Suzanne's Second Estate

A web log of my thoughts, activities, life....

Monday, February 26, 2007

Civic Duty

I find myself with time to blog on a Monday morning. I'm sitting in the county courthouse. Don't worry; I'm not here due to unsavory circumstances. I am reporting for my first (well actually second) jury duty. While I was in Washington for Christmas break, my roommate called me and told me jury summons had arrived. Because this was my first time, I carefully planned around my appearance date — January 17. I informed everyone at work several weeks in advance that I might not be there that Thursday. I rearranged several meetings. I completed my deadline early. All to discover (when I pulled out my summons the night before) I was actually supposed to be there on Wednesday, January 16. I was panicked, especially when I saw the warning: "Failure to report for jury duty could result in a $750 fine or jail time."

The next morning I received a voicemail from "Deputy Bob" informing me that he knew I had skipped jury duty and it would be wise for me to turn myself in. (Deputy Bob sounded remarkably like Hunter.) I called the courthouse to confess my mistake armed with my excellent excuse and a list of character witnesses. In an unimpressed, monotone voice the guy on the other end said, "When would you like to reschedule? February or March?" (Lesson learned: If you want to choose your jury duty day, accidentally miss your original day.)

So here I sit. After watching a 17-minute video about the Colorado judicial system, in which it was stated no less than 15 times, "You're probably really bummed to be here." I wouldn't say I'm put out. After all, "Ice Age" is playing. Not to mention I have access to free wi-fi, which is allowing me to catch up on e-mail and blogging. And after watching the video, I'm thankful for a jury trial system. The first jury has already been selected — four more to go. Evidently, if you don't want to be here, the odds are in your favor. This means I'll most likely be back at my desk this afternoon — feeling slightly more patriotic, no doubt.

8 Comments:

At 10:48 AM, Anonymous Kelsey said...

I haven't had to experience jury duty yet, (knock on wood). I am glad it worked out and you don't have to pay a huge fine! :)

 
At 10:50 AM, Blogger Suzanne said...

Or go to jail! (One of my friends offered to pay the fine, if it came to that. ;)

 
At 1:51 PM, Blogger Anna H. said...

I've been summoned for jury duty twice, and ended up sitting in a big room full of people all day, and never being picked. The first time I got in on a poker game with a table full of similarly fated strangers. The second time I picked up a nearby book (which happend to be Frankenstein) and settled into a relatively comfy chair for the day. So, my jury duty experiences, thus far, have been somewhat enjoyable!

 
At 6:57 PM, Blogger Ashleigh said...

Well, jury duty is a lot more high tech than it was in the state I got summoned. No wi-fi and no movie. Definite perks to help the waiting process.

Funny story about jury duty, months after I moved back to the mainland from Hawaii, I got a jury duty summons from Hawaii and I wasn't even a resident anymore! I had to write them a letter explaining I was the resident of another state.

 
At 7:41 PM, Blogger Deanna Regina said...

on saturday as i was driving on the gw parkway (a road in dc where you have an awesome view of the kennedy center, washington, lincoln and jefferson monuments) with georgia, a 7 year old girl that i was babysitting, and I began to explain to her, in a rather patriotical tone, that we should be so thankful that we live here and thus can enjoy such vast and beautiful monuments to our nations history because some people never get to see these national treasures and we can see them everyday...Georgia looked up and said, "i like candy" my patriotic bubble was burst...i said, "i like candy too"

 
At 8:10 PM, Blogger Becky said...

I had jury duty several years ago and actually got picked to be on the jury. I was surprised to find how close to reality a lot of the crime-based TV shows are, at least in terms of how a trial is run. However, no drama on TV could compare to the ending of my trial experience: the D.A. used a Mr. Potato Head as a prop during her closing argument. Yes, a Mr. Potato Head. (Needless to say, the man was acquitted.)

 
At 9:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne said...

Deanna,

That is a truly delightful story! I had something similar happen at my Bible class. I had explained salvation and asked the children to come talk to me if they had questions. Five-year-old Danielle approached shyly. "Do you have a question?" I asked, kneeling down. She looked into my eyes and stammered, "Can I...I...I have some more juice?" Ah, the joys of working with kids.

 
At 11:12 PM, Anonymous Harp said...

Jury Duty. Gosh. You're so lucky. I would love to do something like that.
Suz, I posted a 'wimp' update. Oddly enough it also has a fun story about working with kids. Maybe they can be a handful at times, but they most always speak the truth. The whole truth. And nothing but the truth.

 

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