Gransnet forums


Called for Jury Service during pandemic.

(26 Posts)
glammagran Tue 19-Jan-21 23:43:16

I have been very down since winter started. Following a case of Covid at my DGS’s nursery we all agreed we would stop having her on the day she is not at nursery. Neither my husband and I have been into a shop since between August and November when we dared to.

My husband is in his 70’s and is awaiting a CT scan for a continuous cough (2 years). He also has quite bad asthma and has been classed as having vulnerabl status from the GP.

I am 65 and have osteoarthritis in my hip meaning I can’t walk all that far - I have had an X-ray and seen a consultant who said I was around 2-3 years before I’d need a replacement hip. Far worse, I have an extremely painful shoulder due to torn a rotator cuff (too shredded to be operable) and impingement having had 3 attacks now following an injury in 2006. The latest attack began at the end of October when I picked up my DGD and she became a dead weight as she was having a bit of a tantrum and wrenched my shoulder. I had a fall just after Christmas because I have been taking round the clock Nurofen plus for the pain which was causing dizziness. I knocked my self out hitting my forehead on the door handle of my wardrobe. I still have lots of bruising on my face even now. I dislocated a finger too which is out of alignment and very painful too. I would have gone to Hospital in normal times but due to the pressure the NHS is under I did not want to burden them. As a result, I cannot drive. I also have cataracts.

I have been summoned to attend jury service in mid February. I told them all of the above but they have said they will not excuse me. I am sitting in floods of tears as I am not prepared to risk my life, walking nearly a mile to the bus stop, getting on a bus and attending court for heaven knows how long. We have been ultra cautious all year. No days out, meals out or holidays and have we’ve only have seen elder son and daughter twice this year vey briefly and outside. Youngest daughter is expecting 2nd baby in April which is worry enough as it is.

I do not know what to do.

glammagran Tue 19-Jan-21 23:43:53

DGD not DGS.

Callistemon Tue 19-Jan-21 23:51:08

My husband is in his 70’s and is awaiting a CT scan for a continuous cough (2 years). He also has quite bad asthma and has been classed as having vulnerabl status from the GP.

Have you told them that, glammagran?
If he is shielding and you with him as his carer, or if you have a disability, you should be exempt, or at least defer it.

Bullet point your reasons and keep them simple, eg cannot walk to public transport and cannot drive due to cataracts/shoulder injury
Carer for shielding husband therefore worried about Covid

Chestnut Tue 19-Jan-21 23:51:31

I can't believe they will not allow exemptions under medical grounds. Here is a link and scroll down to 'ask to be excused from jury service'.
GOV.UK Jury service
You will need a letter from your doctor, but I'm sure with your husband being vulnerable and your various injuries you will get a letter. If not ask another doctor!
But don't give up. You have perfectly valid reasons for not attending, especially in the pandemic.

mumofmadboys Tue 19-Jan-21 23:51:51

Go to see your GP or get a phone appt. Say you feel unable to do it because of your various health problems, you have had a low mood recently and covid has made you very anxious. Say you really cannot face doing it. Ask them if they will do a letter requesting that you are excused. Let us know what happens. Wishing you well

Doodledog Tue 19-Jan-21 23:52:36

Ooof, that sounds impossible, glammagran.

I wonder if you could get a letter of exemption from your GP? I don't know if this is possible, but it is certainly worth asking. Clearly if people are ill, they can't attend jury service, so you might be able to get a sick note in the same way that you would if you were at work.

If you can't be exempted, rather than walk a mile to catch a bus, I would get a taxi. You should be able to claim the cost back as expenses, but if not, it seems to me a sensible use of money.

Callistemon Tue 19-Jan-21 23:53:40

I was going to suggest a GP letter but I know how busy they are
It's worth a try if you have a sympathetic GP, I'm sure they don't want you to risk getting Covid and taking it back to your DH.

blue25 Wed 20-Jan-21 00:03:20

I’ve heard similar stories. I think the problem is most people don’t want to do it at the moment and are asking to be excused. However, someone has to do it.

Esspee Wed 20-Jan-21 07:34:00

I received a summons recently. I wrote back and said I am currently not prepared to serve due to Coronavirus but would do if it could be done remotely. I was excused.
I am 71 which may have helped.
Keep your letter short and to the point.

