Jury Duty with Diabetes?

Amy Tenderich
By Amy Tenderich Latest Reply 2014-12-13 19:10:45 -0600
Started 2009-03-16 13:56:52 -0500

I have to report to jury duty next week - ugh! This is not only a major interruption of my work and family life, but I'm a bit worried about the diabetes side of things too.

How can I stay on my food & exercise routine? Are you allowed to bring snacks into the Court Chambers?

Does anybody have any ideas or advice?

26 replies

sweetslover 2014-12-13 19:10:45 -0600 Report

I have served on 2 different juries, one criminal and one civil. Pack your lunch and take it with you. They will have a place in the jury room for you to leave it. Food will probably not be allowed in court. You will have a generous amount of time at lunch to do some walking, stairs, etc. You will have bathroom breaks during the day. You can get a snack then if needed.

Wolfin 2009-04-26 20:02:05 -0500 Report

Get your Doctor Permit that you need to be home. CourtHouse will release if Doctor permit or signature

lipsie 2009-03-31 05:14:09 -0500 Report

Well that kick butt Amy! YaY! I am sure you did sigh of relief. lol Great news for ya. Shelia

Amy Tenderich
Amy Tenderich 2009-03-29 21:14:50 -0500 Report

Update to all: I was dismissed on Day One! Just automatically, lucky for me, I guess. See my post here:


Splender 2009-03-29 22:12:15 -0500 Report

Any, your site is WOW!!!! I wish you could till every newly diagnosed diabetic to watch your videos. They were GREAT!! As for your Jury Duty—-I'm so glad you didn't have to do anything. Jury duty can be very stressful and you really don't need any more stress in you life at this time. Thanks for the link to go to. Loved it.


GabbyPA 2009-03-27 08:26:04 -0500 Report

So how did it go Amy? did you get chosen to sit on the jury?
I personally find it very educational and I have served a few times. I was chosen twice and excused once. The process is different in each court and I find it to be a lot of fun, for lack of a better word. I learned a lot, made some huge decisions and got a glimpse into human nature from a different point of view.
I, like many, believe that if we are able, we need to serve. It might not be convenient, but if it is something that is doable with some explination...then I see no reason to back out.

lipsie 2009-03-27 19:13:35 -0500 Report

I have always thought it would be very interesting as well. I was called upon it two times but court was cancelled both times so I never went thru it. Sheila

DonnaAnn 2009-03-19 05:53:21 -0500 Report

When you first get called into jury duty, you will be asked by the judge if there is any reason why you should not be on the jury: do you know the person being on trial, do you have any personal reasons, etc. if you tell the judge that you are diabetic and on a strict routine to maintain your diabetes, and unless the court is willing to allow you to continue your routine, you regrettably feel unable to serve.

boxergirl 2009-03-17 23:19:47 -0500 Report

I "exempted" myself from my jury duty summons which was for March 18. This is all so new to me, I am afraid of being stuck downtown in Houston, Texas in a courtroom and feeling out of control with my blood sugar.

KiheBard 2009-03-26 02:50:19 -0500 Report

boxergirl, just make certain that you contacted the court(s) / court clerk (should have been identified on the papers you received) and explain your reasoning. You may need to supply documentation ("note from physician"), and may still need to appear in person long enough to satisfy the clerk or presiding judge. Simply failing to appear can be considered contempt of court in Texas, if I remember correctly from my last stint as a juror (also in Texas, Collin County).

Pax … Kihe

Amy Tenderich
Amy Tenderich 2009-03-17 16:29:09 -0500 Report

Thanks so much for all the input, everyone. Part of me would like to just "get out of it" -- maybe using a Dr's note about the diabetes -- but the fact is that I'm pretty physically fit. So I would never want to use the diabetes as an excuse that way. I shall pack my snacks and hope for the best...

2catty 2009-03-17 17:22:50 -0500 Report

I think that is how I would handle it too. I totally understand for those here that has really bad health issues that keeps them from it. Don't blame them a bit. But if your fit like you and me do your part and just make sure you do what you need to make sure your needs are being met. You must take care of yourself first. Take care Amy and watch those stress levels while doing your civic duties.

sparkysmom 2009-03-17 18:32:34 -0500 Report

I would do it if they could set it up to stream on my computer.

roger 2009-03-17 19:02:51 -0500 Report

i just served last may but never got called was on duty for 30 days , had to call every thr to see if my name came up.did once but they setteled and on sun when i called i was released.

