It can happen to the best of us. Nine-year-olds; German shepherds; even Mr. T. And most of us will do our best to avoid them, civic duty and civil penalties be damned. There are the run-of-the-mill jury duty excuses, like sickness or upcoming vacation. And then there are the stranger ones: I get claustrophobic; I don’t work well with others; or I hate cops.
And then there are these — easily the weirdest things people have said or done to get out of jury duty.
It’s always a bad idea to talk about how you got away with your crimes after committing them. Especially when you show up to jury duty in hair curlers, clown makeup, a t-shirt, a dress skirt, reindeer socks, and two different shoes, and tell the judge, “Yeah, I have mental issues.”
That said, what you wear to court could perhaps get you kicked out of the jury pool. James Lowe, of Barnet, Vermont, showed up decked out in a black-and-white-striped prisoner jumpsuit, complete with matching beanie, and was dismissed from jury duty.
We weren’t aware convicted rapist, cannibal, and serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer had many friends. But popular cartoonist John Backdef calmly explained to a judge, “I had a close friend in high school that killed 17 people.” In fact, Backdef had authored a soon-to-be released graphic novel titled “My Friend Dahmer.” Needless to say, he was dismissed from the jury pool.
You probably have pretty good reasons if you’re changing your name from Dorothy Lola Killingworth to Jesus Christ. But one added benefit is that your new moniker is likely too disruptive to the jury pool for service.
Most people fake a doctor’s note to get out of jury duty. Not Mona Lisa Tello, who forged a jury summons and got paid $3,300 while skipping out on 15 days of work.
We don’t give legal advice here, but we don’t recommend trying any of these. Shirking jury duty can get you contempt charges (even if you’re a breastfeeding mom) or punished with even more jury duty. So talk to a local lawyer if you really need to avoid jury duty.