Author Topic: Single sided deafness and Jury Duty  (Read 2824 times)

matti

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Single sided deafness and Jury Duty
« on: January 02, 2008, 09:40:20 am »
I was wondering if anyone with single sided deafness has served on a jury and what the experience was like. I am concerned that I will not hear ALL that is said and whatever is said, will I be able to clearly understand it from where I am seated. I know they offer listening devices, but will that cause sensory overload?  The one and only ear is like a blender, all the info goes in at the same time, gets mixed up and what I usually end up hearing is not what is acutally said. I've gotten myself into trouble far too many times with what I thought I heard and what was said  ;)

Cheryl
3.5 cm  - left side  Single sided deafness 
Middle Fossa Approach - California Ear Institute at Stanford - July 1998
Dr. Joseph Roberson and Dr. Gary Steinberg
Life is great at 50

lori67

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Re: Single sided deafness and Jury Duty
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2008, 10:26:03 am »
  Hi Cheryl.  You may want to call them and tell them you are concerned about not hearing things correctly.  Maybe they can excuse you, or at least give you the option of waiting  a year or so, and by then you may feel more comfortable doing it.  I know if I were in the courtroom, I'd certainly want the jurors to hear everything correctly and not be so wiped out from overload that they miss something important.

I don't know how the jury duty system works where you are, but I know when I lived in NY and got called at a really inconvenient time, they were very accomodating as long as they didn't think I was just trying to avoid it all together.  And I was only taking classes part time at that point - I think your medical issues would be more of a concern to them.

And now that I've said all that, you know my jury duty summons will be in my mail box today!!  :o

Lori
Right 3cm AN diagnosed 1/2007.  Translab resection 2/20/07 by Dr. David Kaylie and Dr. Karl Hampf at Baptist Hospital in Nashville.  R side deafness, facial nerve paralysis.  Tarsorraphy and tear duct cauterization 5/2007.  BAHA implant 11/8/07. 7-12 nerve jump 9/26/08.

Boppie

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Re: Single sided deafness and Jury Duty
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2008, 01:30:52 pm »
Cheryl,  Last January I typed a formal letter to the clerk of courts about my SSD.  I sent this letter in response to a summons to pick a panel.  In the letter I stated my problem with hearing and background sounds, plus my concern about dealing with a lengthy jury room argument, and noise.  I am not sure I could deal with the back and forth wagging of my head to watch the faces of the witness, judge, and attorneys. 

I described the date and technical type of surgery I had. I supplied the ENT and surgeon names for reference.  At the end I said I believed I am "no longer a suitable jury participant".  So far, I have not heard back from the clerk of courts and have not been ordered for a panel. 

If I ever get called again my plan is to go there and take the option to speak privately with the judge about my problem.

matti

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Re: Single sided deafness and Jury Duty
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2008, 01:59:30 pm »
Thanks Boppie and Lori!

 I called the court this morning and spoke with a clerk, after telling her a brief history of my impairment she said "well the other ear is fine, so it shouldn't be a problem"  >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(

I am having diagnostic wrist surgery on the 10th so my surgeon filled out a form for postponement (6 months). The courts in CA request a written letter from the doctor, so I have a call into my AN surgeon.

Cheryl
3.5 cm  - left side  Single sided deafness 
Middle Fossa Approach - California Ear Institute at Stanford - July 1998
Dr. Joseph Roberson and Dr. Gary Steinberg
Life is great at 50

lori67

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Re: Single sided deafness and Jury Duty
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2008, 02:20:03 pm »
Ugh!  How frustrating.  Maybe you should show up and everytime they say something you can say "Huh?" and eventually they'll get tired of repeating themselves.

Or wait until the end of the trial and say "I'm sorry - did you say something?  I didn't hear anything".

Wouldn't you love to just aggravate them as much as they aggravate us sometimes?

Good luck with your wrist surgery - but according to their theory - your other wrist is fine, so you shouldn't need a postponement, right??   ???
Right 3cm AN diagnosed 1/2007.  Translab resection 2/20/07 by Dr. David Kaylie and Dr. Karl Hampf at Baptist Hospital in Nashville.  R side deafness, facial nerve paralysis.  Tarsorraphy and tear duct cauterization 5/2007.  BAHA implant 11/8/07. 7-12 nerve jump 9/26/08.

ppearl214

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Re: Single sided deafness and Jury Duty
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2008, 03:29:10 pm »
*giggles*

Heck, I'd inform the judge during jury selection to hang the twit as they are guilty as all heck, known even before the trial even started! that'll get you out of it! :)    My divorce from round #1 got me out of it (divorce was happening during same month as jury selection)....told them I was too emotionally distraught. ::)  It worked :D

Phyl
1cm x 7mm x 4mm, left IAC AN, w/Chiari I Malform., Cyberknife - Beth Israel/Boston, April, 2006
May 10: Per Dr's, "it's a "Done Deal", Hearing same as pre-treatment

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Larry

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Re: Single sided deafness and Jury Duty
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2008, 04:06:47 pm »
chuckle as well. Seriously though Cheryl, it would be a good plot for a hollywood movie having to say "what" every time someone speaks. If they don't excuse you, which i think would be rather odd, then do that, give them a real hard time over it, the judge will soon get sick of you.

