Question: My wife was chosen to participate in the jury. The trial is expected to last many weeks, during which time she will not receive money from her employer. The judge expressed contempt for those experiencing financial difficulties and declined to dismiss it. We have already calculated hundreds of dollars in salary, and the trial has not even begun. How is it that we expect to do without at least 1 1/2 salaries and still make ends meet? Are there any funds? Can I sue for small claims?
JP, Santa Ana
A: Maybe someday we will have a professional jury. So far I just hope your wife knows that her jury services are really appreciated.
California Court Rule 2.1008 states, “Jury service, unless justified by law, is a duty of citizenship. The court and its staff must use all necessary and appropriate means to ensure that citizens fulfill this important civic duty. ” Thus, the court is required to make sure there is a jury, but private employers in California are not required to pay wages during the jury service. If available, you may use time off, paid leave, sick leave or other personal time while performing jury duties. Your employer cannot discriminate against or retaliate against you for your service.
Subsection (d) (3) of Rule 2.1008 states that in determining whether to dismiss a juror because of an “extraordinary financial burden”, consideration shall be given to: (a) the sources of income of the family of the potential juror; (b) the availability and amount of income compensation, (c) the expected length of service; and (d) whether it can be reasonably expected that the jury service will jeopardize the ability of the future juror to support himself or his dependents, or so disrupt the economic stability in the interests of justice.
After all, to confirm financial difficulties, reliable documentation is important when not required. A complaint to the court of small claims will not work because the court has immunity with respect to judicial functions. Ultimately, the decision to frame the jury remains with the judge.
Question: How much is a jury paid?
A: Jurors are paid fees and mileage starting on the second day of service. Fees are paid at the end of the trial at $ 15 a day and 34 cents a mile one way from their home to the courthouse. (Jurors working in a federal, state, or local government agency that includes counties, cities, and school districts that receive benefits while serving as jurors must waive the jury fee under sections 481,200 and 215 of the Code of Civil Procedure.)
If you have additional questions, the number you can contact in Los Angeles County is: 213-974-3993; in Orange County at 657-622-7000.
Ron Sokol has been a practicing lawyer for over 35 years and has also served as a judge, mediator and arbitrator many times. It is important to keep in mind that this column provides a summary of the law and cannot be considered or treated as legal advice, let alone replacing actual consultation with a qualified professional.