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The Jury’s No Longer Out On Whether They Need An Update

, , , | Legal | March 30, 2019

(I’ve moved from one end of the country to another. Occasionally, my dad still gets a piece of mail with my name on it. Usually, it’s just junk mail, but if it looks official, he’ll open it for me to make sure it’s nothing super important. One day, it’s a jury summons, and we’re both stumped because I haven’t lived in the state, much less his house, in five years. I call his county clerk’s office.)

Me: “Hi. Um, I’m not entirely sure what to do in this situation. My dad got a jury summons for me the other day but–“

Clerk: “Then you need to report on the day indicated.”

Me: “Yes, but I can’t because-“

Clerk: “If you don’t show, you’ll have a bench warrant out for you.”

Me: “Yes, I know, but the thing is, I don’t live at that address anymore.”

Clerk: “Oh, then we need to update our records.”

Me: “I’ll say. I don’t even live in the same state as you and haven’t in several years. I’ve also gotten married, and the summons has my maiden name, not my legal name.”

Clerk: “Oh! Well, we get our records through the DMV.”

Me: “Right, well, I also haven’t had a license registered to that state in five years; I changed it when I moved, and then when I moved again, and then I updated it when I got married, so I’m not sure why your DMV gave you such outdated information. But anyway, I’m obviously not going to be able to go to this jury duty, so what should I do?”

Clerk: “Your dad is going to have to come in a sign a few things stating that you don’t live there anymore and it should be taken care of, but are you sure you can’t come in? I know jury duty can be a pain but–“

Me: “Er, I live thousands of miles away. That’s kind of why I’m calling.”

Clerk: *sigh* “If you say so. Just have your dad bring the summons in and fill out a form and we’ll take care of it.”

(I get a phone call a few days later.)

Caller: “Hello, is this Miss [Maiden Name]?

Me: “That was my maiden name, yes, but I’m Mrs. [Married Name] now.”

Caller: “Ah, yes, I see that. We’ve gotten your request about your jury duty summons, and I’m calling to let you know you don’t have to come to this jury panel.”

Me: “Okay, great!”

Caller: “The next group we have you in will meet in two weeks–“

Me: “Woah, woah, woah. Let me stop you right there. I need to not be in any groups in your county — actually, in your entire state. If you’ll look at the information I’m assuming you have in front of you, you’ll see my father filled out a form and gave you my new address.”

Caller: “Yes, I have that information right here.”

Me: “Perfect. Could you do me a favor and read back what state I live in now?”

Caller: “Zip code is… Oh. OH.”

Me: “Yeah, sorry to tell you, but your records really need an upgrade because I’ve moved states twice since I was a teenager, and I’ve gotten married. I’m legally not a resident of your state anymore. Please stop trying to summon me thousands of miles away for jury duty with really outdated records.”

Caller: “Er, yes. I will… take care of this. Have a good day!” *click*

(Turns out a few of my other hometown friends who’ve moved states have had this happen to them as well. One actually had to go to court because they had no idea they’d been summoned and had a bench warrant out for their arrest! Luckily, it was cleared up very quickly with just a few pieces of mail, their ID, and an understanding judge. I’m glad my father still lives at our old address, though; I can’t imagine the hassle I would have had to go through if my summons had just been thrown out.)

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