How To Handle U.S. Jury Duty Summons in Japan

What do you do when you receive jury duty summons while you're in Japan.  It's a simple fix, keep reading!

What do you do when you receive jury duty summons while you’re in Japan? It’s a simple fix, keep reading!

Ah there’s nothing better than getting a message from a family member, especially when it’s a video message. That’s the next best thing to a real life visit.

I was logged into my Skype account last week and sure enough that little red circle (with the white number “1” inside) popped up saying that I had a message. When I clicked it, much to my surprise, I saw that I had a video message from my father.

I opened the message put in my video passcode and with a “Just happy to hear from my Dad” grin on my face I hit play. As the message played on, my smile began to sag almost instantly. I here something to this effect:

“Hey Donald this is Dad, I just sent you an email and you need to respond as soon as you can…something something…SUBPOENA…something something…THEY’RE SENDING A SHERIFF OUT TO THE HOUSE ON THE 13TH…something something…I don’t need any problems with the county.”

I watched the Skype message a second time just to make sure I didn’t hear it wrong. The two nuggets that got hopelessly stuck in my short term memory sluice box were that a Sheriff would be coming to my father’s house, subpoena, and that I had to fill out a non-resident affidavit to prevent it from happening.

How in God’s name did I end up with a Georgia sheriff wanting to put me in jail?

Is it because I’ve broken so many hearts? I HIGHLY doubt that
((Donald’s eyes fill with tears) Dear God please send me a date!!!).

Is it because I accidentally hit an officer in the face with a hadouken when I was waving hello? No, none of the above. All of this craziness is over something very very simple, not showing up for jury duty :(

After listening to the message, I thought about all the law-type TV show I’ve ever watched and wondered “Wait, wait, a subpoena is used to get you to show up in court, right?” “But if you don’t show that becomes an automatic arrest warrant? Over some jury duty!?!?”

Needless to say I took care of that situation as soon as humanly possible. I never really liked visiting the court house and I definitely didn’t want to be forced to go there when I go back

How To Handle Jury Duty Summons from Japan

I was a little worried that the process was gonna be something long and drawn out, but it wasn’t. I simple had to contact the county representative who was in charge of jury summons and they directed me to a website to fill out a “Non-Resident Affidavit.” I scanned and mailed my completed (and signed) form to the representative, and now everything is taken care of. No jail time, no summons, no problems.

Here is what my form looked like:

Georgia non-resident affidavit form.

Georgia non-resident affidavit form.

Of course the forms will vary from county to county, and state to state, but I imagine the processes will be somewhat similar.

Please note that you’re going to need some form of ID with your current address on it. You’re Japanese Residence Card should work just fine.


I hope that helps somebody who might have been worrying about that.

Til next time my friends,


The following two tabs change content below.
  • Mia

    Nice, happy for you all the same. You look cute though lol. From a fan

    • Donald Ash

      Thank you! LOL

    • thejapanguy

      I appreciate that, Mia! You better watch out with those cute comments, you’ll get my blood pressure all elevated LOL. Thank you.

  • Marisa Ileana Delgado

    Just got the same message from my mom. That I was supposed to go to jury duty on the 6th!

    • thejapanguy

      I hope you got it all squared away, Marisa. It’s not fun getting summons in the first place. It’s even more “not fun” when you get it while you’re overseas.

  • Savanah Suko

    Thoughtful discussion – BTW , if your business has been searching for a AK DoR 6020 , my colleague saw a fillable version here

  • Savanah Suko

    Useful ideas – Just to add my thoughts , if someone requires a TX Comptroller 01-339 , my wife saw a sample version here

Read previous post:
What is a Japanese Share House?

Finding a place to live is just one of those realities of life, one of the basic human necessities. I...