Wednesday, October 17, 2007

You can’t handle the truth!

Last week, I received the jury summons.

At first I laughed. My ass off. I remembered filling out the questionnaire early summer, and then I forgot about it, or blocked it out. It’s not an unfamiliar thing, the questionnaire and the summons, having been called up half a dozen times in my life, waiting in the boring room before the voir dire, hoping to the jeebus my name doesn’t get called, sighing with relief when it wasn’t or when they settled and didn’t need a jury. So yeah, I laughed.

Until I saw the date of service.

The week of October 29.

The worst possible week evah.

It’s Halloween, man! I’m a room mother, I always go to the kids school parties.

Plus there’s half days of school that week for conferences, and I’ve already taken that time off work (and declined the school child care program).

I have to attend a teacher conference, Girl-child’s school concert, and a crown for my tooth coming in that week.

Like with three weeks notice I can deal with all that? Rescheduling all that?

No. Uh-uh.

I wrote a letter. A detailed, emotional letter. Why I needed a postponement. I gave it to Sergei to read, and he crossed everything off and helped me write a not-so-detailed letter, one full of Please and Hardship and Ready And Willing To Serve. Then I crossed my fingers and toes and sent the letter in. I also emailed it the next morning, just in case.

A few days later, I got a letter back. “You are excused from jury duty…your new week of service will be December blahblah. You get one postponement only.”

This morning I got the corresponding email response back.

Somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I recall someone saying that when you got a postponement, they were sure to put you on the jury. And y’know, as long as it’s not a case where kids were harmed (which would make me cry constantly in the jury box), I think I’d do okay.

Have you been on a jury? What happened?


At 9:40 AM, Blogger Sanjay said...

I was on a civil trial that lasted about 5 days. I enjoyed it because it was my first time and it let me have a fascinating look at our legal system, and also the sense of responsibility that one feels knowing what is at stake.

This was a civil case coming out of a shaken baby syndrome (the criminal part of it was already done).

At 11:45 AM, Blogger Stroll said...

I'm one of the few people who *wants* jury duty, but I never get it. I mean, I've had to go be interviewed or whatever, but never been picked for the actual jury.

I don't believe that if you get a postponement that they will definatly put you on the jury. It's kind of hard to get picked actually. You have to be approved by both side's lawyers and not have any apparant bias.

At 2:55 PM, Blogger Faith said...

I have never, in all my registered voter years, good citizenry, and all that kind of thing, been called to jury duty.

Not once.

I don't have kids, I'm not married (yet), I have a stable job that I'd be able to get away from for several days, if required.

I don't get it. Am I an anomoly?

At 4:56 PM, Blogger Jeremiah said...

I'm on my third postponement, which is apparently my limit in this state, so I report on Nov. 14 for sure, which, of course, will probably be around the time I start my new job, which, of course, isn't a good time. Never is, I suppose.

At 6:13 PM, Blogger meno said...

I was on jury duty once and got on a civil trial that lasted about three weeks.

I had a great time. I got time off work, with pay. We got an hour and a half for lunch in downtown Seattle where there are many great places to eat.

The trial was interesting, and had nothing to do with children, thank goodness.

Have fun. It could get you out of lots of Christmas bullshit.

At 9:17 PM, Blogger Irrelephant said...

I'm with Stroll--forty years old, a registered (and fanatic) voter, and never seen the inside of a courthouse other than to pay fines and such. I do have to give you a big pat on the back for being so willing to do your duty. Our judicial system may be a joke, but when the citizenry won't back it, it falls apart. Good on you, Mona!

At 10:10 PM, Blogger Diana said...

So far, I've always gotten a professional "get out of jury duty free" as it would be a hardship for the clinic if I were off for a month on some detailed case.

I'd actually like to do it, just not now when life is so crazy. Maybe in 20 years? 40?

At 10:24 PM, Blogger Maggie said...

Yeah I received a postponement through my job writing a letter. The next time I went in, I was third on the list. The first 10 people on the list, were all postponers. So don't be surprised if you get called up. But, I had the best time. I served on a murder trial. It lasted six days - two of which were deliberation. It was an excellent time and I got to put a scumbag away. That felt so awesome.

At 10:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous, too said...

I got chosen as an alternate juror this past winter. The trial lasted about three days, and I was excused right before the jurors were sent to deliberate.

The charges involved criminal sexual abuse of a minor. It was very interesting to hear the testimony from the cops, doctors, DNA expert, and the victim herself. The defense didn't mount much of a case, but they didn't have much to work with. The jurors reached a verdict of guilty on all counts in an hour or two.

The weirdest part was that the judge looked like Dick Van Dyke!

At 9:02 AM, Blogger gr said...

Juries are a good thing, but watching lawyers argue is so damened boring.....


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