I was upstairs in my computer room when Michael came to the doorway waving a piece of mail saying, “Guess who has jury duty?!” Rats! Not exactly the kind of mail I look forward to. Maybe some people enjoy fulfilling their civic responsibility in this way. But I’m not one of them.
I can’t remember how many years ago I last served, but it was for five days. I didn’t have to go in the first day, and Friday turned out to be a half day. I was called for only one panel. It was a malpractice case, and when they read out the names of the doctors being sued, I was shocked to hear that one of them was the obstetrician who delivered Jen! No way would I be seated on that jury!
Opening this summons, I discovered that it was for a petit jury Wednesday-Friday, August 17-19.
I did have the option of postponing. But I decided to accept because (a) there’s no way to know when the postponement date would be, i.e., could be really inconvenient; (b) it was only three days; (c) I had a high juror number, so like last time I might not be called the first day; and (d) it being summer, Friday would likely be a half day.
In preparation, the week before and leading up to the first day of the summons, I put aside the NY Times crossword puzzles. Plus, when we were at EMP and I mentioned I’d be having jury duty, I was presented with this:
Jurors find out the night before whether they will be required to show up the following day. Last time, the info was available only via a phone call. Now, it’s on line after 6 p.m. (though it can also be gotten via the phone). So, on Tuesday evening, I logged into the NJ Courts website, clicked on the appropriate county, and found that everyone in Group 10 – Nos. 1- 2000 — was “on call,” meaning I did not have to report on Wednesday. Great! One day down, two to go!
Wednesday evening, I again logged on. The message read something like this: Service for Group 10 is completed. Yowza! I was done! Lucky me! I’d definitely made the right decision. Never having to set foot inside the courthouse was the jury summons of my dreams.
And here’s the even better news. I won’t be called again for at least three years, by which time I will have reached the age where there is the option to decline serving. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you what my response will be. Jury duty finis forever!