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 Knitting Needles and Security
 But can I take my needles to JURY DUTY?

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Ceil Posted - 04/01/2008 : 7:00:44 PM
I emailed our county courthouse and they said no sharp objects. But bamboo needles, esp. the thin ones I use, always get through TSA at the airports without question.

How different is security at a courthouse?

20   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Margie Posted - 10/12/2012 : 5:40:18 PM
Only time I've ever been called I was a student and they fell all over themselves saying sorry, sorry, sorry.

Now I'm 66 with hearing loss and, were I called, I'm sure they would not take me. Plus where I go my hearing dog goes. Like a Guide Dog, but for ears.

Margie and Mimi (my hearing dog who doesn't knit -- yet)

gerstperson Posted - 04/12/2012 : 2:08:01 PM
I worked at the Courthouse in Buffalo for 29 years. You can knit in the "bull pen" (the place where you sit until you are called for a particular jury), and you can knit in the jury room (where you spend your time while you deliberate and while you wait, and wait during recesses or while attorneys are arguing before the judge). Bamboo needles are less likely to raise any eyebrows, but I have brought in metal needles as well.


Chinese Proverb: Man who says it cannot be done, should not interrupt woman who is doing it.
wondermom127 Posted - 04/01/2012 : 07:50:18 AM
I was on Grand Jury in White Plains NY two years ago ( 2 days a week for a month) I took my knitting through security for the whole time, but the last day a different guard wouldn't let me. He said if the ADA( Asst District Attorney) OK'd it I could bring them in but it wasn't worth bothering with. He checked it for ma and I picked it up when I was leaving.

churchlady Posted - 10/04/2011 : 11:40:41 AM
The sherriff told me "No knitting, no reading, you can't do anything fun inside the court-room". In Canada the procedures are a bit different, but in Provincial Criminal Court no one wears a wig and only the Judge and Clerk wear gowns. The building has poles for gates and metal detectors, but I'll bet they're rarely used. Judges in general, I think, are like the one we had, considerate of the jury and everyone to not keep them in court just to wait. Lawyers are not allowed to question jurors, just to pick them out of a line. Interminable waiting for Judges, prosecutors, which courtroom are we REALLY in... I'm glad for knitting!
lella Posted - 09/18/2011 : 5:30:44 PM
Oh my, Robinsteph, I hadn't thought of those other uses. hehehe

Shalee, a water bottle? What a mystifying "no no" that is. One wonders....



"Life is good if you don't weaken." Calvin Coolidge
Shalee Posted - 09/17/2011 : 10:41:35 PM
When I was called to jury duty in Crawfor County, PA, nothing was said about my knitting needles BUT heaven forbid that I take my bottle of water in! There was no jury waiting room, we went directly to the large court room. I sat right up front and knitted! When the judge was addressing us I quit knitting. When he was confiring with someone or out of the room talking to a questionable juror, I knitted. I didn't get chosen, so I got to go home. Had I been chosen I would then have put my knitting away. I sure would not knit while actually sitting on a jury with the trial in progress.

Sharon in NW PA
I always wanted my own library but I didn't realize it would be all knitting books!

robinstephanie Posted - 09/17/2011 : 1:43:37 PM
Lella, they really aren't. I mean, I could use my newly spun yarn as a garrote, or my spindle hook to gouge out an eye. Same for wooden dpns. I don't know what they were thinking, but I must say I look very innocent and nice. It comes in quite handy sometimes.


Different is good. ~Matthew Hoover
lella Posted - 09/17/2011 : 12:56:10 PM
They let you through with a drop spindle? Do they not know that you can ram the end of one of those things up a particularly obnoxious jury foreman's nose if needs be? They aren't thinking things through here...



"Life is good if you don't weaken." Calvin Coolidge
robinstephanie Posted - 09/09/2011 : 11:58:18 AM
Good luck, Ceil. I had duty in San Francisco in July; took my wooden dpns through security 20 times without a problem. As Lillymo suggested above, I brought a a pre-stamped padded envelope for my dpns (lantern moons!) in case I needed to get rid of them quickly; I didn't have to use it, but I liked the reassurance of having it with me. I brought a drop spindle and fiber for spinning just in case. I was very well occupied!


Different is good. ~Matthew Hoover
Ceil Posted - 09/07/2011 : 7:07:22 PM
Guess where I have to be on Oct. 6! I get to test the waters.....

(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
agnesgooch Posted - 06/30/2011 : 4:08:12 PM
Lucky me. I've been called to jury duty yet again, less than 5 months from the last time. This time I'm going to the main courthouse where they have the metal detectors and the higher security. I'm so looking forward to this. At least they have wireless internet available in the jury assembly room. I can use my iPod Touch. I'm going to take a crochet project or take a knit project with cheap non-metallic needle just in case. I don't mind doing jury duty per se, it's just the waiting, waiting, waiting I can't stand.
Lillymo Posted - 06/07/2011 : 10:54:00 PM
June 2011: : Jury Duty in Los Angeles - yes you CAN knit (with some restrictions)

The website for the Los Angeles Superior Court says that scissors, nail clippers and metal knitting needles are not permitted in any courthouse. No mention of wood or plastic, so I brought my wooden interchangeable circulars with tips in a couple different sizes. My bag went through the x-ray many times over 4 days without any problems. I also had a wooden crochet hook, plastic cable needle and a yarn cutter pendant.

