I had the divine privilege to fulfill my jury duty service last week. I was called to be a standby juror. If you haven’t been before, you get your summons in the mail first. Then you read it and answer the questionnaire on the summons. I was answering too quickly and didn’t notice that they switched where the “yes” box was with the “no” box and I had to cross it out and correct it. It’s not big deal if you make a mistake. It just looks super messy when you mail it back to them. So when you’re done with the questionnaire you detach that from the rest of the summons. You mail it and you bring the other piece with you when you go to the courthouse. It’s not a guarantee that you have to attend if they send you the summons. My dad got one the month before and he didn’t get called. So on the summons they give a certain week that you might have to serve. Mine was the week of 4/4/16. So that entire week had to be plan-free because I didn’t know if they were going to call me. I had to check the website for my number. So for that Monday, I checked the website the previous Friday to see if they listed my number. They didn’t, but the number ended at 169. My number was 176, so I knew I was going to be called the next day…..and what do you know, I was. Lucky me.
On the back of the summons, they say you have to wear business casual which is pretty much what you would wear to church. They have all the information you need on the back and if you have anymore questions, you can go to their website (this should be listed on the back of the summons or you can google your courthouse). On the front of the summons is your name and address and a line where you have to sign when you get to the courthouse. I didn’t wear any jewelry because I didn’t want to have to take any of that off when I got to the courthouse. I was a little anxious because I’m pregnant and didn’t know if they had any x-ray scanners there. I asked the security guard if they had an x-ray scanner and he said that they have something else (he told me what it was and it may have been “magnetometer” but I’m not entirely sure). He was nice enough to let me walk around it. Another security guard scanned me with a metal detector wand. Then I was on my merry way towards the elevators.
When I got to the jury assembly room, there weren’t that many people there because I arrived early. We were suppose to get there at 8:30AM so I thought I would go early. I’ve never been to jury duty so I didn’t know what I would be doing there. I got there at around 8:00AM which was way too early because the others arrived closer to 9:00AM. I was told to sign, hand in my summons and put my juror number on a badge (a sticker we were to place on our shirt). Then I had to fill in this questionnaire that had pretty straight forward questions. Some people had trouble answering the questions which was weird because they were pretty easy to answer. There were no trick questions on there. Then at 9:00AM we watched a wonderful video. The video didn’t even go all the way through because it wasn’t working properly.
We were told that there was no eating or drinking in the room and if we wanted to do so we had to do it outside of the room. There were benches outside where you could sit and eat. I was thinking that maybe they could have provided lunch or something but I guess providing lunch for that many people would have been a daunting task. They did tell us that we were getting paid for the day so I don’t think it would have been too expensive to feed us. It was $9.00 plus travel. I would rather have been fed instead of having to travel outside of the courthouse and back.
We sat there for what seemed like days because there was nothing to do there but wait and watch tv. On my summons it said that I wasn’t allowed to have my phone on but I saw other people on their phones. Since I was bored out of my mind I followed suit. They turned on the tv but there weren’t that many interesting shows on. They were mostly talk shows I wasn’t interested in. I wish they would have put a movie on or something. I was so bored sitting there. A couple of times, I closed my eyes and almost fell asleep. I kept looking at the clock and my phone to see what time it was. Time just wasn’t moving fast enough. The jury manager kept getting updates for us but they never needed to call any of us to be a juror.
After that we were told we could leave after we picked up our check and our letter stating we served that day. So my service is good for 3 years. I’m so glad that is over with. That was the most unproductive day ever. If you guys served let me know what you experienced in the comments below. What do you think of jury duty?