Jury Duty is Costing Me Money!

July 17, 2007

I’ve been summoned for jury duty, my first time going through the process.  I called into the informational phone number listed on the summons to find out what time to arrive, where to park, etc. and discovered I was actually going to be losing money while on jury duty!

The courthouse is downtown and the recorded message let me know I would need an all day parking spot.  Then it informed me the city would not provide parking, I’d have to find it on my own and I should expect to pay $10 at nearby lots.  From what I’ve heard, you are paid $4–5 every day you serve jury duty but that only covers half the cost of parking!   If I’m there the rest of the week, I could end up spending $25 on parking.  I know its part of my civic duty to participate in the process but it would be nice if they could at least provide somewhere to park. 

Another bummer is that the parking lots only take payment in cash.  I always put everything on my credit card to earn the rewards so I never carry money on me.  I’ll have to make an extra trip to stop by my bank’s ATM to pull out some money, and of course gas prices aren’t getting any cheaper.  You can bring your own lunch so at least I won’t have to pay for a meal at noon.  I try and stay away from situations that lose money but this is one I can’t avoid.  Not only is it something I should do as a citizen but they fine you if you’re a no-show so I’ll be there bright and early, losing money to help keep our streets safe

Update: Jury duty was quite an experience. The two eye opening hours I spent visiting with a reformed drug dealer and gang member made jury duty well worth my time.


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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7 Responses to Jury Duty is Costing Me Money!

  • Ben

    Wow Lisa, you had a rough time! I bet you’re glad that is over with.

  • Lisa Knight

    I had to serve a couple years ago, double homicide. While I was paid the full $600 for my service I know that I barely broke even with the expenses & the retail & alcohol therapy that lasted a month following… Which was begun again briefly the following summer after running into a witness (convicted rapist) at a family amusement park… EEEK. My Dad got Federal Grand Jury duty, that was plesant as well TWO YEARS. Mostly it was because they were dealing with one case & didn’t want to have to start at the beginning with a new jury everytime. I am pretty sure that was a break even or loose money deal, he had to drive over an hour to get there.

    I definately left with the feeling that they should have paid me more for the potential therapy needed to get to sleep afterwards…

  • vh

    If this is so, then it would make sense to contact the elected representatives for the entity served by the court (city? county? state? feds?), let them know, and suggest they raise the juror’s stipend at least enough to cover parking and a fast-food lunch. Removing one reason that makes people feel they want to evade jury duty would help the court system. Thanks for serving!

  • Ben

    Well, I was dismissed after serving only one day so I don’t have to worry about serving for days and days. Even better, they paid me $8 and parking was only $4.50 so at least I didn’t lose money.

  • Brip Blapq

    Is public transportation not an option, or getting someone to drop you off?

    Maybe you’ll get lucky and get dismissed after one day – it happens sometimes. And at least in New York if you’ve been called you can’t be called again for a few years. Good luck!

  • Patrick

    Wow, that stinks! I used to be Active Duty Military, so I was exempted from jury duty, not that I would have minded. I’ve always thought it would be interesting, and as you mentioned, part of our civic duty. I hope your service won’t drag out for months! I’ve thought about that before, and I would hate to be sequestered away for months and have to go on an unpaid leave of absence from work… Good luck!

  • Blaine Moore (First Time Home Owner)

    Yeah, I can sympathize with that.

    Thankfully, I know where to park in my city that doesn’t cost anything, and don’t mind the mile or two walk it would take to get where I’m going.