Live Blogging Jury Duty

So today I am at the courthouse, I’ve been summoned to jury duty.  I am dragging you along for the ride. I’m in a big room with Wi-Fi access while I wait so I’m just going to write this post thru the day and see what comes of it. Stop by for periodic updates.

7:50 – I am waiting outside the jury room. It isn’t open yet. It seems like some people have arrived with friends. I don’t know how you get jury duty with friends. If any of you know how, please let me know for the next time.

8:20 – The summons says business casual attire is required. A guy just showed up in jeans, boots and a ball cap. Another has his jeans hanging down around his butt with his boxer shorts showing. What business are these guys in?

A male boxer brief

Not mine (Image via Wikipedia)

I wonder what would happen if I went into the court with my pants around my butt? Maybe I will just describe by underwear on my juror questionnaire. Blue boxer briefs, grey waistband.

8:30 – Jury instruction video starts. The woman in the video is reading from a script. She looks down at the script to read her name.

She also tells us that the name change/change of address form are for people who have changed their name or address. Oh.

There are nine cameras in the ceiling in the jury waiting room. Apparently there have been some shenanigans in the jury waiting room.

Yeah, shenanigans.

8:55 – Video from the state. It says I am part of a long tradition and I can be proud of that.

It also tells me I was randomly selected. Can you be proud of being randomly selected? I was randomly selected for a drug test a few months ago. It was a proud moment.

9:05 – Some guy is just getting here. I got here on time. They are paying me $12 for being here. I think he should be docked.

9:10 – I am sworn in.

9:20 – 10:45 – In a courtroom. They call me to the jury box to question me as an alternate juror. I know one of the witnesses. They send me back to the waiting room. I think this is going to be a trend.

11:16 – I don’t know what movie this they’re showing, but Russell Crowe is a boxer during the depression. He can’t fight anymore, and his wife has farmed the kids out to family members because they can’t afford to feed them. Nothing like being bored and having your soul crushed.

Cover of

Adrian! Adrian!

11:29 – Russell Crowe is being allowed to fight some guy he was supposed to have no chance against. He is winning. I think this movie used to be called Rocky.

11:43 – I was wrong. eleven cameras in this room. Eleven. They are really into shenanigan management.

You know, I’m complaining about the room, but the last time I was in for jury duty the waiting room was brutal. I didn’t know they could run that many Jerry Springer shows in a row.

12:03 – If I need a note for my employer or my professor it is time to sign up. Are any of you professors?

12:27 – Goth Girl is asking people if we get to leave after lunch. Wasn’t she watching the video? Oh wait…I think we are getting a break.

12:30 – We are outta here! They are shaking us loose! I’m free!


62 Comments on “Live Blogging Jury Duty”

  1. You know a witness? That’s good, right? Doesn’t that mean you can go home?

    “She looks down at the script to read her name.”—BWHAHAHA!

  2. auntbethany says:

    Ha! I love your sense of humor…great post! Congrats on your $12 paycheck!

  3. madtante says:

    Can you be proud of being randomly selected?

    I’d be happy, if it were the lottery…

  4. Hippie Cahier says:

    Are you sure she was reading her name from the script? Maybe she was randomly selecting one.

    I hope there are more shenanigans and that you will report on them in detail.

  5. Wendi says:

    So it sounds like jury duty in NC isn’t much different from jury duty in MD. I’ll be seeing that video myself in two weeks. Somehow, I manage to get “randomly selected” each and every January to report for my civic duty.

    Can’t wait to see updates as the day progresses.

    Do they at least show you a movie in the waiting room?

    • omawarisan says:

      They are showing a movie…it is depressing. Auuugh.

      On the positive side, the last time I was on jury duty it was the old courthouse. There was a little tv set on the Jerry Springer network.

  6. Betty says:

    Are you required to disclose that you are the brains behind Blurt? Surely that knowledge would guarantee no defense attorney would ever agree to your selection.

  7. Sorry, Oma. In Georgia, we all go into a courtroom and the Judge calls us into a panel. No books are allowed so we can’t even read to pass the time. Definitely no movies. (BTW I loved Cinderella Man. The soul crushing part is better than Pursuit of Happyness. In Cinderella Man you get more than five or ten minutes of happy.) Once we are empaneled some of us are sent to another courtroom to see if we’ll be selected to hear a case. Thank God I was far enough down the list to get to go home and call in every day for the next week or so. I find divorce proceedings depressing.

  8. shoutabyss says:

    “Hello Jurors, my name is state your name. You’re about to embark on an exciting civic duty.”

    I report to jury duty in about two weeks. I’d ape you and live blog, too, but alas, my wristwatch has no such capability.

  9. Imagine if you’d written on the change of address form that you knew a witness? Or that you were wearing grey and blue boxer briefs on the name change form? Close call, oma, and I think you can be thankful that the person who isn’t sure of her name clued you in.

  10. Katybeth says:

    I’m bored…. |-O

  11. Kim Pugliano says:

    Lunch is on you!! Shoot, if I had known jury duty paid I would have signed up years ago.

  12. Laura says:

    I saw something like your “I know a witness” / “go back to the jury room” cycle when I was on jury duty once. Except in this case, the prospective juror didn’t know a witness — they’d ask whether she or anyone she knew had been a victim of a violent crime, and she’d burst into tears and say her sister had been murdered. And at that time, if you weren’t picked for a jury, you had to keep coming back for a whole week.

  13. pattypunker says:

    loved this post! last time i went to jury i tweeted my day, it wasn’t as good as this. oh also, i was not chosen. i think because when i was questioned i told the judge and lawyers i get my news from bill maher, the huffington post and twitter trends. did this somehow make me unbiased? sympathetic to drugee? no sireee bob, i was taking my civic duty very seriously. i was robbed.

