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Jury duty in us


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Hi,

1.I like to ask how US expats do to be exempt from Jury duty since they no longer physically live in us but still get call for jury duty?  

2. They asked me to a copy of my id in Thailand but Thailand never issued any id to foreigners with non-o visa but only stamp for 3 months on passport!  How to get the id?

thank you 

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I can't speak about Thailand but here in the USA I was working in California on a contract and I got summoned for Jury duty back in Florida.  I sent back the form and reason and they gave me a 90 day reprieve.  I called back and told the clerk 90 days won't help, since I would be on the job for 6 or 7 months. She said, tough, that is all they give!  I said, there must be some reasonabelness here.  You can't expect me to leave a job, travel across the country, etc.  She said send a fax letter with the reasons to the judge.  I did and the judge apparently told the clerk to take me off the rolls.  I don't know why they would ask for a Thai ID.  Surely there must be some other documentation they would accept.  If you are permanently out of the USA then your 1040 Tax form address is now in Thailand? Or simply send back the immigration stamp, visa extension, etc.  The state could be nasty and compel you to return stateside or issue a bench warrant, but as with my experience stateside, I have to believe some sense will be made of things

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Are you here in Thailand for a semi short period, then returning to the U.S.?

 

Perhaps two factors perhaps involved with jury calls.

 

First might be the county in the U.S. where you're registered as a voter.  Check that via Google, see what it takes to deregister.  If you want to vote there again via absentee ballot, reregister.

 

I'm here on a Retirement extension so when I got a jury notice, I sent them copies of my passport with with the Retirement extension stamp(s), that seemed to be sufficient.  Then later I got off the country voter list.

 

Mac

 

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I didn't register to vote for many years because I had a job that required me to travel all the time. One of the people I worked with got a warrant served on him for missing jury duty. 

I registered to vote as a non resident of the US last year and voted by mail. That keeps me off the jury duty list.

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I was summoned to do jury service some years ago in UK I was living at the time in Cyprus. Wrote a nice letter back asking for expenses so I could buy a return ticket and book a hotel for the period of jury service. Letter came back informing me I was released from jury service on this occasion and to register as an overseas voter to stop all jury service calls.

Edited by jeab1980
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18 hours ago, gk10002000 said:

I can't speak about Thailand but here in the USA I was working in California on a contract and I got summoned for Jury duty back in Florida.  I sent back the form and reason and they gave me a 90 day reprieve.  I called back and told the clerk 90 days won't help, since I would be on the job for 6 or 7 months. She said, tough, that is all they give!  I said, there must be some reasonabelness here.  You can't expect me to leave a job, travel across the country, etc.  She said send a fax letter with the reasons to the judge.  I did and the judge apparently told the clerk to take me off the rolls.  I don't know why they would ask for a Thai ID.  Surely there must be some other documentation they would accept.  If you are permanently out of the USA then your 1040 Tax form address is now in Thailand? Or simply send back the immigration stamp, visa extension, etc.  The state could be nasty and compel you to return stateside or issue a bench warrant, but as with my experience stateside, I have to believe some sense will be made of things

Same situation here , a couple of months ago I was called to appear for Jury duty in Flagler county Florida. I called talked to a very nice girl in the flagler county clerk of court office, explained that I was a construction manager involved in a project at NYC , was asked how long , I said at least a couple of years, and they gave me an one year reprieve.

I was very surprised because they did not ask for any proof of what I said was true.

Perhaps different counties have different rules , or it depends who you talk to.

To the OP, simply call the clerk of courts in your county and I am sure they will understand.

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The safest response to a jury summons is just to ignore it.  Prosecution or other consequences for failure to report are unknown as far as I can determine.  The safest approach of all is to sever your ties completely with your former state including surrendering your driver's license and removing your name from the voting rolls.  But then, of course, you can't vote.

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Every state has different pools for jury duty; in my state/county/city they used the voter registration roll. In others it might be some combination of tax, voter, driver's license, home ownership, etc. When I received a jury duty summons after moving to Thailand I sent it back with a letter and a lot of documentation supporting my relocation. On my next trip back I went to city hall and removed myself from the voter registration roll.

 

Personally, I wouldn't ignore a summons. Assuming you have left your U.S. domicile permanently I would fashion a letter, and include copies of my passport stamps, travel records, local lease, anything, and send it to both the court and the town/city records office.

 

Depending on your status in Thailand you may be able to get a Certificate of Residence from Thai Immigration, which would support your exclusion from jury duty.

