I-Team Report Finds Many San Diegans Skipping Jury Duty

Local Court Officials Explain Why People Who Skip Jury Duty Are Not Punished

The 10News I-Team has found hundreds of thousands of San Diegans skipping out on jury duty and court officials allowing them to get away with it.

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Between 2009 and 2010, court records obtained by the I-Team show 24 percent of those summoned failed to report for jury duty in San Diego County.

"It is disappointing, but not too surprising," Judge David Gill said.

By law, the state of California can fine someone $1,000 and hold them in contempt of court for skipping jury duty.

"We still have a sufficient pool," San Diego County court administrator Michael Roddy said.

The county takes more than a million names from Department of Motor Vehicles records and voting records to create what it calls "the source list" -- a list of potential jurors.

Sometimes the summons come back as undeliverable, Roddy said.

Other California counties like Los Angeles have fined jurors for skipping their duty.

Roddy said San Diego jurors will face consequences if they skip out after they have already been put on a jury.

He said the goal of San Diego's courts is to keep the jury experience positive.

"I mean, this is a way you can directly get involved," Gill said. "This is democracy in action here."

Those who do show up for jury duty receive a pep talk

California jurors get $15 a day for their service.

According to Roddy, the average case in San Diego County lasts three to four days.

If you would like to learn how you can request a jury duty postponement, click here.

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