Jury Duty

At the end of January I got notification of being picked for jury duty.  I was excited.  It took over 30 years, but I was looking forward to it.  All my friends and family thought I was nuts, and I thought they were nuts for thinking I was nuts.  I think that’s too many nuts. 

Anyway, the first day to report for jury duty was in February.  One evening I get a phone call from the court house.  I neglected to report that day.  I totally forgot, it was the same day as AJ/Katie/Rori court date and they were foremost on my mind, so …. oops.  Next day, I was sick.  3rd day, well, I was babysitting, I figured they did alright without me the first two days, why show up the 3rd day.  Melanie asked me if I got in trouble.  And I said, no and was actually surprised she would word it that way.  Two weeks later, I get a summons.  I have to go to court to explain why I didn’t bother to report for jury duty and why they shouldn’t charge me with contempt of court.

  I was confused at first, but then remember something about ‘civic duty’.  I think I heard it on Law and Order or something. 

Couple days ago.  Off to court I went.  Jeri asked me what I was going to say, and if I was nervous.  I thought, not nervous and just really going to man up and say I screwed up, take my punishment.  I thought it to be minimal, after all, I was going to just tell him the truth and what can go wrong with that. 

I’m up at the table and after the judge massacred my name, I proceeded to explain it all to him and make my grand apologies. I just didn’t know the importance or the severity of a issue it was to just ‘blow off’.  I told him about my excitement to finally be picked to do this.  I explained my mind being on AJ’s court date and forgot about the jury duty.  Then how I was sick and frankly on the 3rd day, I could have tried harder to find someone to watch kids for me.  I said I was sorry and it was all my fault. 

He said, “you are darn right it is your fault.  Cut the crap.  No one wants to do jury duty.  And until they need a jury to stand in front of an be tried, well…. then they want a jury, but they sure didn’t want anything to do with a jury when it was their turn to serve.” 

I was flabbergasted.  Speechless.  He was pissed.  I told the truth.  I said I would take my punishment.  You aren’t supposed to be in so much trouble when you tell the truth.  I could have lied, sure.  But heck, he’s probably heard them all and then some.  What good would it be to lie.  Now what?!?!

He said he had two options, a fine or put me back in the jury pool to serve again.  I asked to serve again, after all I was excited about it and think it would be interesting.  And I wanted the chance to prove that I could fulfill my civic duty and that I wasn’t blowing smoke up his butt.  Of course I didn’t say it exactly that way to the judge. 

He opted to give me a second chance and stated quite brutally that he was being generous.  This would be my only warning and in fact if I didn’t show again, it would definitely lead to criminal charges.  Criminal charges!?!?!  I think I was still a little numb leaving the court room. 

So let this be a lesson to everyone… when they say you are to report for jury duty, damn it, they mean it!

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~ by mamadubs on March 29, 2008.

One Response to “Jury Duty”

  1. Geez, Bobbie, who was your judge? Too bad they are not so tough with the criminals!!!

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