Thursday, April 11, 2013

Adventures in Jury Duty

I had my appearance for jury duty this week.  I still think it is weird we didn't report until Tuesday morning.  I am not going to lie I was excited about going especially since it was my first time.   The fact that it would mean at least one day S of being able to go to lunch together, a rare treat for us, didn't make it such a bad way to spend a day in my book.  So I happily appeared Tuesday morning to start the whole process and it didn't take long for me to realize the possibility of sitting on the jury was pretty high.  We were told when the judge came out to start the whole questioning process that 100 letters were sent out and 35 people showed up.   I am not going to lie I have always pictured that the list of questions would be asked to us one at a time but that was not the case for us they were done as a group.  There were two rounds of questioning and after the first round we went back in after a break and they let  6 or 7 people go.  By 11 I was sitting on a jury for an eminent domain case, I am just thankful it was for a civil case.  

A few things I learned about jury duty or happened

* During the first round of questioning an old man stood up and declared he has sleep apnea and if the case was boring he would fall asleep in the jury box.  Yes he was one let go the first round.  And he stood up twice to state that.

* That you shouldn't show up late to jury duty.  One lady came in almost 45 minutes late.  What saved her from being in to much trouble is she called to say she was running late because she was lost and the fact so few showed up.  Lesson don't be late for jury duty because your punishment could be sitting on a jury.  Or at least we teased her about that at one point.

*  The judge actually decides the amount of the fine for not showing up for jury duty.  I was standing near a guy who asked the bailiff during our break between questioning.  I always thought it was a set fine.  

*  Field trips mean you get to ride in the convict van.  Or at least we did as it was the only thing big enough in the county to take the whole jury to see the property in question.  And yes the judge did mention during our questioning that we would be going out to the property and Field Trip screamed out for me.  

* You always see pictures of jury rooms on TV and in movies and it is a big long table in a room.  We had a table that would hold six people and chairs around the room.  When we went back to deliberate it was hard to get a good spot for the evidence and all of us be able to see it.

*  We might have been the most unruly group of jurors ever.  They had to come into the jury room during breaks (aka they judge & lawyers were arguing over something) to tell us to keep it down.  And one time in the courtroom during a short meeting at the bench.  

* That eminent domain is a very boring subject.  At least one juror and defendant fell asleep at points of the trial.  And I am glad it only lasted two days.

* The chairs in the jury box are really hard.  Thankfully the judge allowed us to stand up anytime there was a change in witnesses or they were meeting at the bench.  

* I was one of the only people to bring anything to read while waiting around the first day.  I got through all but 5 pages of my history assignment this week Tuesday morning. 

* We weren't handed the case until Thursday morning so by the time we delivered the verdict it was just after twelve, which meant S and I got to do lunch for a third day in a row.  I feel really spoiled by getting so many lunches in one week with my bestie and not looking forward to going back to lunches at my desk and studying.  

It is back to work for me.  I feel so off schedule thanks to the late reporting times all week or at least compared to my work schedule and the fact I have not been at work since Monday.  I am not looking forward to the amount of emails waiting on my return.  I am glad to have my first jury duty under my belt and hope it is a while before I report for another one.   


  1. That sounds so interesting! I am curious to see if I ever get called and if so, whether they keep me because I was an employee of the court.

  2. So interesting. I've never done a civil case.

  3. I've never been on jury duty thankfully. That was smart to bring something to read!

  4. Interesting little tidbits about jury duty. I have never been called up.