I was recently contacted by Fresno County superior court to serve as a juror for potential juror. Unfortunately due to my IV IG treatments I found that making the phone calls and being coherent during that couple of days following made it difficult for me to keep up with the phone called to see if it was necessary for me to serveor not.unfortunately the process is followed up by an intimidating letter that indicates you alluded to be find or sentenced to time jail if you’re unable to respond. I contacted the Fresno county Superior Court jury system and ask what I needed to do. One of the office assistance indicated that Ineeded a doctors note for an excuse for from jury service. I contacted my doctor it took a couple weeks to get the appointment made in the letter written. I took a N and I was surprised that I received little information from the jury service assistant assistance.
I pursued the manner that the matter with the office staff in order to find a means so that people such as my myself on that are you there on medications that can inhibit the cognitive ability or the alertness to serve on a jury and provide a fair service to anyone that may be accused of a crime… My concern was if I were accused of a crime would somebody serving on the jury panel be fully aware and in control of their faculties during the time period in which a trial run going. Based on my own thinking I requested the requirements for a long term excusal from jury service from Fresno County Superior Court I was able to contact Sherry Spears the court division manager where it she informed me that there are not any hard and fast guidelines in place at this time for Fresno County and that many counties have guidelines in which they work from I’ve asked that should anybody else be in the same position as myself how should they addressed their medical condition with jury service.
We are currently in discussions as to the most effective means for getting individuals suffering from a chronic illness that medications can leave them debilitated can receive and exemption for the time periods even if they extend for several years. I’m hopeful that the information that I received from the Fresno county Superior Court jury in public service divisionWill be in a format that I can pass along to others so that they may avoid some of the embarrassment and the difficulties that I ran into.
I would be curious to know if anyone has dealt with this matter before and what they have been able to come up with so as not to have to annually need to request a exemption or if this has even arisen.
I firmly believe that it is everybody’s responsibility to serve on the jury one called I also firmly believe that in order for someone to receive a fair trial by their peers their peers must be at all times while serving in control of their faculties and cognitive ability to understand information presented to them in order for an individual to receive a fair trial.
I was surprised during this process to find that there is not a policy in place in Fresno County I was also surprised to find out that there is little notification that is available to indicate to a prospective juror that has a chronic illness of what is necessary or what rules are to be used in requesting a long-term exemption. I was also embarrassed and felt that it was inappropriate for my personal information to have to be spread throughout so many different people and the potential of having to explain this information in front of large groups of people that either would not or did not have the knowledge or understanding or any medical background to understand what I was speaking about.
Wish me luck I’ve never been disabled until the last couple of years and it has been an eye-opener for the difficulties that many people have dealt with and continue to deal with it humbles me.