Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Jury Duty...Again

My sticker
Photo by King Richard

Today, for the umpteenth time, I had to report to the Superior Court building for jury duty.  Since moving to the Northeast over twenty years ago, I have had the honor of performing this civic task more times than I can count.  Mind you, I don't always have to show up in person (like today).  Sometimes all I need to do is call in to see if they need me.*  At other times, I have been excused.  For example, when Katherine the Great was young and still nursing, I was allowed to delay my service until she was weaned.  A few times, I was permitted to bow out because I was a homeschooling mom with a deployed military husband.  Once, after going through part of the voir dire process, I was excused because I was the back-up labor and delivery coach for my friend who was pregnant with twins.  About six years ago, I was granted permission to leave because I was the executor for my father's will.  Today, however, I had to make an appearance in person.  Thankfully, I only had to stay for about two hours.  I was impannelled for a civil case that was subsequently continued, so the other jurors and I were dismissed.  Now, because I actually showed up for jury duty, I won't be required to serve for three years.  Unfortunately, that will not stop the judicial system from sending me a jury summons.  I get those a least once every six to twelve months.**  Fortunately, this time, when I get a new summons, I will be able to refer to my juror certificate as evidence of previous service.  Hurrah!

*In my state of residence, being excused from jury duty by being listed on a "no show" list prior to your appearance date excuses you only for the current court year, which runs from September 1 to August 31.

**Jury summons are mailed to citizens based on a randomly generated list that pulls names from the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Central Voter Registry of the Secretary of State, the state income tax rolls at the Department of Revenue Services, and the unemployment compensation records from the Department of Labor.  This random selection does not take into account prior jury service.  The judicial system relies on jurors to alert the court as to their previous service, if any.

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