in Houston, Texas
Jury duty stipends cut from $40 to $28 per day, $1.7 million in savings for state of Texas
Wednesday, Sep 14, 2011, 01:53PM CST
By Mark Lisheron
12 Angry Men

The state of Texas is showing its gratitude for jury duty, that most cherished of civic responsibilities, by reducing the stipend for jurors by $12 a day beginning Sept. 28.

The dock in pay from $40 to $28 is supposed to save the state $1.7 million this year as part of the budget bill passed by the Legislature this past session.

County commissioners courts, like those in Cameron County, want to make perfectly clear that it isn’t their fault. Others, like Harris County, are considering whether they can afford to supplement jury pay with local tax money. Harris County decided it could not.

Letters from the state Comptroller went out in August reminding county courts that the robust $6 reimbursement for the first day of jury duty would not change.

The Legislature’s decision rolls back the 2005 Legislature’s first increase in more than 50 years. In that year, jurors in Texas got that fat $6 for every day they missed work or play.
Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

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Photo of Henry Fonda from the 1957 drama, "12 Angry Men."
tired dog
Thursday, 09/15/2011 - 10:31AM

After many invitations to jury duty, full days spent in voir dire when one or more of the participants had already ruled me out, and the pleasure of being herded around crowded corridors by bored bailiffs, I will happily ignore the next request for my presence. Go ahead and arrest me.

Thursday, 09/15/2011 - 01:42PM

I've lived in Texas most of my life and have never seen things so bad. Corruption is running rampant. In Dallas, there is a really disturbing story about a business owner, who was involved in a civil dispute and paid millions of dollars to lawyers, and when he objected to their fees, they had a Democrat appointed judge seize all of his property, without any notice or hearing, and essentially ordered him to be an involuntary servant to the lawyers. The business owner has been under this "servant" order for 10 months. has an explanation of this really disturbing case.. The frequency of instances like these seems to be increasing exponentially even though they get little media attention.

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