Wednesday, April 2, 2008

More Softball and ... Jury Duty?

Danni was pitching yesterday and got hit in the shin with a ball hit directly back at her. Great, another bruise for her collection. At this rate, that girl's going to be more black and blue than anything else.

In happier news, Shannon made her jr high 7th grade softball team! Not only did she make it, but it looks like she is going to be their #1 pitcher. We bought her a mouth guard yesterday, so she might get bruised, but at least she'll keep her teeth. Always look on the bright side, I say.

Well, except for this: I've been called for jury duty. Again. A little background explanation is in order. About a year and a half ago, I got called for jury duty for U.S. District Court, and my lovely letter said I would be on-call for a month. I had to call at the beginning of each week to see if I needed to report that week.

A while later, I got another letter that said that I had been specifically chosen for a jury pool for some certain trial that was going to begin in October and last for about 5 months. Yes, FIVE months. It gave me a date to report.

I reported on that date, and there were 127 people in my group. I remember this, because when they started handing out numbers, I was number 27. Fantastic. So we were led into a courtroom, and they sat numbers 1-45, the first 16 in the jury box, then 17-45 in the spectator seats. The rest of the people stood in the back or sat on the other side. So remember, I'm number 27.

The judge came out, introduced herself, then introduced the prosecuting team. Anytime she introduced people, you were supposed to raise your hand if you knew any of the people. No one knows any of the attorneys? Fine, moving along.

Then she introduces the FIVE different defendants and their respective legal teams. You see, this was a tax fraud case, and apparently these people were all indicted. Tax fraud. Good Lord, could anything be more boring? Not even a good murder case? Sheesh. Ok, anyone know any of the defendants or their lawyers? No? Ok, moving on.

Now this is the fun part. The judge starts reading a list of possible witnesses. Like four pages worth of names. Some of the names are like, John Smith. Well hell, almost everyone knows a John Smith. I'm only half listening, but one of the names, Phil Lyon*, catches my attention. I know that name.

She gets done reading the list, and then we start with the laborious process of, "Hey, I know a John Smith." They would then ask what the person did for a living, and the person would say something like, "He's a construction worker." The judge would then ask the prosecutor what this particular John Smith did for a living, and the attorney would say "John Smith is a bank president," or some such thing. Ok, not the same guy, you can sit down. Next!

So they get to the lady two seats ahead of me, number 25. She says she knows a Wendy Turner*. Judge asks how she knows her. Number 25 says she worked with her at Local Electric Company. Turns out it's the same lady. So they start asking her a lot of questions. Did you work in the same department, how well did you know her, how long did you work with her, did you consider her a friend, blah blah blah. They finally finish with their questions and tell her she can sit down.

Then they come to me. I stand up and tell them that a man named Phil Lyon owns the company through which we rent our house, so he's my landlord. He's actually a pretty well-known name in real estate in my city. Judge asks the prosecutor what Phil Lyon does for a living. Prosecutor says yes, Phil Lyon is in real estate, he does new homes as well as rentals. Judge says I can sit. No grilling, no questions, nada.

They get through the rest of the first 45 people, then all legal teams approach the bench to discuss. When they are finished with their little confab, the judge says,

"Numbers 25 and 27, you are excused. Thank you for your service."

The other lady and I stand up, pick up our stuff and quickly leave the courtroom. Once we're outside, we both look at each other and go, "YES!" Heh.

Which brings me to today. Since I never actually served on a jury, even though it's been less than two years, I was called for U.S. District Court (federal) again. However, this time I'm on call for one week, beginning Monday April 7th. I have to call on Saturday to see if I'm supposed to report Monday or not. Then if I don't have to go Monday, I guess I call later on Monday to see if I go on Tuesday. Rinse, repeat. *sigh*

The thing that irks me, is that since I've been married, which is over 16 years now, this is like the 5th time I've been called. My husband? NOT ONCE. Never. He told me that's why he doesn't register to vote, because that's where they get the names. I didn't believe that, so I did a Google search, and it turns out in Arizona they use voter registration AND driver's licenses or state-issued ID cards. Ha. So it's not even that I'm a good citizen and registered voter, it's just that they must really like me a lot. Either that, or totally random bad luck. I'm going with the theory that they really like me.

Oh well, maybe it will be like traffic school, and at least I'll get a good story out of it. Or maybe I'll call each day and never have to go. I'm kind of hoping for that. But I'm not really counting on it.

*Names changed to protect the allegedly innocent.


Mary said...

We've lived here for 5 years. I've been called up for jury duty 4 times!!! And my daughter got called up once already! Before we moved here I got called for jury duty only twice before.

My husband.... never. never ever!

How does this work?

NoJuryForMeSteve said...

We live in a Republican State ( ok County )I am a white male Republican ( moderate, but stil.... )I think I am getting the great LDS consiracy of AZ Govt, and those in the federal realm of the AZ district, are punishing the Dem' Sorry, I had to be a smart alleck.

But it says voter registration AND driver's licenses or state-issued ID cards. So, I don't register to vote ( because all the canidates are idiots anyway. I hate the evil of 2 lessers concept. )and, seeing I don't register that take away step #1 since it's combined. No Jury for me...< bouncing away like Daffy Duck > woohoo, woohoo!!

Shelley said...'s a conspiracy, I know it is.

#1 - You're lucky I don't just delete your comment due to idiocy, but I'm leaving it up here because...

#2 - HELLO, you ARE registered to vote! You didn't used to be, but now you are. How else would you have gotten the notice in the mail about the Repukelican primary? Duhhhhhhhhhh...and I could correct all the spelling and grammar in your comment, but really, I don't have that much time.

notSmarterThanA5thGrader said...

Hey what can I say. 2 finger typing on an ergo-board, stinks. As for the grammar, when Napoleon is lurking, I type rather fast. So, tread gently....Or, I will do my Napolean impersonation....Vive La France!!!!, Huh? Oh. I surrender!!!!

Anonymous said...

Our county luckily is one day or one trial and you call the night before and you may not have to come in. I (knock on wood) have never been chosen. Most times I've never actually had to go to the courthouse. I think only twice have had to go sit in the room for a couple of hours, but never actually been called to the court room, or actually stayed past lunch time.

I once got a summons for federal jury and that would have been major hell. Luckily that was when the buds were small and I was able to write for an exclusion.


Lish said...

I had to serve once...both of my kiddos were little/little (like 1 and 3?) AND had the flu...and my mom had to take care of them, because here you can't get out of it for having little ones OR them being sick, apparently.

It was grand jury, a bunch of indictments, and was actually pretty interesting.

Ken's been called up a couple of times, but never actually had to serve.

Lish said...

Ha...yeah, I always forget the little booger...both of my BIG kiddos were little, I should have said. ;)