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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!