I'd brought an envelope and stamps with me in case I had to mail my needles back to myself, but didn't need them.

So, if you leave your metal needles at home, you can knit in the Jury Assembly Room but not in a court room. The lunch breaks in California courts are an hour and a half long, so you might want to bring your knitting on days you serve on a jury, even though you can't knit during a trial.
agnesgooch Posted - 02/26/2011 : 5:46:04 PM
In the past 6 months, my husband and I have been called to jury duty 3 times. My husband was called first for the City of Houston and then for Harris County. Then I got my notice in the mail. It was for Harris County, but it was at some annex that I had never heard of before. I was at first freaked out because I no longer have a car and had no idea how to get there (it turned out to be easily accessible by Metro). Then, there was the matter of what to do with my hands. I decided to practice on a crochet project. I would miss a crochet hook much less if they decided to confiscate. It turns out that worry was unwarranted. This annex didn't even have metal detectors. I probably could have snuck a gun in.

I arrived about an hour earlier than the scheduled time of 10:00 a.m. We were told around that time to go into the courtroom. After a few minutes, the justice-of-the-peace spoke to us and told us that the case we were supposed to hear had been settled. We were released at 10:30 a.m. That had to have been the easiest jury duty I have ever had. I hope I get called there the next time. At the main courthouse downtown you have to pay for parking. Last time I drove there it was $5.50 to park and jurors get paid $6.00 for the first day. This annex even had free parking.
esolari Posted - 11/30/2010 : 07:22:06 AM
This fall, I was'nt allowed to bring knitting needles into the Middlesex County Courthouse in Canton. The guards were surprised when I told them that TSA allows them on airplanes. Their reasoning was that someone could grab a needle and use it as a weapon. To me, a ballpoint pen could also be used as a weapon, too.

I have jury duty in December and am daydreaming about creating a non-pointed knitting needle.
jackiesue Posted - 11/21/2010 : 09:03:03 AM
I got a notice for jury duty and when I called and asked about bringing knitting with me I was asked my age and when I said 70 yr she said I could me excused and I really wanted to do my civic duty oh well who knew.

mathiemom Posted - 10/01/2010 : 10:11:56 AM
Alas, I didn't get to keep the claim ticket for my "weapon". However, when I was leaving the courthouse after the verdict, I walked up to security, whipped out the ticket, and announced, "I'm here to claim my weapon!" The guy looked sheepish (pun intended), but wouldn't smile.

Luann, yes, worse things could happen than "having" to buy yarn. In the anxiety of the situation, though, I felt like the addict who would do anything to get the crack, i.e. it relieved the stress a bit but didn't make me "happy". All's well that ends well, though.

Punctuatedknitter Posted - 09/28/2010 : 8:59:32 PM
Wendy, you did you get to keep your "weapons claim" ticket? That would make a hilarious stash photo next to the offending project.
Luann Posted - 09/28/2010 : 6:27:44 PM
Wendy, that's twice in a month! You are on a roll. Glad they found in DH's favor, and oh, gee, you had to buy yarn, what a shame.

Love the "weapons claim" ticket!


Knit and let knit!
mathiemom Posted - 09/28/2010 : 1:58:10 PM
Yikes! I have to eat my words the day after writing them.

Today I went to court with DH for closing arguments and to wait for a verdict. The good news: the jury found in favor of my DH in a matter of minutes (civil case). The bad news: after a week of bringing my knitting in each day, today the security officer at the x-ray machine turned to me and said those words we all dread: "Do you have knitting in there?" Me: "Yes." Officer: "That isn't allowed." Me: "Really? I've been bringing it in every day for the past week. Nobody said anything." Officer: "I have to take it." I handed over the offending piece of knitting, on the needle. He gave me a card marked "weapons claim". I am not making this up.

The good part, other than the verdict, is that I got the knitting & needle back when I left. However, I was so undone by the stress of the trial that, without my knitting to calm my frayed nerves, I was at a loss for what to do when the jury went out. So I went to the law library in the courthouse, where there was a bank of computers for public use, and bought yarn over the internet! Knitting would have been cheaper.

All in all, the day could have could out much worse, in spite of the knitting needle seizure.

mathiemom Posted - 09/27/2010 : 12:25:55 PM
Wow - I'm amazed at all the jurisdictions that disallow knitting needles. I wouldn't ever try knitting in the courtroom (definitely a no-no), but while you're waiting to be called, what else is there to do?

I've brought my knitting to jury duty in Middlesex Co., MA, and knit in the juror waiting room until we were dismissed. I also brought the chuppah (wedding canopy) that I was knitting for my daughter's wedding to FEDERAL court (also in MA) where I was actually selected to serve on a jury for two weeks in a criminal case a couple of years ago. I brought my HUGE plastic bag with the chuppah on the (metal) needles in every day, it went through the x-ray, and no one ever said anything about it. It was great to have it while we were waiting around before the trial and during breaks.

The past week, my husband has been in court on a civil case and I've come each day to be the "supportive spouse". And I've brought my knitting (on #8 Addi Lace) each day, though I don't knit when the jury and/or judge are in the courtroom at the request of DH's attorney. This is also in Middlesex Co., MA. Because of implanted surgical hardware, the metal detector goes off and I get wanded, but my knitting needles have not concerned the security folks at all.

I would advise that others call ahead or just come early so that you can return your knitting to your car, if necessary. Also, security may be willing to hold onto your knitting until you are dismissed for the day so that you don't actually lose it.


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