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We've continued to vote in Michigan, the last place where we voted, even though we no longer own property there.  We were advised by the CM Consulate that you should continue to vote in the last place you voted when you left the U.S.  

 

This thread got me to determine how it is that Michigan selects people for jury duty because we did receive summons from time-to-time when we lived there.  Now, a summons would come to our previous address and I'm not certain what the new owners would do, if the post office even delivered the summons to them.

 

A quick google search revealed that Michigan selects jurors from the those who have Michigan drivers licenses or state issued I.D. cards.  Whew!  Our MDLs expired long ago.  One of our first actions in getting settled was to obtain Thai DLs before those Michigan DLs expired, so we wouldn't have to take a Thai driving test.  

 

Incidentally, we've kept up enough with Michigan politics to feel qualified to vote in state and even local elections.  

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I don't think someone should surrender their right to vote just because they don't want to get summoned for jury duty.  Check to see how jurors are selected in your area.  You may be pleasantly surprised like I was.  Or at least you should vote in Federal elections.

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25 minutes ago, NancyL said:

I don't think someone should surrender their right to vote just because they don't want to get summoned for jury duty.  Check to see how jurors are selected in your area.  You may be pleasantly surprised like I was.  Or at least you should vote in Federal elections.

Voting might be worthwhile if your former state happens to be a swing state, but most states are solid one way or the other.  And it's not just risk of jury duty, but risk of liability for state income tax that is at stake.  Some states do indeed factor in voter registration and actual voting to determine whether your tax domicile remains your former state or not. 

 

Fine if voting is worth all that risk to you, but it seems important to have a clear understanding of the risk involved.

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I think some are making a big deal out of nothing. Any "Summons to Appear for Jury Duty" has" a section as to why you can't appear. It's a matter of state law for all states. Simply state you no longer live there, live in a foreign country and your address is for "absentee voting only". Can easily be proved with passport and immigration stamps. You will be removed from the list. It's actually happened to me twice in ten years. I changed address from one county to another and of course each time I got called for Jury duty.  That simple response removed me.

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Michigan is most definitely a swing state and we will definitely continue to pay state income taxes for the privilege of voting there.  Just as we continue to pay federal income taxes for the privilege.   If nothing else, it was worth it, to see the Facebook posts from Hubby's Facebook friend, a member of his former Rotary club and the local librarian showing off the expansion to the local library. Good to know our votes helped in that close bond election.

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2 hours ago, NancyL said:

Michigan is most definitely a swing state and we will definitely continue to pay state income taxes for the privilege of voting there.  Just as we continue to pay federal income taxes for the privilege.   If nothing else, it was worth it, to see the Facebook posts from Hubby's Facebook friend, a member of his former Rotary club and the local librarian showing off the expansion to the local library. Good to know our votes helped in that close bond election.

Very admirable, but I did not mean to imply that you must necessarily pay state income tax in order to vote, merely that some states will use your voting along with other factors to determine whether your old state is still your tax domicile.  Since I gather that you have retired permanently to Thailand I would encourage not to pay Michigan state taxes unless they come after you for them.  Michigan has a voluntary declaration of tax domicile that they use to determine your tax liability.  It does ask for voting information, but nothing suggests that that factor alone would make you liable. 

 

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/taxes/3799_373276_7.pdf

 

Paying state income tax is not at all like paying federal income tax.  We pay federal income tax, because we are US citizens whether we reside in the US or not.  We are not, however, "citizens" of any state, merely residents.  When we have met the criteria for leaving the tax domicile our residency ends and we have no further obligation to pay income tax to that state.  There is certainly no federal law that every citizen must have domicile in some state.

 

Escaping state income tax is one of the financial benefits of retiring abroad.  I hate to see anyone miss out on it.

 

 

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Yes, U.S. citizens living outside the U.S. have the right to vote in federal elections, regardless of whether or not they're paying state income taxes in any particular state.

 

However, it's also true that each state tends to have their own particular standards of what constitutes residency for state income tax purposes. Some are more lenient, and others are more hard-core, looking for any connection they can find to try to pull someone in for state taxes. Voter registration often is ONE criteria among many that enters into their calculations, though SOLELY by itself, probably would be unlikely to ever create a state income tax liability.

 

I used to live in a state that has a reputation for being particularly hard-core about state income tax liability. So when I physically moved out of the state, I also canceled my voter registration there, and re-registered in a new state that has no state income tax, just to be on the safe side.