Franbern Wed 20-Jan-21 09:16:49

My eldest daughter received a jury service summons. She wrote back informing them that she was front line NHS staff - just asked for a delay of a year until 'better' times. They stated that she would not be excused. Then she sent the letter showing that she was also EV and not even permitted into her office (working from workplace). She has now been given an exemption.

Oopsadaisy1 Wed 20-Jan-21 09:21:50

Get a letter from your GP as soon as possible and send it in, keep a copy for your records.
They usually give you plenty of notice about Jury Service (a few months) so that you have time to get letters etc.

I would advise you to do something today.

dragonfly46 Wed 20-Jan-21 09:24:39

I was excused Jury service as I was having breast cancer treatment at the time. I did not need a doctors letter. I first deferred it for a year then cancelled it as I was having radiotherapy at the time.

silverlining48 Wed 20-Jan-21 10:26:36

I am 72 and was called last year and worried about it for a while before writing to say I couldn’t do it for reasons similar to yours. They agreed and hope I don’t get another call.

timetogo2016 Fri 22-Jan-21 14:21:17

Wrong i know but if all else fails tell them you think you may have covid and you are in isolation.
I think it`s daft these days to even think it`s okay to go into a publick place.

Daddima Fri 22-Jan-21 15:45:05

I have been called many times, and served twice. My latest summons was early December. I find it strange that someone from court would tell you you could not be excused, though, with respect, it seems to me that none of the things you mention, though upsetting at the time,could be classed as reason for exemption. I did phone them, because I had submitted a doctor’s letter three years ago, and thought a phone call would suffice, but the lady I spoke to said she could not make the decision to excuse me without a doctor’s letter. The summons which came had loads of information on social distancing, safety precautions etc, and that a packed lunch, masks, sanitisers would be provided. The jurors would be in a cinema in town, with court officials witnesses,accused,only in the court building
I imagine your GP would be happy to give you a letter. You send in your citation, and the doctor sends you the letter.It doesn’t give any information, it just looks like a standard letter.

glammagran Mon 08-Feb-21 22:04:19

My gp would not give me a letter excusing me as he said the point in question was not how I could get to the court an hour away but whether I could sit a a courtrooms day he thought I could, I was so upset.

I am having an X-ray on Wednesday on misaligned little finger.

Then today I received a letter from the crown court rather than from the central jury office in London and they have excused me - rather more compassion than my gp.

silverlining48 Mon 08-Feb-21 23:13:38

That’s a relief gramma. Glad it worked out for you.

BlueSky Mon 08-Feb-21 23:53:12

Glad I’ve now reached the upper age limit. I have been called once years ago, and while it was better than expected, I still wouldn’t want to repeat the experience, especially at the moment.

GrannyRose15 Mon 08-Feb-21 23:56:41

Can understand your concern glammagran but am sure they would have done everything they could to keep you safe. It's a very important job and someone must do it. I think that is why they do not want to excuse people. I have always wanted to do jury service but have never been called.

BlueBelle Tue 09-Feb-21 04:08:43

No one in my family has ever been called thank goodness I m too old now thankfully it’s something I ve never wanted to do
I m glad you ve got your letter gramma
I think there should be a different method many people do look forward and enjoy doing this but if you don’t want to or feel you can’t for whatever reason you shouldn’t be forced to
If you don’t feel able you are probably not going to make a fair decision for the prisoner anyway

Katie59 Tue 09-Feb-21 09:52:56

They still need juries and there will be a lot of people trying to use Covid as an excuse to get out of it.
A doctors letter will excuse you I expect there is a special form to be filled out

BlueSky Tue 09-Feb-21 10:18:11

Just found out that the upper age limit is now 75 so I could still potentially be called. Can you be excused on age only?

silverlining48 Tue 09-Feb-21 14:22:37

Fraid so blue sky. It was increased to 75 a couple of years ago so I hope not to get a call in the next 3 years. Did it once don’t want to repeat, have done my bit. Fingers crossed 🤞

BlueSky Tue 09-Feb-21 18:00:13

Same here Silverlining! What worried me was that the OP had valid reasons not to go but wouldn’t have been allowed to, until she appealed!

glammagran Tue 09-Feb-21 18:51:31

I did jury service in Reading within the last 10 years which was fine. I certainly don’t want to do it now.