Thursday, November 16, 2006

Getting Out Of Jury Duty With The Help Of Court Security Programs

I wrote about getting out of jury duty a while back. For obvious reasons this blog gets hundreds of hits from Google searches on this subject.

For the jury system to work we need a cross section of the community, not just the retired, or factory and government workers actually sitting on juries. Do we expect the doctors, lawyers, cops and business people to line up with simple and obedient servants for this duty any time soon?That just won't happen. The system is nearly broken and I’m not going to help repair it in any way.

In the last three decades the judges and court clerks have felt the need to frisk Americans before they enter public buildings. More than need it was truly a case of monkey see, monkey do.

The court bureaucrats get around the Fourth Amendment, Constitutional search issues by arguing that such searches are by your consent since you do not have to enter the courthouse at all. If you refuse to be searched they will simply deny your admittance.

That all changes when you’ve been summoned or subpoenaed as a juror or witness in a court case. They are demanding for you to appear but now also demanding that you submit to being frisked like a common thief under arrest.

I’d simply tell the security folks they post at their checkpoints that you are there in response at the courts direction but you refuse to be searched. The security people will look at you like you just arrived from Mars on a flying saucer. They just won’t know what to do other than invite you to leave. Make a note of the date and time and get a name or a number for the person who kicked you out and unknowingly excused you from your duty.

Write a letter to the person, court or other official telling them you responded but were not allowed into the courthouse. It will be impossible for anyone to cite or hold you in contempt of court since you actually responded as ordered. You need not waive your Constitutional rights just to make some court official happy.

This method is rarely used because the sheep have not yet learned to do this. Refusing to be searched is in no way refusing to respond to service as a witness or juror.

The reality is that if you’re there for jury duty they will quietly excuse you in hopes that this does not spread like wildfire and shut down their courts.

As a witness you should inform the lawyer by phone that subpoenaed you and tell him you wouldn’t submit to being searched. That may bring a delay in the case but if they need you count on being escorted in without being searched because the judge can make that happen.

If people begin doing this they will have to change their ways and let people responding to these invitations in without being searched simply be showing your summons or subpoena.

Feel free to hand over copies of my article to anyone and everyone that takes exception to your refusal to be frisked, fondled or otherwise molested without probable cause or a warrant under these circumstances.


Anonymous said...

Hey Paul, I've heard a certain L.A. County Judge wants your head over this article. He said you're right and can really make problems for their entire security program.

He read you blog after a court deputy passed it around yesterday.

Anonymous said...

As a lawyer I have to pay for a special bypass card in the county court and have to go through this in our federal court. I hate it and hope yo make enough trouble for the vile practice to change it for the better.