I got a postcard yesterday informing me that I had failed to appear for jury duty. This was news to me because I don’t remember being summoned to appear but the card tells me I now need to call and talk to someone about how to correct my mistake. When I tried to call I was bounced around an automated phone system until I finally disconnected because there was no useful information.
Unlike many people I don’t mind automated systems, but only if they are helpful and this one is not. You’d think that the Los Angeles Superior Court system would at least have some information I could use; at very least the could connect me to someone who could help me but alas I have no idea what to do next. According to the postcard I could be fined up to $1500 for not showing up…but what happens when I’m trying to show up and the phone system won’t let me? The fact that they send out these postcards tells me that people regularly fail to appear so I assume they would have processes in place to tell me where to go and what to do, but my assumption is proving to be frustratingly wrong.
I’ve been called for jury duty here in Los Angeles before, the last time I had to actually go to court was back in the early days of this blog, October 2003, here is what happened then:
At 7:45 this morning I reported for jury duty with the wrong assumption that by noon I’d be back home sitting on my couch thumbing through the book I had forgotten to bring to court with me. After an interminable orientation process I was called to a courtroom and waited, and waited. It was now 11 AM and I hadn’t been told to go home yet…bad sign.
Finally I was told about the case, MURDER, and solicitation of MURDER, trial expected to go 30 days. A woman allegedly poisoned her husband for his insurance the judge pointed out that there she was at the defense table, I waved. I’m a sucker for bad girls you know. In case they wouldn’t let me go for financial reasons (my job will only cover 10 days) I had to resort to Plan B.
“Your honor I not only feel that this would cause financial hardship but I also feel I could not render a fair and unbiased judgment because I find girls who commit crimes to be very attractive”
The judge dismissed me before I could give her my number and advised me that financial hardship was a good enough reason, adding that he appreciated my honesty.
I then had to sit around the rest of the day until they excused me from further trials but I must say it was worth it to see the look on the judge and the attorneys faces when I gave my excuse, not to mention the defendant, who was kinda cute in a violently unstable sort of way.
Of course since this time I’ve moved on to more stable, non murderous girls. That may have been the best thing I’ve ever done. My sane wife has some really cool stuff going on at her new Anti-Social Networking home. Check it out, failure to appear there could also result in a fine.
More Be The Boy courtroom antics in the archives here.