I couldn't handle a jury service, my concentration levels are pretty chronic apart from the headaches, the tinnitus etc etc.

Laz
2.0cm AN removed Nov 2002.
Dr Chang St Vincents, Sydney
Australia. Regrowth discovered
Nov 2005. Was in watch and wait mode until Dec 2008 now must do something.
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http://www.frappr.com/laz

nancyann

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Re: Single sided deafness and Jury Duty
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2008, 04:42:46 pm »
Well Cheryl,  like Lori, I was afraid to get on this post - karma & all (we'll get the letter next...lol).   I would probably go in, then explain the situation to the judge when they ask if anyone feels they can't do the job.   good luck......     Nancy
2.2cm length x 1.7cm width x 1.3cm  depth
retrosigmoid 6/19/06
Gold weight 7/19/06, removed 3/07
lateral tarsel strip X3
T3 procedure 11/20/07
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lateral canthal sling 11/14/08
Jones tube insert right inner eye 2/27/09
right facial paralysis
good to go.

Jim Scott

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Re: Single sided deafness and Jury Duty
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2008, 05:04:02 pm »
For what it may be worth: I actually reported for jury selection last spring, about 11 months post-op and 7 months post-FSR.   

I told the presiding judge that I was deaf in one ear and that I would appreciate the participants speaking up.  He was very understanding but never offered to excuse me and I didn't ask him to do so.  I went through the voir dire (prosecutor and defense attorneys question you to ascertain if you're impartial) and was not selected, probably due to my somewhat conservative point of view on crime and punishment, which I (ahem) didn't try to hide.  In my state (CT) because I appeared for jury selection was questioned and 'challenged' (rejected) by one of the attorneys (they never tell you which one, or why you were rejected) I'm considered, by state law,  as having 'served', so, according to the rules pertaining to jury duty, I won't be called again for another three years.

I have to doubt that a court would excuse you from jury duty based on your word that you're deaf in one ear or get dizzy easily.  However, I believe that with proper medical documentation and a physicians statement that certifies your inability to serve on a jury, a court would probably release you from that obligation. 

Case in point: over the last 15 years, my wife has undergone major back surgery (2 rods and various other titanium hardware).  She collects SS and private insurance disability benefits.  She holds a state-issued 'handicapped' license plate, allowing her to park in spots reserved for the handicapped.  Some years ago, when she was called for jury duty (following her spinal surgery) she requested her neurosurgeon send a letter to the (state) court stating that she would not be able to sit in a chair for hours a day (as a juror) without major discomfort that would be a serious distraction.  He willingly did so and she was permanently excused from jury duty.

Jim
« Last Edit: January 03, 2008, 01:15:20 pm by Jim Scott »
4.5 cm AN diagnosed 5/06.  Retrosigmoid surgery 6/06.  Follow-up FSR completed 10/06.  Tumor shrinkage & necrosis noted on last MRI.  Life is good. 

Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is.  The way we cope with it is what makes the difference.

Boppie

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Re: Single sided deafness and Jury Duty
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2008, 06:34:05 pm »
Cheryl,  Most clerks will be very careful about giving oral permission with a special exception.  This is why I sent my request in letter format; the address was to the clerk who would pass it on to the judge to see.  I doubt a judge would reject your request to be excused.  Most of them are pretty nice people.  They just can't have it said it is "easy" to get out of jury duty; so you might have to go there in person for panel selection day, look them in the eye, walk the gang plank and dive in.

You could always claim that there are instances when you become exhausted from having to listen to prolonged discussion, extreme tinnitis, or head pain. ;D

Funny thing is...I looked forward to getting called for jury duty for many years.  It is very tiring though. 
« Last Edit: January 02, 2008, 06:37:00 pm by Boppie »

sgerrard

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Re: Single sided deafness and Jury Duty
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2008, 10:08:28 pm »
Hi Cheryl,

I did jury duty in November. It was just one day, thank goodness. I don't have SSD, so I thought I would be fine, but once we got in a court room and they started asking questions, I had to pipe up and say I couldn't hear them very well. They got me a listening device.

