Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Jury Duty

Back in May, I found a summons for Jury duty when my accumulated mail caught up with me. The date to report had already passed!

With visions of bench warrants dancing in my head, I immediately called the court and explained that I was a full-time RVer, and had just received the summons. This is one advantage to domiciling in Polk County Texas, where thousands of full-timers are based -- the court system is very understanding. They told me there was no problem, and to come in the next time I was in town.

When I got to Livingston I called to find out how to get scheduled and was told they just had a trial the day before, but I could go to the next one on November 3rd. It seemed very informal -- they didn't even take my name!

So yesterday I reported to the courthouse along with 150 or so of my neighbors. I only recognized two of them -- a lady who works in the tax assessor/vehicle registration department and the guy who does inspections at a local RV repair place. We were greeted at the door by the Bailiff, a burly man with a Texan drawl, a Texas flag tie, and all sorts of stuff hanging from his belt -- guns, a taser, handcuffs, and a few mystery weapons. He turned out to be quite nice -- at one point he noticed I was reading my Kindle and came over to ask me how I liked it.

Once we had filled out our juror questionnaires and indicated whether we wanted our $6 juror payment to be sent to us or a local charity (I selected Escapees CARE), we were sent on a "break" that lasted over 45 minutes. During this time, 50 random juror's names were selected, and these formed the jury pool for the first trial. The rest of us were dismissed until 1 PM, at which time a second set of jurors would be chosen for another trial later in the week.

When we returned, we were told that the subsequent trial had been settled out of court, so our jury service was complete. We were told we would not be called again for at least 3 months. I'll watch my mail then as I seem to be something of a juror-magnet -- I have been called five times, at least once in every state I've lived in!

1 comment:

Richard said...

Jury duty and voting -- only a few days apart -- you are an emancipated, civic-minded, Texas woman.