Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Civic Duty Fun (Fail)

Despite the fact that I tried to fill out my jury questionnaire last November in such a way that no attorney should want me, I got that darn summons anyway.

Hubby agreed to be on Mr. Mom stand-by and, sure enough, Monday night when I checked the voicemail message from the clerk's office, I actually had to show up.


This is the second time I've gotten a summons in the six years we've lived in our house. Last time, that same message said no trial. Technically, the courts reporter at work told me the defendant was going to plead out first, but I checked just in case.

So I actually got up when my alarm went off and fended off children until Mr. Mom got out of the shower.

For the record, I had to leave him a note on what he needed to do - cat to the vet, laundry and thaw dinner. He got 2 out of 3. In one morning. I'll take that.

I drove the 17 miles to the courthouse, circled around a bit until I understood where I could park without being towed (signage would be GREAT, folks).  I eventually followed the small wave of people heading in the same general direction. I had left my weaponry at home, so the metal detector was easy (I am always afraid I'm gonna set them off. How lame am I?). Then I was off to sit in a room with 20-plus other people trying to look as boring and un-juror-worthy as possible.

After 30 minutes of waiting for everyone to show, the Bailiff started explaining a few things, fielded questions and then popped in a instructional DVD. While I got a refresher on high school civics, I was pretty well at ease. I could be a good juror, right? I listen, process information reasonably well and I'm never short on opinions. And my kids and Hubby would be no worse for the wear after a few days in Mr. Mommyland.

I was becoming intrigued by the whole process, I admit. I was looking forward to doing something that *might* require more brain cells than the SAHM gig.

When the video was over, the Bailiff came back and said there was something going on, that we might not be needed after all. There were a few murmurs as some tried to figure out what she meant.

Sure enough, she came back in followed by the judge and the prosecutor. The defendant had decided to plead guilty literally minutes before we were going to be numbered and herded led into the courtroom for questioning.

So I got $17 plus mileage for my time. I still had to come home, feed two howler monkeys lunch, fold laundry, entertain said monkeys inside lest we burst into flame out in the crazy heat, and prep dinner. And that does NOT count as my jury service for 2011.

I'm pretty sure I'll be getting another summons in the mail yet this year.That's how my luck goes.

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