Friday, September 11, 2009

So.....Jury Duty

This morning, this September 11th morning I was summoned to Jury Duty. How patriotic and stuff. However, I have a confession to make, one in which you will learn I am a wholly BAD citizen of this the United States. I have been summoned to Jury Duty 4 other times in the last few years, and THIS is the first time I've ever shown up. The first time I wrote in and let them know I was a full time student, in a show, blah, blah, blah and I was excused. The next few times, well, not so much. Once I never got the summons, and once I MEANT to write in, I had just had Maggie, I was nursing and being a new Mom and well, I forgot to write in and then I FORGOT all about it. The last time, I think i got it just after Max was born, and I won't lie, i stuck it in a pile never to be seen or heard from again. Mind you, I had NO idea that there were actually penalties that went with not showing up. Apparently i could have warrants out for my arrest, or just owe a lot of fines. When i found this out, I made sure to drive a little safer and more lawfully, so as to not be pulled over. Could you just imagine...I'm driving down the road with my kiddies, minding my own business and get pulled over for speeding. Next thing I know I'm being pulled from my car and being handcuffed and taken away for my neglect of American Duties. Not cool. So anyway, this latest summons came and I said to myself..."SELF you WILL go to this jury duty, no questions asked." I arranged for babysitting, made sure there was nothing else in my way and prepared to do my duty. I won't lie, I was a bit bitter when I called in last night and they told me I indeed HAD to show up at 8 freaking a.m. Apparently they have NO idea what it takes to get me and 2 kids ready by 7:30 so they could be taken to Grammas for sitting. None the less, I arose to the occassion, I was showered, ready, kids ready, diaper bag packed, out the door by 7:30. I got to the court by 7:50....Holla!

I had no idea what to expect of this experience. How does it all work, I knew not. I waited outside in a line with other prospective jurors until they opened the doors. We then walked up to a counter with our summons, a lady took down our info, then handed us something to fill out and a questionaire sheet of possible questions the judge would ask us. Ummmmm, WIERD stuff. One of the questions was, If you had a billboard, what would it say, or what would be on it? How the heck am I s'posed to answer that. Other than, I don't want a billboard, never have, and I don't know what I'd put on it. Other questions included, what kind of animal would you be, do you prefer sailboat or powerboat, what is your favorite kind of book, what is your favorite TV show, who is the most influential person of te last 50 years. There were more, but I can't remember them all now. Ok, so, filled out the form, sat and waited and waited and waited and waited. FINALLY we were all called into the courtroom. Don't be fooled people, this was a weency little place, with nothing even close to as grand as the picture above entails. We were told to stand in two lines and then the judge started calling off names. We then filed into pews and sat in that order. Next he asked if anyone had physical hardship that would prohibit them from sitting in a trial for several hours. A few people raised their hands and expressed their problems, and of course they were excused. Then the judge had the plaintiff and his lawyer stand, they were introduced as was the case. After that the judge asked if anyone recognized the lawyer or plaintiff. I boldly and happily raised my hand and said....

"Well your honor, the plaintiff is my cousin and the lawyer is my friend." After a smirky and stunned silence, the judge replied "I s'pose we can excuse you then." And that my friends is how I got to leave without having to answer what kind of billboard I would have and what would be on it. End scene with my happily skipping out of the courtroom singing tra la la.

No really, that DID happen. The plaintiff is my Mom's first cousin and he was suing a home owners association over damages. The lawyer is our friend Mark, we know him from Easter Pageant AND he's our friend Ivan's uncle. I pose the question, what are the odds, the ASTRONOMICAL odds that I would be called to jury duty on the ONE day that not only I know the lawyer, but I'm related to the plaintiff. WIERD!!! And yet so, so fabulous at the same time! All I'm saying is, I have now fulfilled my civic duty by showing up and I can go back to speeding with abandon. hahaha, ok I'm kidding about that last part.

Jury pools and cousins excuse,

Allyson

11 comments:

LadyCarma said...

That is really strange that in Arizona you are not excempt from serving on jury duty if you have children under the age of 12 years old? Since I moved to Texas in 1980 I didn't get a jury until Staci was almost 14, and then I didn't get picked. I have been summoned a few time, b!ut never picked. I have good karma

jen said...

Mark was the lawyer? Hilarious. When he saw you in the jury pool, he was probably laughing under his breath! I've caught up on all your back posts, and some dahling pictures, to be sure! Hope you're back for good, 'cuz I've missed you!

azandersens said...

Very impressive! Which court was it? Mesa?

LanaBanana said...

That is incredible! I have another 18 months until they'll summon me again because I just got one right after having Crew and had a nursing baby you know. It is lame that they won't leave alone those of us who have a bunch of kiddos.

Jessica Law said...

what a total dream to get that lucky! but now I wonder if you're off the hook for a while (15-30years) now that you went and did your thing.

i love your writing style girlie...i'm always very amused!

Dixiechick said...

That was a fantastic story! Loved it. Really, the odds of you knowing the lawyer and being related to the plantiff in Mesa are probably better than you think. :)

Maile said...

Nice story! If it ever comes up again have your billboard say "I hate all races." It worked for Homer Simpson!

✩Molly✩ said...

Lucky ducky. Would have definitely been luckier if you could have just stayed in bed....

i always get cancelled.

The Atomic Mom said...

I can't tell you how many times I've beent to jury duty. I always bring a nice bag o' things to do...and people in the waiting room look at me like they wan to kill me for my stuff. Anyway....it's acutally not uncommon for Mesa-ish people, who are Mormon know each other. A few years ago my Mom was on a Federal Grand Jury and she actually had to recuse herself for 3 cases because she knew the people involved. So, now that you've been, you shouldn't have to go again for 2 years. If they call you again, you can use that excuse.

DianD said...

Great post! Be glad it was Mesa and not Phoenix! At least now they have the light rail so you don't have to deal with parking issues.

Sabrina Bodine said...

You crack me up! I may not always post a comment but I also read your blogs and they are most enjoyable. I can hear you in my head as if you were actually reading them to me:) I have gotten out of Jury duty the last 5 times too. I too am a horrible citizen! You did great and got very lucky too:0)