Thursday, June 12, 2008


After 15 years of being on the move from address to address and state to state - the powers that be have finally caught up to me and slapped me with the wet haddock of civic responsibility. Yes, I've been summoned to Jury Duty.

For years now I've been of the impression that jury duty was something that happened to "other people" much in the same way that "other people" get hit by hurricanes, win the lottery, or watch American Idol. Sure, I can understand the logic of how people find themselves in that situation, and given how common those events are it stands to reason eventually everyone is that "other person". But dammit, Jury Duty? Why couldn't I be the "other person" who wins the lottery?

From talking to my friends, it seems that I'm one of the last people of my generation to get jury duty. Everyone seems so surprised that I've never had it before, despite my having been a registered voter since I was 18. I think it's because I moved around so often in my younger days* that I was never in one place long enough to be on their rolls long enough for hte list to finally get to me. But when I realized that my current condo is the second-longest home I've ever had in my entire life**. So I suppose it's only reasonable to expect that the man woudl hunt me down sooner or later...

Besides, Cook county is apparently so used to people deferring their service that they let you do it over the an automated call computer. Three months of freedom!

Of course, now I'll have to save at least one of the books from my latest trip to Barnes & Noble for the day of boredom to come in September. Oh well, I think Wuthering Heights will wait - it's already been waiting 160 years for me to get around to reading it, I think it can handle another couple months.

* Bouncing between Minnesota, Illinois, and Ohio at various points
** One more year, in fact and I'll have lived here longer than any other house in my entire life - 6 years


towwas said...

I got a summons once a few years ago but in my parents' county, you call in the night before and they tell you you don't have to come in. I'd always heard that DC has so few jurors, you get called about five minutes after your mandated gap between trials ends, but I've lived here for over a year now and nothing yet....

J.Po said...

I've been summoned around 6 TIMES!! AND I've moved 4 times since coming out west. Either we have a not more trials out here or a completely different system for obtaining jurors. I'm guessing the latter. In fact, we have a call-in system ... the day you're supposed to start jury duty, you have to call in to see if you need to come to the court house. You do this all week until your week is up. If you never need to come, you're off the hook for a year. I've never had to actually make an appearance at the court house under this system, so I'm guessing they have far too many people per trial, and just leave a ton of excess in the wings - JIC.

grrrbear said...

I supposed I should clarify, I do get to call in the night before my day and see whether I have to come in or not. So I've got that going for me.

Still, the thing about Cook county is that the vast majority of couthouses are in parts of town that I don't necesssarily feel very safe in. I was scheduled to go to the one in Maywood, which is an only mildly sketchy suburb on the west side. Of course not that I've deferred I'll probably get sent to the Criminal court on the south side and have to be escorted to my vehicle like my friend was after her stint was over.

Good times!

The Phoenix said...

I've never been summoned....EVER. (knock on wood)