jury Duty

April 14, 2011

I have been on jury duty since March 30th (with two days off).  What a pain!

I have to admit, it came at an ok time as far as work goes.  This was by design, as I was able to choose the date that I’d postpone it to, and I deliberately chose the week after a major project milestone.  Several of my coworkers with kids were out last week as well, so… hopefully it hasn’t inconvenienced anyone much.  It is never a good time, but this certainly isn’t the WORST time.

Jury duty isn’t really the reason I haven’t been writing much, but it is a part of it.  More on that a little later, I think.  For now, here are some financial tidbits about jury duty in Los Angeles.

  • Jurors get paid $15 each day, except for the first day.  We are also reimbursed for one-way mileage of 34 cents per a mile.
  • Companies must excuse you from work during jury duty with no consequence to your job.  They do not have to pay you.
  • You can usually get out for financial hardship reasons… if it actually is a financial hardship for you to serve.  If your job doesn’t pay, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are excused.
  • My company pays me my regular salary while I am on jury duty.  There is no limit on the number of days they will pay, but many companies cap it at 2 weeks or so.
  • I get to keep the $15/day.  Some companies require you to turn over your fees if they pay you while you are out.
  • Jury pay is taxed as normal income.
  • If you aren’t assigned to a jury or panel the first day, you are done with your service.  I think most people do end up getting assigned to a panel.
  • There are no working water fountains and bottled water is $1 for 12 oz.  This is really annoying.  Of course I  bring some of my own, but I like to drink a lot of water.
  • If you are assigned to a jury, they MIGHT provide you with water or coffee.   Today was the first day we were offered either.
  • There are a lot of good cheap lunch places downtown.  I’ve been taking full advantage of all my lunch breaks and exploring downtown.  I typically don’t spend a lot of time in that area, so it has been pretty nice.  The cheapest lunch is the one you pack yourself, however, I’ve been using my jury pay to have a lunch out.
  • You get free admission to some museums downtown.  I visited the MOCA a day or two ago.

Jury duty has been an interesting experience, but also a lot of waiting around.  I don’t know if this is typical or just the case I’m on.  I’m certainly ready for it to be over, but it has been an interesting pause in my usual daily routines.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. April 14, 2011 2:19 pm

    JEALOUS!

    I’ve been wanting to be on a jury for YEARS, but it’s yet to happen. I was summoned a couple of years ago, but released the day before I was scheduled to show up and told I wouldn’t be summoned for at least another two years. Bummer!

    I’ve never understood why people hate jury duty so much and try to get out of it. First of all, it’s part of being a responsible citizen, and I’d like to hope that if I were ever on trial, I’d have the benefit of a fair and impartial jury, rather than a bunch of people who would rather be elsewhere. And second, it’s time away from work, and who doesn’t love that?

  2. April 14, 2011 2:51 pm

    Wow, your jury duty deal doesnt sound too bad. I got called when I was 18, and never want to go back. they put me on a trial and it was horrible. I just hope that they dont pull my number again anytime soon.

    • SP permalink*
      April 14, 2011 4:50 pm

      What was so horrible?!

      You still sound traumatized!

  3. April 14, 2011 3:04 pm

    I have never been called to jury duty and I do vote. I know that some states only pull voters but my state pulls everybody. I do know that certain occupations are hardly ever picked for jury duty and my occupation happens to be one where we often do get picked. My husband was on a jury quite a few years back and he liked it. It was a long, publicized trial, lasting almost a month. I wonder if the jury duty pay varies by state. $15 per day doesn’t sound like very much for CA.

    • SP permalink*
      April 14, 2011 4:48 pm

      I’m sure that jury pay does vary by state, and maybe even by city/county. I don’t believe the $15/day is really meant so much as “pay” as sort of… preventing serving on the jury from actually costing people money. I don’t think 15/day is much for anywhere!

      LA county has such a huge need for jurors that most people get called every few years or so. They get it from DMV id cards or driver’s licenses here, I think. But most people don’t actually end up having to serve on a trial.

    • Gustavo Rodriguez permalink
      December 4, 2011 2:01 am

      It does vary by state and county. I moved to las Vegas and served as a juror. They hook it up, I got 30 bucks each day, plus 40 cents per mile. In the end I would get 40 dollars a day. I was in a jury for almost a month in LA, in the end I got $205.00. Plus the money I lost not working. LA county sucks!!!

  4. April 15, 2011 9:00 am

    UGH. I seem to get called every year. Your post reminds me that I was set to serve in May but called for a transfer of location and they said that I would get another summons. I never got that so I guess I should call them. I don’t want to get into trouble by not showing up!

  5. April 15, 2011 12:27 pm

    I was called and served as an alternate on a jury a few years ago (also in Cali). Being an alternate is the worst because you have to sit through the entire trial but never get to voice your opinion (well, unless something happens to one of the other jurors)! You also don’t get to deliberate with your co-jurors so you wait on standby. The nice thing is that the court will call you and let you know when a decision is made and what the decision was so you have some closure, but otherwise it feels like a giant waste of time.

  6. Tammi permalink
    February 12, 2013 6:05 pm

    15$ day???, does counsel get that, or the tax paid judges? Joke.

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