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You can donate your jury duty pay to charity

As you probably know if you have been called to jury service in Harris County, jurors get paid $6 for showing up, and $28 per day after the first day if they are selected to serve on a jury. What you may not know is that you can donate that pay to charity if you are so inclined, and that doing so benefits the county as well as the charities.

District Clerk Chris Daniel

In fact, Harris County District Clerk Chris Daniel said all of those $6 donations added up this year to more than $100,000, which was doled out among six choices according to the giver’s preference.

“This is a way for charities who don’t necessary receive a lot of public spotlight but do a lot of good for the courthouse and for the community to receive donations,” Daniel said. “The reason we focus on court-centric charities is that there is a direct benefit to the taxpayer for what they do to aid the justice community.”

Daniel is working to make the option more visible for prospective jurors, including approving commercials, made by each charity, to run on televisions in the jury assembly rooms that explain the form and each charity’s mission.

He touted the system as a way for civic-minded people to give to a good cause while saving the county money on paper, bank transactions and postage.

According to the story sidebar, you have the choice of the following charities if you wish to donate your juror pay:

Victims of Crime Fund

Children’s Protective Services Child Welfare Service Fund

Child Advocates, Inc.

Crime Stoppers of Houston, Inc.

Casa De Esparanza De Los Ninos, Inc.

Tejano Center for Community Concerns, Inc.

I couldn’t find a link for the Children’s Protective Services Child Welfare Service Fund. Donating juror pay to one of these charities is a fine thing to do, and I plan to do it the next time I’m called for jury service. I do have one suggestion about this for District Clerk Daniel, who I know reads this blog, and that is to include all this information on the District Clerk jury service webpage. The Juror Service General Information page tells you how to apply to be a charity that can receive these donations, but nowhere do I find anything that tells jurors that they can donate their pay. Ideally, there would be a link right there to fill out that form as well. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

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  1. ADM357 says:

    There seems to be a distinct bias in the available charities. What about donations to organizations for the wrongfully convicted? Or organizations that provide legal services for indigent individuals?

  2. ADM – Charities can apply to be part of this program. Here’s the application:

  3. Chris Daniel says:

    Thanks Charles. I inherited the current list (which only added charities–did not alter or remove charities from Charles or Ms. Chang), and plan on expanding this September, when the filing period opens up for new applicants. We are already talking to the 100 Club (full disclosure–I am a lifetime member) in light of the recent Bellaire Officer Shooting.

    And I welcome the suggestion! I’m constantly trying to improve. It is indeed a simple matter to add the info and I have put in the request today to my IT staff.

    It came up recently as to why don’t we just open it up to all charities. The simple answer is that you may at anytime take your check to any charity; but the reason we limit how many you may waive your check to via the county/ County Treasurer’s Office, is that the County Auditor’s office has to account for and process (with the Treasurer), every passed-through waiver. This becomes time consuming and cost-prohibitive. So–in conjunction with the County Attorney’s Office–guidelines were set a number of years ago as to when, how, who, where a charity may apply to receive via the county juror pay donations. While this on its face appears to limit charitable donations, in practice any legitimate charity may apply and start to receive juror pay donations. (and again, you may take your check at any time and endorse it over in person to any organization once you have received it in the mail)

    Jurors are encouraged to donate where possible their juror pay as it also saves the county money on check generation and postage/ paper! A win win for the charities, county, and tax payer.

  4. […] fix, and I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for them. Be that as it may, as a reminder you can donate your more generous jury duty pay to a variety of good causes if you want to, and it’s as easy […]