Bipolar Disorder Community
Bipolar and Jury Duty?
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Bipolar Disorder is also known as "Manic Depressive Disorder". This forum is for questions and support for people with, or for loved ones of people with Bipolar Disorder. The forum covers topics ranging from Aggressive Behavior, Affect on friends and Family, Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Appetite Changes, Chronic Pain, Denial, Depression, Difficulty Concentrating, Euphoria, Guilt, Manic Depression, Medications, Mood Swings, Poor Judgment, and Sleep Disorders

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Bipolar and Jury Duty?

I was summoned for jury duty. The date I need to report isn't until Aug. but, I am wondering if this is such a good idea. Has anyone here gone to jury duty knowing they are bipolar? Was it difficult? I mean with my tendancy to lose concentraion and become emotional, I don't want to have a breakdown or outburst in a place like a court room.

What do you think?
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8 Comments Post a Comment
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585414_tn?1288944902
I was exempt but that was before I recovered from schizoaffective disorder. Speak to your psychiatrist about it. If you think there will be a problem you need an official exemption letter now.
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952564_tn?1268372247
Thanks. I can't afford to see my doctor right now to see what he thinks. I think I have no choice but to go. This is adding so much stress. The court house is downtown and I can't find any information on if they offer free parking to jurors. I don't have the money to park downtown. It is expensive. You would think they have free parking because not all citizens can afford to pay for parking.  
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Avatar_f_tn
If you tell the court when you are called that you are an unstable bipolar, prone to emotional outburst believe me you will be excused by the lawyers or the judge. If you see you dr regularly you may be able to call and have him/her write you a letter of excuse. You do not have to see them in person to do this.
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952564_tn?1268372247
Thanks. I found out you do have to pay to park for jury duty in my count. That is terrible! I will find out about getting a letter I guess. When I told my friend at work she just gave me a crazy grin and said, "give 'em hell!" (She knows I am bipolar.... she's funny.) Our jury system is all automated so I can't even call to talk to a human. I would like to do something other than be at work for a day, but I just worry since I have not been stable recently. I am going up and down so much.
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899491_tn?1243777227
Don't go. Before I was diagnosed I got out of jury duty because of economic hardship. I was a Navy wife with my husband out to sea and taking care of my one year old daughter.

You can also get out due to your illness and your sensitive nature....just get a note from your doctor.

If that's not a good excuse...tell them you can't do a lengthly trials.

That's what I worry the most. The long trials were your stuck in a hotel room and isolated in the court rooms...that would drive anybody bonkers.

But wouldn't it be interesting if the case was about someone being charged with a crime and mentally ill? The whole jury would be made up with people with mental disabilities. That case would be really judged by your peers.
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952564_tn?1268372247
Well, yesterday I went to jury duty. It was such a terrible idea. You know that whole poor judgement thing? Well, I can get out for my bipolar and just need a doctor's note faxed to them 6 days prior. >.> Of course my poor judgement tells me my number won't be called andI won't have to go to the court house. (Things have not been going well for me, I've been cycling like crazy for the past month, the lamotrigine did absolutely nothing for me, I'm sure now.) I even had to see a doctor last week for an emergancy and I didn't even ask about the letter. I don't know what I was thinking!

Anyway, I did have to go. I was called to be questioned in a trial that would last 2 weeks for those jurors chosesn. Ha ha... that would have been nuts. Well, everyone is getting questioned and I'm rocking back and forth and staring out of the window, struggling just to concentrate and not think about other things. As soon as the judge explained what the case was about I completely forgot what it was about.

Anyway, I was lucky and I never got called for questioning. They found enough jurors before my turn and I was released. In our county the law is that you only have to serve 1 day if you don't get picked, so I was free.

My advice is that people who are bipolar should definately NOT try to do jury duty when they are not stable. My job gives me the oportunity and get up and move around and talk to people, basically keeping me distracted although it is hard. Sitting trying to pay attention to something like a trial is prety much impossible. Next time I will actually listen to good advice and NOT to my stupid bad judgement. >.>

Anyway, just wanted to let you know what dumb mistake I made.
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Avatar_m_tn
I was told I could get out of jury duty and a military draft and maybe a few other things even if I was recovered by a few different people but I have Schizophrenia and I'd imagine the same applies for people with Bipolar Disorder because I was told this as well when I thought I was Bipolar and told someone that and asked.
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952564_tn?1268372247
Yeah, I can get out of jury duty I just need to get a letter from my doctor saying I am unstable and currently changing medication. Of course, that irrational little voice in my head convinced me that my number wouldn't be called (you call the night before to see if you actually need to report,) and so it wouldn't be an issue. So... it is my own fault and hopefully now I learned my lesson. If I wasn't so up and down all the time right now I don't think it would have been a big deal. I've just been having a rough time.
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