Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Jury Duty

It seems like every time we move, Mrs. Ref receives a jury summons -- and I don't.  That is, until now.

I received a summons for one of the weeks we were traveling to Prague.  Hmmm ... Jury duty or Prague??  It was a tough decision, but I eventually opted for Prague.

In Oregon, you are allowed to delay your service one time.  So I delayed it until the week of 2 Easter.  Everything was going along fine until the Bishop reminded me that clergy conference was that week and I should probably make plans to attend.

I called the courthouse and explained my situation.  The gal on the other end of the line said, "Well, you're only allowed to delay it once; but since I'm filling in, and since we aren't short of potential jurors, I'll let you move it."  I thanked her and promised her that I would not be calling back.

It is now the week of my jury service.

I showed up at 8 a.m. for the orientation which was the standard, "It's a wonderful thing you're doing, thank you for coming and taking it seriously," video.  A judge came and said, "It's a wonderful thing you're doing, thank you for coming and taking it seriously."

Then we were herded off to the jury rooms to wait.  And wait.  And wait wait wait wait wait.

Finally, at 11 a.m., we were called into the courtroom.  Questions were asked by the judge and potential jurors were excused.  An hour later, we were released for lunch.  When we returned from lunch, those of us left were herded into a jury room to wait.  And wait.  And wait wait wait.

At 2:30, we were called back into the courtroom.  We were questioned by the attorneys and thinned out a little more.  Then the attorneys did what attorneys do, and at 3:45 a jury was selected.  Those not selected were released.  Those remaining were herded back into the jury room to wait.

At 4 p.m. we were given jury badges and told to come back around 8:15 in the morning so we could get started.  So, I'm on a jury hearing a case on ________________ and deciding the fate of _____________.

I could tell you, but we've been ordered not to under penalty of death (or something like that).  So for now, just know that I'm busy performing my civic duty.  And don't ask.


Lady Anne | 8:36 AM, May 07, 2014  

Both the Squire and I have been called for jury duty. In Maryland, when you are called, you are given a number and a date. You call the day before you are to serve, and if your number is not selected, you don't have to report, but you are put back on the list and can be all but guaranteed to be called the second time.

They tell you to bring a book. There is a "quiet room" where you can read in peace, or you can watch TV or chat with other jurors. I read all day and then went home.

The Squire served for a week, way back when, and put his jury money toward purchasing his very first home computer - and Atari! Long, long ago.

Anonymous | 9:27 AM, May 07, 2014  

It's all about waiting.

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