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Jury Duty: Step 1 - Admission

So you've survived another rush hour after a less than fulfilling day of work. You hang your purse on the end of a kitchen chair, and lazily toss your coat over the arm of the couch. You grab your keys and go to check your mailbox.

The usual gang is there: an overdue cable bill, a few grocery circulars, a brightly colored delivery menu from the new Super Golden Happy Dragon Wok, and a shady credit card offer.

Then you see it. A nondescript white envelope with a bit of text peeking through the elongated, plastic address window. It reads "SUMMONS" in red, bold, and underlined authoritarian type. What do you do?


You freak your shit out, of course. Why? Because you didn't see the cool, calming blue box beneath judicial threat word. Had you read that box, you would've noticed that you are merely being summoned for jury duty.

After you catch your breath and determine that you are not, in fact, getting sued out of the blue, you notice your juror number. Congratulations. Registering to vote just bit you in the ass. So now what do you do?

You exclaim, "Shit! They found me!"

You can substitute any profane word you like. It won't change the situation, but it will make you feel better.

Though it probably varies across the states, you will quickly come to realize that you will have a mere 10 days to complete this juror survey and send it back in the pre-paid, pre-addressed return envelope. Here's to hoping that you haven't been on safari in Zimbabwe for a month. Or that you check your mail in a timely fashion. I, for one, don't.

You'll want to get crackin' too, because ignoring one of these babies could come back in the form of a warrant for arrest. Being on a jury is a civic duty, after all, and qualified citizens are required to serve. Read it once. Read it twice. Curse loudly. Go ahead.

That is, after all, what step one is all about: coming to terms with it. And swearing a lot, if necessary.

After a bit of shouting you'll realize that sitting in on a trail is a hell of a lot better than being held in contempt of court. Or having a state trooper show up at your house and "escort" you to the courthouse to "perform your duties."

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 22nd, 2008 04:47 am (UTC)
I got called for jury duty once - it was surprisingly easy to get out of, given that I was away at college. I was actually kind of disappointed, but then I had to go observe a trial for one of my classes and it was sooooo boring!
Jan. 23rd, 2008 12:47 am (UTC)
The likelihood that you'll actually be selected to serve the duty is so slim though. Fret not. It'll be one wasted day, sure, but you'll get a lot of reading done!
Jan. 23rd, 2008 12:48 am (UTC)
See, I was there today... and sat the whole time, but I was one of 26 people that didn't get selected. And we have 90 cases coming up tomorrow.

Jan. 23rd, 2008 11:02 pm (UTC)
I got one of those right out of high school. But I had an legitimate excuse and didn't have to attend. I did have to call the courthouse and make sure they got my identification and all of those other things sorted out (don't want to end up in you know where). But who knows when one of those envelopes might reappear in the mailbox?
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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