I thought it worked quite well. It is not a hearing aid, but rather a receiver which picks up a broadcast signal from the microphones they have in the court room. For anyone speaking near one of the mikes, the sound was very clear, with a volume control on the receiver so you could adjust it to suit. The only issue was when one of the lawyers decided they needed to roam around the courtroom. Hearing the witnesses and the judge was always easy.

In the jury deliberation room, you are on your own again. That worked out fine for me, but your experience might be different. Just thought I would let you know what it was like for me.

Steve

PS: Not guilty. :)
8 mm left AN June 2007,  CK at Stanford Sept 2007.
Hearing lasted a while, but left side is deaf now.
Right side is weak too. Life is quiet.

matti

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Re: Single sided deafness and Jury Duty
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2008, 02:58:03 pm »
Thanks everyone  :)  You are always such a great help

Steve,  I was wondering about the listening device and was worried about anyone roaming away from the microphone. I had been in the courtroom once before (pre-AN) and one of the lawyers paced back and forth the entire trial, it was like watching a tennis match and I'm sure his voice was fading in and out with anyone using a listening device.

 I now have a postponement of 6 months due to my surgery next week.

Thanks,
Cheryl
3.5 cm  - left side  Single sided deafness 
Middle Fossa Approach - California Ear Institute at Stanford - July 1998
Dr. Joseph Roberson and Dr. Gary Steinberg
Life is great at 50

PeaceAndLove

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Re: Single sided deafness and Jury Duty
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2011, 03:55:22 pm »
Thanks everyone.  Very helpful.  Didn't even think of the SSD angle.  Just got called for Jury Duty... those chairs they use scare me, completely unergonomic.  I would have to get up every 15 minutes otherwise distracting discomfort.  Also, some of the jury discussions can get pretty amped up, like 12 Angry Men.  Emotionally stressful.  I liked my prior jury experience, I would encourage everyone to do it at least once.  It was like a first hand civics lesson, and group dynamics/psych class.  Very stimulating, but right now that would cause headaches.  Little stimulation good, lot of stimulation bad :-)  In a few years, should be OK.

Peace
4 X 4 X 3.3cm left side, solid, cystic tumor removed translab 5/12/11 by House Clinic, Brackmann/Schwartz at St. Vincent's Hospital.  Symptoms- Tingling on left side of tongue and taste loss.

leapyrtwins

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Re: Single sided deafness and Jury Duty
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2011, 04:17:12 pm »
Being SSD is not enough to get you excused from jury duty.   I've been called at least twice since my AN surgery and I had to appear both times.  If you get as far as being selected and questioned for a jury, and you thinking your hearing may be an issue, don't hesitate to tell that to the judge.   However, don't be surprised if you aren't excused.  At least that's what typically happens in Cook county, Illinois.

Jan
Retrosigmoid 5/31/07 Drs. Battista & Kazan (Hinsdale, Illinois)
AN 3.0 cm left side (1.5 cm @ diagnosis 6 wks prior) SSD.  BAHA implant 3/4/08 (Dr. Battista) Divino 6/4/08  BP100 4/2010

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Jim Scott

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Re: Single sided deafness and Jury Duty
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2011, 04:29:39 pm »
Update:

Four years have passed since my last jury duty summons and I'm scheduled to report for the jury duty interview on January 5th, 2013.  I intend to do as I did the last time and inform the court that I'm SSD.  If they excuse me, fine.  If not, I'll go through the Voir Dire (French for 'speak the truth') and see how it goes.  For some reason, prosecutors don't seem to like me too much.  The last time I went through the Voir Dire, I was asked by the defendants attorney if I thought our judicial system was fair.  I replied that I thought it was but that the application of justice tended to be somewhat inequitable.  This started a long discussion between the defense attorney and myself which was abruptly ended by the presiding judge who wearily asked me to 'just answer the question'.  I responded that if an attorney chose to ask me open-ended questions I had no choice but to elucidate with my answer.  The prosecutor asked me a few simple questions, I was told to go out in the hall and wait.  Within 2 minutes I was summoned back to the courtroom, the judge politely thanked me for my time and informed me that I was being excused from jury duty. I was not terribly surprised.  I'm curious to see what my next visit to the court will bring.  :)

Jim 
4.5 cm AN diagnosed 5/06.  Retrosigmoid surgery 6/06.  Follow-up FSR completed 10/06.  Tumor shrinkage & necrosis noted on last MRI.  Life is good. 

Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is.  The way we cope with it is what makes the difference.

 


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