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Old 09-07-2012, 04:36 PM   #1
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Severe Tic Disorder, Anxiety, etc and Jury Summons - Please HELP!

Hi everyone

I am absolutely frozen with fear at the moment and feel completely overwhelmed!. A few days ago I went out to check the mail and discovered a summons for jury duty. I am almost 50 years old and have never received one of these before. What makes it even more terrifying is that I am an undiagnosed sufferer of Tourettes Syndrome and have struggled with severe tics most of my life. In fact, I have been all but house-bound for the past decade or more.

One of my tics involves swinging my arms out wildly and repeatedly. I am terrified that if picked for jury duty, this could possibly end up causing all kinds of problems (as you can probably imagine!) and I don't think that would go over too well at all (this is what really frightens me!). I also do a lot of head-jerking, make loud noises, repeat things, shout, "touch" myself, say inappropriate things, lunge forward, stumble, etc. I can control it for a short while but at some point it "builds up" and like an itch, has to be "scratched". Medication so far has not helped.

I'm sure the judge and lawyers have already "heard it all" before since some people do actually say or do things to get out of jury duty and I don't have any bonified proof (ie; I don't have a certificate from a psychiatrist or Neurologist saying that I have Tourettes Syndrome). The only "proof" I have is the fact that for years I have discussed my Tourettes Syndrome with a previous doctor who no longer works at the clinic I go to and have seen a Neurologist who prescribed Respiradol (although I don't think he actually made any diagnosis at the time).

On top of this, I also suffer from severe anxiety, agoraphobia, cervical arthritis, panic attacks, Adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, OCD, IBS, Gastritis, GERD and various other disorders and have had tons of tests and various diagnoses dating back decades ago. Most of these I actually DO have a genuine diagnosis for and proof of. I am also on a number of different medications for these disorders. At one time in my life, I also spent a great deal of time in various psychiatric hospitals and have been on disability (S.S.I.) for many years.

I called the number of the jury summons notice and was told that if I had a disability to just mail the form back in along with a simple letter from my doctor telling them that I was not suitable for jury duty and that no medical records or details were needed. From what I understand, I will need to show up at some official building on a certain date where there will be lots of other people (some of whom will be taken in and interviewed to see if they are fit for jury duty) and this is what I am trying to avoid at all costs because of my condition. I do not think deputies, judges, lawyers, bailiffs and other officials would take kindly to someone lunging, screaming, cursing, etc and I am absolutetly TERRIFIED that it could go badly and so I am hoping at all costs to avoid going at all )-:

I never in a million years would have thought I would ever be called to serve with my long history of various issues. I am wading into completely uncharted waters without a map and feel completely doomed and alone and without a life preserver. I am not looking for excuses to get out of jury duty at all and yet it would be next to impossible to imagine that it could ever work out and yet I understand that a jury summons is not something you can ignore so I feel very trapped and am completely unsure of how to proceed here.

What options do I have if my doctor says "no" to a letter stating that I am not suitable for jury duty?. Any help or advice would be really appreciated and thank you kindly for taking the time to read this.

PS: I just wanted to add that I am not trying to escape my civic duty, playing the "victim card" - nor am I lazy or unpatriotic, etc. Some people really are disabled and unfortunately, I happen to be one of them and I feel that my concerns are valid and very real.

Thanks so much!
Steve
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Last edited by Steven45; 09-07-2012 at 04:40 PM.

 
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:00 AM   #2
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Re: Severe Tic Disorder, Anxiety, etc and Jury Summons - Please HELP!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven45 View Post
... I called the number of the jury summons notice and was told that if I had a disability to just mail the form back in along with a simple letter from my doctor telling them that I was not suitable for jury duty and that no medical records or details were needed. ...
Have you thought about marking the jury summons notice as "Disabled" and just sending it back WITHOUT the doctor's letter?
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Old 09-08-2012, 12:30 PM   #3
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Re: Severe Tic Disorder, Anxiety, etc and Jury Summons - Please HELP!

Thank you for your reply.

Yes, there is a checkbox there you can check if you are disabled but below it, it tells you that have to provide a Doctor's certificate so I'm not sure just checking the box and sending it in will be enough. When I called I was told the same thing (that I needed to provide a note from my Doctor).

Ever since I recieved the notice I have been feeling weak, dizzy, deeply depressed, gnawing anxiety in the pit of my stomach, extreme fear, don't feel like getting out of bed in the mornings unable to do much of anything when I do get up because I feel practically incapacitated. Don't mean to sound dramatic or anything but that is how this is affecting me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Machaon View Post
Have you thought about marking the jury summons notice as "Disabled" and just sending it back WITHOUT the doctor's letter?
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Old 09-08-2012, 02:32 PM   #4
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Re: Severe Tic Disorder, Anxiety, etc and Jury Summons - Please HELP!

Steven, a friend of mine was on disability here in Florida, and he just checked "Disabled" and sent it back in, without a doctor's note. The next year, he received another Jury Summons, and he just checked it "Disabled" and sent it back in. This continued year, after year, for quite a while. His energy level was so low that just the thought of having to get a doctor's note was too much for him mentally.

I have no idea if this would be the same in California, or not.
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CHF, A-fib, HBP, Insulin Resist & Asthma much better

⇒ I avoid common ordinary but unhealthy household items
⇒ Balanced, healthy diet
⇒ Exercise
⇒ I alter my Circadian Rhythm
⇒ I LOVE COREG!

Last edited by Machaon; 09-08-2012 at 02:33 PM.

 
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