Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My day of jury duty, or should I just say morning?

A couple of months ago, I was summoned to the Morris County Courthouse to serve in a petite jury case. For those who are not familiar with the terminology, a petite jury case is "one day - one trial". The cases at hand were all civil cases, not criminal thank God. Originally, the only way the courts could summon people for jury was through their registration to vote in elections. However, they've gotten a bit more clever over the years and added to their resources for summoning. Courts can also use tax information as well as drivers licenses, but they will not permit anybody under the age of 18 to serve on a jury.

I was due at the courthouse 8:30 this morning in Morristown. Parking for jurors was validated in the parking garage of Headquarters Plaza, so I drove there to park my car. Little did I know, when I made my way up to the lobby, that shuttle bus for the courthouse had already taken off! That kinda sucked, but luckily the courthouse was only two blocks up the hill from Headquarters Plaza. Therefore, I called the jury management office and told them I'd be a few minutes late because I was in no way, shape, or form aware that the shuttle was taking off at 8:15 for a place that is literally 2 minutes driving distance away.

Eventually, I made it to the courthouse. Looking around in the room where I was sitting down, I noticed there were about 40 people present. There was also coffee (the shitty kind, I might add) and some cookies available for those in attendance. Hey, it's the thought that counts. Right? The court feels as though it inconvenienced us enough with this jury duty business; the least they could do is provide refreshments for us. From about 9am until quarter after noon, I just sat in that room and daydreamed. I did a little thinking. I dozed off a bit. I played with my cellphone. I looked at a magazine. At approximately 12:20, the jury office manager announced that they did not need us any more and that we were free to go. How about that?

After a little over three hours (and five dollars later) spent in a courthouse, I did not even have to meet the judge or sit in the courtroom for an actual case. It could've been a hell of a lot worse, don't you think? LOL. No jury duty for me, for at least three more years now!


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