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Jury Service - Carers UK Forum

Jury Service

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A decision about whether or not I am elligle to attend jury service was made in just 15 minutes today.
I am a full time carer for my partner, who is disabled following a stroke 10 years ago and Rhumatoid Arthritis more recently. I got a form 2 days ago to fill in and return to say that I was available for jury service. Because of my partners lack of mobility I have to attend to her frequently during the day. It is going to be very difficult if I am away all day doing jury service.
I sent an email, ellaborating on my daily tasks, to the Jurers Management team and also mentioned that our Doctor is sending me a letter confirming my partners mobility problems. But despite all this I got a reply within 15 minutes stating:

Unfortunately, at this time, being a carer is not grounds for exemption. I would therefore be grateful if you could complete and return your Form of Return in the pre-paid envelope provided.
Is this the usual response to carers or has any other carers received a sympathic response to their situation?
Derek,
I have asked about this elsewhere,if I get any answers, I will let you know.Hopefully someone from Carers UK will see this and be able to advise you. It must be a big worry.
I was called up about 13 year ago and I told them my husband was disabled with spina bifida and I was exempted. Keep on trying. You might need to be a little more assertive and tell them you will have to claim expenses for full-time carer if you do have to go and tell them the cost - that might make them think twice?
Thank you both for taking the time to reply.

I should probably point out that I come under the N Ireland court system, just in case it is different than the English system (I don't really know much about either).

And, Lily, although I am a full time carer, I do work full-time as well for an employer from home. So I think that I would probably be claiming for loss of earnings anyway, but thanks for the suggestion.

I am worried about how we are going to manage and I do not understand why the courts can't see the problems it will cause.
I wrote and told them I was caring for someone with severe learning difficulties and was excused without a problem. Does the Disability Discrimination legislation apply in Northern Ireland. If so, they have a duty to make "reasonable adjustments" for you as a carer, I think.
I would make an appointment with the gp
My partner spoke to our Doctor yesterday on the phone and explained our concerns. He wrote a letter, which we received today. In it he confirmed my partner has 'severe disability' and her 'mobility is very poor' and she is 'fully dependant on me for washing, dressing and preparing meals'.
I mentioned I was getting a letter from our Doctor in my email to the Jury Management team yesterday and that I could send it on to them when I received it. But the letter wasn't mentioned at all in their reply email.
I will probably have to send in the form now (because if it goes over 14 days I could be fined £1000). I was thinking of sending another letter, voicing my concerns again, with the form and also a copy of the Doctor's letter. What does anyone else think?
Derek, it's many years since I was last called for Jury Service but I do remember that I had to send in the form and THEN the decision was made as to whether I could be exempted or not. So I would suggest that you fill in the form and send it together with a letter explaining your position and enclosing a copy of the GP's letter to back up your claim to be 'excused' service. It could be worth mentioning, politely of course, that if you do have to attend you will need to include the additional cost of someone to care for your wife with your expenses.

I would also add that it's usually a case of 'many are called, but few are chosen' if they do decide that you have appear; i.e. on the day anything upwards of 50 people could attend but at the end of the day only a few people will actually have to do jury service, the others are thanked and then sent home Image
That is a good point susieq many many years ago my dad was called for jury Service, he had to go, he didnt get picked. But if you can get out of it, all the better. But if needs be you can have a jury service deferral for so long.
I was called for jury service a few years ago, the letter arrived over christmas, and you can probably imaging the panic it caused.

Once I'd calmed down (strong tea, chocolate and sleep work wonders) I replied explaining that, while I was honoured to be asked, I would have to bring my disabled husband with me because there's no available funding to either look after him while I'd be out for several hours, nor to accompany him to & from doctor's appointments, nor to supervise and administer his medication, nor to assist him with washing dressing and er cleaning up after accidents (infrequent, but even so...).

I enclosed a page listing all the attention and supervision which might reasonably be required during court hours (approx 8am-5pm). Likewise the facilities which would be reasonably required if he came with me - day bed, orthopaedic chair, level access, disabled toilet, and somebody to supervise his meals and medication if I wasn't available to do that. A refund of minicab fares there and back would also be necessary as my caree is unable to use public transport without exacerbating his condition.

In the even of no such provision being available I would need to be excused, rather than deferred, as nothing bar a miracle was likely to make my caree need less attention or supervision in the forseeable future.

One fortnight later I got a reply - excused. Can't imagine why. Image