Unemployed Flock to Jury Duty


With great power comes great responsibility, but not a great paycheck. In fact, serving as a juror in a Manhattan court typically pays $40 a day — windfall! Unless your employer pays you during jury duty, in which case you get nothing at all from the courts except for the wellspring of hot pride that results from doing a citizen’s duty. But what if you’re unemployed and really want a shot at those 40 big ones?

According to the friendly bloggers at Consumerist, eagle-eyed justice enthusiasts who happen to be out of work are calling up Manhattan’s jury division clerk and saying things like, “Look, I lost my job; now would be a good time for me to serve.”

You can actually do this yourself to make money. About 20 people have requested to serve since May. Normally, jury duty is the absolute last thing anyone would volunteer for, but with unemployment running at 10.2% right now, many  people could use an extra $40 a day.

Plus, Manhattan’s jury division chief clerk has noticed a “more diverse” group of jurors lately, saying that the court is “getting a lot of Wall Streeters and other professionals.”

If you’re on the fence about volunteering, consider this: It’s sort of like the 3D, live-action, fully interactive version of watching Nancy Grace, combined with the most tedious John Grisham novel you have ever read. Want to give it a go? Here’s a link to the commissioner’s contact information for New York State.

If you live in another state, contact your local commissioner of jurors or court clerk and see if you can request service.

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