I got served

About ten days ago, I found a jury summons in my mailbox. Fortunately, it was not addressed to me, but to someone else who probably used to live at my address. I left it in the mailbox, and within a few days, the letter carrier finally took it away.

Last Friday, I opened my mailbox to find a jury summons again. At first, I thought the first summons had found its way back into my box, but this one was addressed to me. What are the odds the jury commissioner would summon two people at the same address in the same week? I quickly became quite suspicious of the “random” juror selection process.

So far, I’ve managed to get myself excused every time I’ve been summoned to jury duty since I was old enough to serve. However, I’m really at a loss for excuses this time, so I got online and perused the laws pertaining to jury service while pondering my options:

  1. Refuse delivery of the summons. It sounds like a good option, but in the back of my mind I see a contempt-of-court charge on my horizon. Furthermore, I already opened the summons, which makes refusing delivery problematic.
  2. Ignore the summons. Actually, this option has promise. Arizona Revised Statutes say that I can’t be penalized for failing to appear when the first summons is sent by first-class mail. However, this will only delay the inevitable, and I can nearly guarantee that the second summons will arrive by certified mail … or in the hand of a sheriff’s deputy.
  3. Screw with the questionnaire. You’re supposed to sign the questionnaire and affirm your responses under penalty of perjury, but since it’s illegal to make the responses public, it’s an unenforceable affirmation. In the space where I’m supposed to list any disabilities, I could write “i M rEEtAhDiD” and return it unsigned.
  4. Claim hardship. There’s a chance it could work, but it’s a longshot. If it became obvious that I earn more than the judge, my claim would quickly fall on deaf ears.
  5. Request a delay. The first request for a delay is granted automatically, but there’s a possibility the new date could be much less convenient than the assigned date. As it stands now, I really don’t have any plans for my court date … other than work, of course.
  6. Appear irreverent. There’s the contempt-of-court problem again. I could show up dressed improperly, cuss at the court officers and so forth, but it’s all fun and games until I’m in a holding cell. This option is a non-starter.
  7. Suck it up. I hate to say it, but this is the option I’m probably going with. My court date is on a Friday. The best case scenario is that they dismiss me shortly after I arrive and I start my weekend eight hours early. Plus, I like my odds of not being empaneled on a multi-day trial if I serve on a Friday.

The good news is that, for once, I’ll get to be part of the legal process without being named as a defendant.

Wish me luck, folks. But remember, if Curt’s on the jury, everybody rides!

8 thoughts on “I got served”

  1. OK, Here’s what you do. I strolled in all eager to to my civic duty. Prespective Juror Number 38. Assualt and Battery Case. Dunk Guy pucked the victim in the face Because victim had smashed into his boat in the parking lot while driving around half tanked. After causing several thousands worth the damage to said boat the “victim” attempted to leave the scene, (Presumably because he was tanked and did not want to face a DUI)The Defendant proceeded to remove the “victim” from his car and give him a richly deserved “beat down” Now the question posed to me by the prosecution was had this happened to my boat would I contact the authorities or would I take matters unto my own hand? When posed with this question I then employed the Socratic method and asked the prosecuting attorney how large and or built the alleged victim was. The Prosecutor stated that this fact was irrelivent. For to with I informed the prosecutor that I only take matters unto my own hand when I see the opportunity to win said altercation. Had the “victim” been substantially larger than I, The police would certainly be involved. His reponse was “thank you very much you are dismissed….” I then proceeded to cash my $15 fuel/time reimbursement check and hit the pub for the afternoon to finish out my “civic duty”

  2. Well, I hope I don’t get as far as voir dire, but if I do, I’ll take your advice!

    One issue for me is that I was assigned to the courthouse in Surprise. See, here in Arizona, you can be called to serve at any court in the county you live in. I guess that’s true in most states. The problem here is that Maricopa County covers a larger territory than the state of New Hampshire. So I have to drive out past where my folks live, past where Trish lives, past the blowing tumbleweeds, and take the left turn onto the dirt road after the third cactus. When I finally get there, I’ll be almost as close to Vegas as I will be to home. Hey, that gives me an idea …

    Unfortunately, in Arizona, the check arrives in the mail about two to three weeks later. Bummer.

  3. I think Sam was tanked when he left this comment! Dunk guy pucked the victim in the face?? wtf??? can we get spell check on here? you need to stop drinking during working hours, baby!

  4. curt, just pack your bags and head on up to vegas when you’re done! you’ll be halfway there, and you’ll beat the traffic!

  5. Just to be clear, today wasn’t my court date. It’s another Friday in the near future. I don’t plan to publish the date here.

  6. Sorry, spell check isn’t in the cards right now. I’m using third-party blog software, and although I’ve made a minor tweak or two, I’m trying to keep the customization to a minimum.

  7. Not to worry, Curt. I saw a lovely pair of faux diamond earrings at the mall today. They were priced well within the range of the check you’ll receive for your civic duty!

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