TWO YEARS and nine months after completing his civic duty as a juror, a Claxton Bay man has been rewarded with a $20 cheque. A photo of the cheque was sent to Newsday which showed that it was fees owed for jury service done in May 2016.
The cheque mandates that the recipient, who asked not be identified, travel to Port of Spain to cash the cheque at Central Bank, Eric Williams Complex. Thankfully the 60-year-old can access free PTSC buses, if he so choose.
The other options include a minimum of $18 to arrive in the capital, if he decides to chance it by waiting on the highway for taxis coming from San Fernando. The other option is $8 more as he would have to travel to San Fernando and then take a $18 taxi to Port of Spain. After cashing his cheque, he then has to spend most of it getting back home.
If he decides to stop off on the highway he will have $2 change, enough to but him less than half a doubles or four mints. The one time juror said he spent six days on he trial and he is awaiting the other cheques.
"I ain't see the cheque yet my wife tell me its for $20 and its a stipend. That is madness imagine you doing cases like murder and where people could see your face for $20. I get call to jury duty about five or six times. In 2016 I went to court about three days in one matter and didn't get picked and then another time and I get picked" the man said.
According to The Juror's Handbook, under the subheading "Payment" anyone summoned to appear as a juror will be paid a subsistence allowance of $10 for everyday they attend court. A juror who uses public transport will be reimbursed all costs reasonably and necessarily incurred.
When a juror uses their vehicles they will be paid allowances for use of the their vehicles normally paid to public officers under the Travelling Allowances Act. The past juror did not drive to court in 2016 and therefore would have been compensated for two days of service.