Jury duty and accommodations


#1

I am taking a lunch break from jury duty. For the first time in my life I was randomly selected as a jury candidate subject to voir dire or the jury screening process. Voir dire ended just before lunch and due to the amount of questions directed my way, I think my chances of being seated as a jury member for this civil trial are better than average. I could be wrong. The trial is expected to last for two to three days.

Now I’m thinking about a list of accommodations that I need so that I can take care of my diabetes. Here’s what I think I can live with yet still fulfill my civic duty:

  • I need to monitor my blood glucose levels through checking my Apple Watch as well as fingersticking. I need to do this anytime, anywhere, without restriction.

  • I need unencumbered access to my cell phone so that I may monitor my diabetes status via the Loop app, a hybrid artificial pancreas system.

  • I need to be able to treat hypos with glucose tabs, anywhere, anytime.

  • I need to be able to meet the normal needs of my hypoglycemia alert dog but I don’t anticipate he will need much and will not likely interrupt the proceedings.

What do you think? Am I being unreasonable balancing the needs of the court, the civil litigants, and my diabetes?


#2

The cell phone might be prohibited. I was a juror (never picked for an actual case) a long time ago. They said to leave your cell phone in the car. No problem with diabetes though. Each day it was only four hours long.

The murderer was found guilty. He had killed a child. Thumbs down.


#3

There’s a note on the courtroom door reminding people to turn off their cell phones. I think I’m pushing a limit here but this phone is a medical device. I not only monitor my blood glucose level on the phone but also deliver meal boluses from it. I also need to monitor the health of the loop so that I know that the variable basal delivery is working.


#4

I get a doctor’s note to be dismissed for jury duty. There is no way I can 1) concentrate on all proceedings, if my bg’s are bouncing around, 2) they aren’t going to want to stop a trial and idle the judge, jury, bailiffs, court recorder, and spectators, while I go take care of my bg’s. Therefore, despite wanting to do my civic duty, I refrain from being a distraction to the courts, by opting out.

When I say “concentrate” I mean two things: 1) my bg’s are so low that I can’t think, and 2) my anxiety about my bg’s (esp. when it is dropping, or is already close to a hypo) keeps me from being able to focus on the goings-on in a trial.

That’s not to say that I’m always nervous, but it happens at the most inopportune times and I don’t want to be a distraction.

The courts do not want someone to serve that is going to be a distraction. I discussed my issues with the court the FIRST time I opted out. They were totally on board with my doctor’s “excuse”. I’ve since been excused at least 3 or 4 more times.


#5

These are all reasonable accommodations and among the accommodations we require for Caleb during school. The ones you highlight are the ones he communicates clearly to his teachers even before we have an official 504 meeting. His phone is considered a medical device and as such, he is not restricted from its use. There is some level of trust here. If Caleb is ever found to be abusing this accommodation and using his phone for other purposes, I would expect it to be challenged. He doesn’t, so I know it won’t.

I would stand firm on the phone.


#6

if you want to be on the jury, can’t you turn off cell service and keep Bluetooth to get your CGM numbers. I know that it may mean suspending Loop. Or if you don’t want to be on the jury, then indicate that you can’t be without cell service.

The one time I got to a potential trial, the judge was very accepting of my needs with diabetes. Ultimately the trial was canceled because the witnesses were afraid to testify and didn’t show up.


#7

There are a number of reasons someone could be turned down for jury duty. Health issues should certainly be one of them. I think you simply need to make your needs known and let the court decide if they can accommodate you. If not, they will just move on to the next person on the list. My needs were much simpler when I served on a murder trial, but I certainly inquired as to whether my needs could be accommodated. The last thing the court wants is to have a juror develop a medical problem that causes a delay or restart of the trial! Tell them what you need — the decision is theirs.


#8

BE SURE not to choose AIRPLANE mode. that kills Bluetooth.


#9

slightly off topic, but knowing you as well as I do, you’re exactly the kind of person I’d want on my jury. especially if I were wrongly accused.

I was chosen once and had no problems.


#10

I have spent an extended amount of time on a grand jury. Slightly different from a petit jury. I have also been on multiple petit juries for very short time frames (never more than a week on a petit jury).

In any event, everybody kept their cell phones on although turned the ringers down. Many people have children or other responsibilities that require the ability to be notified. If something came in (on their phone) that appeared to be urgent, people could step out for a quick check (txt msg/phone call) and then step back in. The same way that if somebody needs to use the bathroom, they can step out for their business and then step back in. A jury is not jail.

For any of the juries I have been on, it would be inconceivable that there would be any pushback to any of your requests.


#11

My hunch was right and I was selected as a juror. I told the court clerk that I needed accommodations for a disability. When I started to explain what I needed, he motioned for me to come into the courtroom and talk with the judge. The judge listened to my request, including access to my cell phone, and agreed to everything.

It’s as I hoped it would be.


#12

Not that I’m not busy enough as it is, but I’m a little jealous of all of you who regularly get picked for Jury duty! I’ve never once been called even for screening :frowning: I know most people view it as a PITA, and know that is complicated for us diabetics, but… I’d at least like the option to experience this part of our system!


#13

I have been called many times and did have the privilege of serving once on a trial. The trial I served on during screening I mention the fact that I had type 1 diabetes and felt it wouldn’t effect my ability to serve. This was while on a pump and testing often. I don’t remember having any issues as there was always enough breaks. And I think. Is with a CGM, it would be even easier. I have always felt it was my duty and I will say the trial I served on was an experience I think everyone should have. And my diabetes was never an issue.


#14

You can let Caleb know that these issues will arise for his whole life. Sounds like he’s had good a good teacher for self-advocacy!


#15

I wanted a clear understanding with the judge that I need to test and treat while I was in my seat in the jury box. She was very nice with the accommodation.


#16

Whenever I put my iPhone in airplane mode, I can then restore my bluetooth communications and remain in airplane mode.


#17

I think the cell phone and Apple watch are a deal breaker.

There are alternative devices to do the closed loop system as I understand it, so if they are an option, and it is that important, get the other options.


#18

Actually I usually select Airplane mode and then turn Bluetooth back on. I fly a lot and that is my normal regimen. Sometimes I have to turn Bluetooth back on twice before it works.


#19

I understand your reservations. I have been lucky enough in the past several years to enjoy relatively stable and in-range blood glucose. But I get where you’re coming from. There have been days in my past where I would not have been as capable serving on a jury. I guess this is another example of how each of our diabetes varies.


#20

I agree. I’ve never been picked for screening and I’d like that experience or, even better, being on a jury. From what I’ve heard, I’m not sure I would be selected due to not being able to read documents (in print) or see evidence well—but maybe those accessibility issues could be accommodated—but it would still be a neat experience regardless