2009-03-16 22:39:01 -0500 Report

I agree with Robin totally. We preach about being treated equally as Diabetics but yet some will go to any lengths to use the Diabetes diagnosis to their advantage. Be it Jury duty, disability or whatever. If we all want to be treated normally and part of a 'normal' society, there are some things that we are required to do. Amy, your original question about snacks and things… I'm almost positive that it would be fine and thank you for being a citizen that takes being an American seriously.


rbergman 2009-03-16 22:17:13 -0500 Report

After reading everyone's comments here, I agree that if you have several medical issues jury duty may not be for you, but, I also wonder, if we as diabetics wish to be treated equally, and diabetes is our only medical problem, should we try to use it to "get out" of jury duty? Just doesn't seem right to me to use diabetes as an excuse not to do your civil duty. As I said, if you have other medical issues I certainly understand but if you can work and play and have a halfway normal life with diabetes then why would you try to use it to get out of doing what other American citizens have to put their lives on hold to do, it just doesn't seem right to me and it's a cop out if you use diabetes as an excuse as to why you can do everything else a non-diabetic can do EXCEPT jury duty…just my opinion and not directed at any person here I just fear this discussion is taking a turn for the worst, instead of giving advice of how to be "normal" and serve jury duty I see more posts on how to get out of doing it instead.


sparkysmom 2009-03-17 09:08:13 -0500 Report

I didn't use my diabetes to get excused from duty. I have several other medical problems that keep me from doing it. I would if I could.

rbergman 2009-03-17 22:17:33 -0500 Report

Yes, I understand that completely and that is why I said it that way, I can't imagine having several medical issues that halt day to day routines much less expect anyone in such a situation to have to serve jury duty. My point again was not directed at anyone here it was a general statement that if diabetes was the only issue and you could still function with daily activities then it should not be used as an excuse to get out of serving.

Two painful feet
Two painful feet 2009-03-16 19:31:11 -0500 Report

In oregon you can be permanetly defered from jury duty. My name has been deleted from the list. I have so many medical problems they wouldn't want me sitting in the jury set fast asleep or to sick to pay attention to what is said.
Your Friend

jsd2005 2009-03-16 14:39:15 -0500 Report

I would pack my lunch and snack. Most of the time, you sit in a room until they decide if the case will take place. You may it for awhile. Take drink and whatever you need. You will be okay.

roger 2009-03-16 16:14:02 -0500 Report

you cvan get out of it med reasones look at your paper work it should tell you how to do it. they dont want you passing out on them.or falling asleep.call the 800# if you cant find it in paper work

rbergman 2009-03-16 14:13:05 -0500 Report

I served on jury duty myself not too long ago, I don't know how it is there but where I had to serve we had to show up each Monday morning by 8am sign in and take a seat in the courtroom. There were about 50 of us all together. They explain what the trial is about, each side gives a little information, then they pick 13 of us. They then ask each of us about conflicts we may have serving for this particular trial etc. In Nebraska you cannot be excused because of work or babysitter issues, and, only the elderly members can be excused for no other reason than their age. Once the 13 are chosen for that trial, if they have other trials that same week they proceed to pick another jury and so on until they have them all for all the trials of the week, then the following Monday it starts all over again. This goes on for a 3 month duration. I was chosen 18 times in 3 months and it would have been more except the last trial I was chosen for lasted for 3 wks was a very disturbing trial of parents of a young boy suing the doctors and hospital for his death.
As far as once you are chosen the court started usually at 8am or 8:30am, testimony was given and if lunch time had come the whole case takes a break for lunch then resumes an hour later. Most days they were small trials and we were done the same day verdict and all before 5pm. Some would last 2 days but usually finished by lunch time the second day. The longer trial was different, we had lunch every day that the court had brought in from local restaurants once the jury decided where they wanted the food from (we had about 9 restaurants to choose from) and then the trial would continue until 5pm each night. In the morning we would get a 15min break around 10am and then another in the afternoon around 2pm. The only time the day was longer was when we were sent to make our decision on the case and we deliberated over it till late evening before reaching a unanimous decision on that case, but we were to not only decide guilt but compensation amounts to the family from each defendant and so it did take much longer and we didn't leave the courthouse until well after 8pm.
I know we were not allowed any food or drink inside the courtroom but could eat and drink out in the foyer or outside the building during our 15min breaks.
During the questioning of the jury process I do know that they ask about medical conditions that may hamper your ability to serve for that particular trial once they tell you their estimate of how many days, or hours they expect the trial to last, they always seemed to over estimate these times which was okay since they ended sooner than expected most times. You can tell them you are diabetic during this questioning period but it didn't get anyone on my jury panel out of serving, they just told us if there was something they could do to accomodate us to please let the bailiff know and they would ask for a 5min break or however much time we needed.
I hope this helps you some, I realize all states may not conduct jury duty the same but this is how it was for me.


rbergman 2009-03-17 23:23:06 -0500 Report

Something else I didn't mention, in the state of Nebraska, once your 3mo term is over, you are exempt from being called up again for 5 yrs. Since we moved to South Dakota in December, that doesn't apply any longer I can be called up for jury duty in this state now. This was for State prosecuted cases I could have still been called up in Nebraska for Grand Jury Duty..which would have meant traveling over 800miles from home, luckily that never happened while we lived there.

2009-03-16 14:02:44 -0500 Report

I don't know how it is where you live, but here where I live, if you are picked for a jury, I know that they do give you a lunch break. If you are picked to sit on a jury, we were allowed snacks and something to drink, as well as a lunch break. You usually don't have to report until 9 or so. However, you could possibly get a medical excuse if necessary.

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