  14. Pie says:

    I feel your pain (and your boredom).

    I have been called to Jury service twice. The first time was in 1989 when I managed two days in court out of a possible two weeks. You’ve done your duty, they said. It’s unlikely you’ll be called again. They’re liars, I tell you. I was called again, in 2004 where I spent two weeks waiting for something to happen. It never did. The magazines were out of date and the people waiting with me had the same look that said: get me out of here. I fully expect to be called one more time before I join the choir invisible. Maybe I’ll get a case worth losing a normal days pay for.

    • omawarisan says:

      Oh man, you lose pay when you go? That would stink. One nice thing about where I work is that I get leave time for jury duty.

      Here in North Carolina, one is eligible to be called once every two years until they are 72. At 72, you can opt out.

  15. linlah says:

    I’ve never been called for jury duty and I would kill to be on a jury, except then I wouldn’t be on the jury but looking at the jury.

    • omawarisan says:

      When I made it to the jury, the last time I went, it was scary.

      It was an accident case, as far as I was concerned after a week of testimony, the kid was responsible for the accident and the injuries he caused. It was open and shut. I was stunned at the number of folks who did not see it that way. The nerve, not thinking like me!

  16. Todd Pack says:

    I really don’t mind getting called for jury duty. I’ve been called twice. Both times, half the people didn’t show up, and about half of the people who showed up I wouldn’t trust to judge whether the sky is blue. I’m thinking, if I ever get into trouble, I don’t want these yahoos deciding my fate.

  17. We found him Captain!! says:

    Very interesting…..I like the way they handle jury duty in WVA. The only requirements for being selected to serve is that you must be either a retired justice of the peace or a retired state trooper. Once in a while a judge will use his influence to allow a blind man with a seeing eye dog to serve. However only the dog is allowed to vote on the defendants guilt or innocent. The blind guy is only there to make sure the dog doesn’t bite any of the jurors. Also the dog gets to keep the $12.00 dollars.
    They recently amended the requirements to allow a blind state trooper or a blind justice of the peace to serve, and in those cases the dog must turn the $12.00 per day over to the handler. In WVA they realize that a blind trooper or justice of the peace can tell a guilty person just by smelling the defendant.

  18. Z.N. Singer says:

    Non-stop Jerry Springer? Are they trying to kill you? And while you’re supposed to be on Jury Duty, no less. G-d help anyone sitting on a marital relations case.

    (Hey, isn’t that the lady who was sitting in the prosecutor’s box? Wth!!!)

  19. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    Random, shmandom! I’m on the jury call list, the rolodex, the speed dial. Yet, I know hoards of peeps who’ve never served even once. Last year I did a 6-month gig in a grand jury panel – every other tuesday, for six months … When it ended, that last day, I left them the phone numbers of my sister, brother-in-law, and countless friends who I think should have a chance at it.

    Hang in there, Oma. I recall lunches being quite satisfying and filling.

  20. For future jury duty reference, I was once a TA. But since the university I taught at, TAs are practically professors (save for the big salaries, I suppose), you could get a note to give to me. I’d do that for you Oma. I know, I know…I’m just so bloody helpful, right?

  21. Brooke says:

    I’ve proudly weaseled my way out of two jury duties. Now that I admit this, watch me get called up.

  22. savanvleck says:

    My daughter got called for jury duty once. A guy killed his pregnant girlfriend. Turns out, daughter knew both of them and was also pregnant. Can’t make that up.

    I get called every other year. The first year, I sat there all day, trying to follow everything that was said (having been a law clerk and legal secretary, it should not have been too hard.). Lunch came and went and they questioned jurors on and on. Finally, the day was at an end and I was chosen to be one of the three alternates. They questioned two and then it was my turn. In the middle of questioning, I totally spaced out and woke up with the lawyer saying, “Ahh, ma’am. Would you be able to follow a trial.” I said, “Obviously not!” I was excused. But, I still get called every other year. I always write my story on the paper you have to return, then throw the paper up in the bill holder as I am liable to get a call all year. I never do.
    BTW, I refused to train for any medical type job because of my spacing off problem. That’s good to know if you are going for medical testing.

  23. tsanda says:

    i came to jury duty. they selected me..then the guy plead guilty…. he knew i was going for the death penalty. well that is what my shirt said

  24. dottiemaggie says:

    I pretty much love the word “shenanigans”. just sayin’.

    also, pretty sure that movie is called ‘cinderella man’; and it probably made me cry.

    never experienced jury dutyness at all. sure that’s some kind of grownuppy thing i’ll have to deal with eventually…. i hope there’ll be movies. and no jerry springer. do not want.

    • omawarisan says:

      The movie did get much better as it went along. I came back into the waiting area at what must have been the low point – broken hand, etc. Several of us stayed after we were dismissed to see the end. It was very probably cry worthy.

      I am a shenanigan fan myself. My son had a run in with the word during his college admission process that was funny…and that was the school that accepted him early and took all the pressure off him.

  25. Abe's Blog says:

    Oh man, I missed your blogs. This was a great one! You put me right in the middle of the…uh…action. I caught myself checking to see if my pants had slipped past the bottoms of my briefs (a definite no-no when called for jury duty). Very nice, sir!

  26. spencercourt says:

    You didn’t mention refreshments. Last time I went to jury duty, they had coffee and pastries for us. Makes for a much more pleasant wait.

    • omawarisan says:

      We were going to have popcorn in the afternoon “through a creative partnership with the courthouse greasy spoon located on the first floor” but we were dismissed for the day before we could partake of any partnership.

  27. Any comment on average weight or waistlines of the law enforcement people in attendance?

  28. Omawarison says:

    What do they have against shenanagains? Thats what got me into state!

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