My Civic Duty

I remember feeling elated when I turned eighteen.  I was an adult.  I was given a voice.  I was finally old enough to cast my ballot in the voting booth.  I was old enough to buy a lottery ticket, old enough to buy cigarettes, old enough to be tried as a legal adult if I ever committed a crime, and old enough to be selected for jury duty.

I used my voice. I voted in the 1988 primary and the presidential election.  I bought a few losing lottery tickets and quickly got bored with it.  I did not smoke, so I had no use for cigarettes.  I was raised with a high sense of right and wrong so I did not have to worry about being tried like a felon.  (I have such guilt at doing wrong that yesterday, I returned something to PetSmart and the sales associate returned the item at the retail price, but I bought it on sale.  I could have made a few bucks off of a corporate conglomerate that helped put all of the mom and pop pet stores out of business, but no, I could not do it.  I informed the sales girl that she was trying to give me too much money back.) And who ever gets selected for jury duty?

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For 25 years, I have lived in these parameters. For 25 years, I have been a model United States citizen.  But then yesterday, I received a jury summons, and all that good living seemed like a waste!  Right smack dab in the middle of summer, I do not want to perform my civic duty.  I do not want to be a model citizen.  I do not want jury duty!  Immediately, when I received the summons, I tried to figure how to get out of it.

  • You may be excused if you have served within the past two years.  Nope.
  • You may be excused for health reasons.  Does hypochondriac syndrome count?
  • You are disqualified if you have been convicted of a felony.  Damn moral compass– goody, goody two shoes does not always pay off!
  • You are disqualified if you have moved from Cuyahoga County.  Nope.
  • You can be excused if you are over the age of 75.  Does anyone know where I can get a fake ID?

I even tried to Google how to get out of jury duty, but that really didn’t offer me any viable suggestions either.

If I ignore it, I could be arrested.  Of course, if I am arrested, that might get me out of further jury summons, but at 43, do I really want to start down the path of becoming a criminal?  I can postpone up to ninety days, but that doesn’t really make sense either because that will be the first month of school.  I am stuck–stuck getting downtown by 8AM for five straight days starting July 8.

Who knows?  Maybe it will give me some good fodder for my blog.  God knows, I love to people watch, and I have to imagine that the pool of jurors will definitely be a motley crew.

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2 thoughts on “My Civic Duty

  1. Here in Washington State a person selected for jury duty can defer their appointed time once, but only once. I served on jury duty back in the 80’s. Back then you were on call for 30 days. I served on 4 trials, each lasting 3 to 4 days. To be honest, I enjoyed it. It was like getting wrapped up in a soap opera.

  2. Embrace your civic duty! I agree with richardmax22. I’ve served on one jury only, but it was a great experience. It’s actually quite fascinating Besides, just because you’ve been summoned doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll serve. Every state is different, but in Virginia, there’s a weeding out process. When I was called up, only about 20% or less of the people who showed up served. (I was one of the 20% or less.) It’s an absolutely fascinating experience, and a great way to see first hand how the law works. And since you’re a teacher, it could be quite interesting to your students.

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