Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Greetings...You've Been Chosen For Jury Duty

On Saturday, my husband brought the mail in from the box and waved an envelope in the air.

"Lucky you!," he smirked as he tossed the envelope towards me. 

Emblazoned on the front of the envelope were the words, "IMPORTANT--DO NOT DISCARD,  Official Jury Summons Enclosed."  Hmmmm.  It's been about 12 years since the last time I was called to jury duty, so I wasn't terribly surprised.  I figured my turn would be coming again one of these days. 

However, when I opened the envelope, I noticed the report date was February 13th.  What???  That won't work at all.  I'm supposed to be administering our Super Duper Hold-The-Phone Really Important State Tests for English Language Learners that week and part of the next.  As the only ESL teacher in the building, there is no way I can be out of school those weeks.  Ugh!!  Double Ugh!!  Triple Ugh!!! <sigh.>

As I started scanning the forms I noticed didn't meet any of the non-eligibility requirements.  I reside in the county; I've not been convicted of a felony; I am able to communicate in the English language; I am a citizen of the U.S. and I am over the age of 18.

Moving on the second section, "Requests for Excuse", I see eight approved excuses.  They are:  Medical Reasons; Age; Caregiver to an ill or disabled family member; Sole Proprietor of a Business; Financial Hardship; Childcare Hardship; Students; and Active Duty Military Personnel.  Hmmm.  None of those apply either. 

Nuts!  What am I going to do???  Finally, I notice a third section, "Requests for Postponement".  (This is new.  There was no section like this a decade ago.)  Hurrah!  Our county now allows a potential juror to postpone their jury commitment for up to three months from the original summons date. I breathed a sigh of relief.  I filled out the form and asked to be postponed until May. 

You can bet I faxed the form with my postponement request to the Common Pleas Court Jury Commisioner  first thing this morning!  I will be happy to do my civic duty, but not during Super Duper Hold-The-Phone Really Important State Tests for English Language Learners weeks.

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