 

As for jury duty, after I registered in my current no state income tax state, I got a jury duty summons in the mail some months later, and that caused me some fretting. But in the end, I just called up on the telephone to the Jury Service office that had issued the summons, and told them I was currently staying outside of the state and wasn't sure of a particular return date. They said no problem, and canceled my summons. Haven't received another one since.

 

Edited by TallGuyJohninBKK
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On 4/23/2017 at 1:58 AM, gk10002000 said:

I can't speak about Thailand but here in the USA I was working in California on a contract and I got summoned for Jury duty back in Florida.  I sent back the form and reason and they gave me a 90 day reprieve.  I called back and told the clerk 90 days won't help, since I would be on the job for 6 or 7 months. She said, tough, that is all they give!  I said, there must be some reasonabelness here.  You can't expect me to leave a job, travel across the country, etc.  She said send a fax letter with the reasons to the judge.  I did and the judge apparently told the clerk to take me off the rolls. 

Ahh... the wonder of the variations among the 50 U.S. states.

 

Your getting excused in Florida obviously was a big pain and hassle.

 

For me in another state, it just took a 2 minute phone call to the summoning Jury Office. Explained I was out of state, they said fine, end of story.

 

Florida, because it's a no income tax state, has a lot of mail service companies that provide U.S. addresses and mail forwarding to U.S. expats. So clearly, you wouldn't be alone in having that kind of situation as a U.S. expat with a Florida mailing/residence address.

 

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I've always found the courts in the states where I've lived very understanding and accommodating re: circumstances making it difficult to do jury duty (Massachusetts, Illinois, California), including excusing me because I had already bought a ticket to travel to a conference, already bought a ticket to travel to Thailand, and couldn't find a a substitute to teach the subject I teach at my university...each time, all they required was my word.

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I used to get summons all the time in California. I finally just said screw this and filled out a form on the back of the summons saying I was relocating to another state (put a family members address). Never got another summons. 

Edited by utalkin2me
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51 minutes ago, utalkin2me said:

I used to get summons all the time in California. I finally just said screw this and filled out a form on the back of the summons saying I was relocating to another state (put a family members address). Never got another summons. 

Tell me about it...they're relentless here.  I moved here close to 9 years ago, and I've gotten a summons every year except one.

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3 hours ago, bmore99 said:

You mean, you can get a Thai-ID (pink), after you got the yellow housebook.

 

Unlike the ID-card for thai people, the pink one is in Thai language only.

Apparently so but who the ell's knows maybe some Thai province's issue the pink frangie ID card anyhow.

 

l'm not bothered about getting a pink ID card cause my Thai DL's are sufficient for almost anything for ID purposes.

 

What l meant was when you get a yellow house book you get a Thai ID number and when you renew your 5 year driving licence that is used instead of your passport number,  well it is in Sukhothai dunno about others.

Edited by Kwasaki
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On 4/26/2017 at 8:29 PM, Chou Anou said:

Tell me about it...they're relentless here.  I moved here close to 9 years ago, and I've gotten a summons every year except one.

Several people where I worked (Northrop Grumman) repeatedly got and keep getting jury summons.  My feeling is the state/county keeps summoning them because they know the people are real entities, know most are professionals, engineers or what not and are reliable and literally have to obey the summons due to the fact they have security clearances and go through routine background checks, etc.  So the court knows they can rely upon the people showing up, and the court doesn't have to send out additional summons to people whose work history or location may make it challenging to find

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14 minutes ago, gk10002000 said:

Several people where I worked (Northrop Grumman) repeatedly got and keep getting jury summons.  My feeling is the state/county keeps summoning them because they know the people are real entities, know most are professionals, engineers or what not and are reliable and literally have to obey the summons due to the fact they have security clearances and go through routine background checks, etc.  So the court knows they can rely upon the people showing up, and the court doesn't have to send out additional summons to people whose work history or location may make it challenging to find

Yes, I always show up (I work for a state university), but I've never served; either I've randomly been sent home, or I had commitments that would have interfered with me serving, and they've always honored my requests to be excused (but you have to show up for that).  In theory, I have nothing against serving, but it's very hard for me to miss more than a day of work, especially during the school year.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A bit off topic but I'll mention it. They have never allowed me to serve on a jury. I always fail one question. " Do you agree to uphold the law to the letter of the law?" My answer was always no. Sometimes common sense is in order and sometimes the law doesn't take that into consideration.

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