Jury Service and Why It Should Matter To You
Many people have received the notice or summons for jury service and read it with dread or discontent. Jury service is a civic duty which comes with a meager amount of pay and some degree of inconvenience—no real argument here. However, this is not all of the story. Think about the value of providing fellow citizens with an opportunity to have their disputes and their important legal matters heard by their peers and thereby avoiding some pretty draconian methods of dispute resolution that were used centuries ago.
Now consider some examples closer to home…what if you were seriously injured in a car accident and the at-fault party’s insurance
company wants to pay you a fraction of what you should really receive based on a very minor injury that is unrelated to your current inability to work and return to your normal activities? What if your home was condemned by the State for a superhighway and you disagreed with the monetary value they offered to pay for your property? What if a valued family member was wrongfully accused of embezzlement from work and faced a lengthy jail term unless he could prove his innocence to a jury? In all of these examples a jury is needed to hear the evidence, witnesses, and eventually determine the outcome. What if everyone who received a jury summons bailed out on you and yours when you needed them most?
Click here to read a brief brochure on jury service in North Carolina. And next time you or a family member receives a notice for jury service take it seriously and do your part so long as it does not cause you any major inconvenience. Yes, you will have the opportunity to seek to be excused from jury service but you have to follow the instructions on the notice. Best to you and here’s hoping you have the privilege of jury service some day.