Mark Gilbert's Blog

Science and technology, served light and fluffy.

It pays to show up for jury duty

About two months ago I got a jury summons in the mail.  As it turns out I was going to be out of town the day that they had me down for, so I called and had it rescheduled to today.

I checked the county web site last night to see if my juror group (#1) was called in, or called off.  Group 3 had already been dismissed, but the site asked that groups 1, 2, and 4 check back this morning at 8:45 to see if we were needed.

So I checked back at 8:45.  Sure enough, groups 1, 2, and 4 were called in.  This wasn’t the first time I received a summons, but this was the first time that I was actually asked to report.  Ok, no problem.  I have some work I can bring with me, and some time to work through a novel.  Who knows, I’ve never sat in on a real trial, even as a spectator, so this would be an interesting experience.

I show up at the courthouse about 9:15, and followed the directions to the Clerk’s window.

“Good morning,” I said.

“Good morning,” she replied cordially.  “How can I help you?”

“Is this where jurors check in?”

“Yes it is, but the juries have all canceled for today.”

“All of them?”  I asked, surprised.

“Yes.  Can I get your name?”  she asks.

I showed her my summons, and as she searched for my name on her list she explained.  “Yeah, about 10 minutes after the call went out they decided that they didn’t need anyone after all.  I’m just checking your name off for showing up so you can still get paid.”


Had I checked the site 15 minutes later than I did, I would have seen the message “No jurors need report”, and not bothered to go in.  Let this be a lesson to all of you out there who have made fun of me for being on time.  Na na na-na na.  Pbbststst.

August 5, 2008 - Posted by | General

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