Friday, October 27, 2006

The joy of jury duty

About midnight last night I realized that I had jury duty this week. My bad. So I went online and saw that my group had been called and saw that if you don't show, "the court may find the prospective juror in contempt of court, punishable by a fine of up to $1000.00, or 5 days in the county jail, or both." So I was feeling really great.

Now, I am not as bad as it seems. I actually want to serve on a jury, or at lest get called to the courthouse. I have never sat in on a trial before and I think it would be interesting to watch. That said, I am pretty busy, and when I got my summons I noticed that full time students can postpone their service until a time that school is not in session. Of course the form that you are supposed to fill out in incredibly confusing, but I filled it out and sent it in with a copy of my class schedule and then forgot about it. But I never heard anything back, so last night when I remembered that I had jury duty this week I was not really sure if I did or not. Then I came home this afternoon and found two identical letters from the county saying that my request was granted and I do not have jury duty until the week before Christmas. I was quite relieved that I am not going to be in jail anytime soon, but I was a little upset at the tardy and wasteful two notices. I should have gotten them at least a week ago.

Overall, I was very surprised and disappointed at the difficulty of the whole thing. The form to request a postponement is very confusing and parts are contradictory. If a college student like me that enjoys studying English, government and politics has a hard time figuring it out, how is a new citizen that has only been in the country for a short while supposed to figure it out? The judicial system, at least here in Santa Clara County, needs to make some changes.

P.S. Can someone email me the week of December 17th to remind me I have jury duty again?


1 comment:

John said...

Ahhh the bureaucracy, ain't it grand?
I'm not sure if mine's better, but I got my booklet of the election information the other day and it was in Spanish. I'm peeved on so many levels by this that I'm pretty sure I no longer have any semblance of faith in our government. If only there were some way to harness voter apathy for good. I could change the world.

I'm so glad that I've not yet chosen a life of crime. I'd hate to have my fate in the hands of 12 people that weren't smart enough (no offense) to get out of jury duty.

I'm not sure where I got that line, I think I stole it from a movie somewhere. Yup, stealing lines from random movies totally sounds like me.