The result of this is that mail time is usually exciting. A letter from my mom, a notice telling me I’ve got a wire transfer coming for some writing I’ve done, a small envelope containing something I purchased on eBay that should probably have been sent in a box but hey, what do you expect for $2 in shipping charges.
Fun, exciting stuff.
So when my roommate said "You have mail," as she walked towards my room, I was intrigued. Did mom write? Is money coming? Did I order some crap on eBay and forget about it again?
She continued "I think you have jury duty."
Well that’s not awesome. That does not fill me with awe. It fills me with awwww….
She probably could have left out the "I think" part of the statement, given the envelope is printed with bold, red letters that say "OFFICIAL JURY SUMMONS ENLOSED. Registration Required within 5 Days, or we will murder your face."
That last part was more insinuated that explicitly stated, but that’s definitely the impression left by giant, red, bold, capitalized, underlined words of doom.
I wonder how many days of jury duty my work covers. It better be at least three, or I’m going to be pissed. If I have to take Vaca days just because some asshole kid stole a Playstation, I swear to God I’m going to give him the chair. I don’t care if he’s guilty or not.
How did I get picked anyways? I’ve gone out of my way to not get picked for jury duty. I don’t not vote for my health. I do it so I won’t get jury duty. And because P-Diddy’s message hasn’t really gotten to me yet. Vote or die.. wha… what are you trying to say? All I heard is “vote or don’t get jury duty.” It seemed like a fair tradeoff, but apparently it’s more complicated than that. You lied to me Diddy you son of a bitch.
The envelope was heavy with the weight of responsibility and civic duty. Too heavy for an envelope, they should have sent it in a box but hey, what do you expect from a state that has no money.
I opened the envelope and stared dumbly at the pamphlet and the summons that seemed to keep unfolding every time I thought it was done being unfolded. Apparently the standard paper size for LA County is 8½ x 40. Oh, also they printed on the back.
One of the first things on the page is the "Failure to respond" line which lets everyone know that if they ignore their summons for jury duty, one of the punishments is… jury duty.
Does that mean I’m being punished? Is this because I didn’t vote?
The rest of the summons is a mess. You must report for jury duty, but before you report, you have to register. After registering over the phone, you will be told if you need to send in the paperwork, keep the paperwork with you, or bring it with you when you report. Be sure to report to the right courthouse but don’t report in person until you’ve reported over the phone to see if you have to report. Be sure to report only on the weekend before you’re supposed to report to see what time you need to report. Arrive two hours early, parking may cost a fortune, and failure to comply will result in a murdered face. Maybe the pamphlet will clear things up.
Frequently Asked Questions. Question one: How did you get my name? Answer: All jurors are selected at random from lists. Los Angeles uses the Department of Motor Vehicles drivers license and I.D. card holders and voter registration lists.
Aww, now I gotta stop driving too? What the hell, man?
Question 2: What if I do not speak English?
Well, then you won’t be able to read the question. Or the answer, which is also in English. A+ job, County of Los Angeles!
You may be excused from jury service when:
Come on part time graduate student! Let’s see part time graduate student!
1- Extreme financial hardship. Extreme is actually printed in bold. ExTrEMe!! Is that like if Monster Energy Drink was in bankruptcy?
2 – You have no reasonable public or private transportation available. Set the Mini on fire and move to the boonies.
3, 4, 5 – Medical hardship, moved, deceased. Nothing of use to me here.
I could join the military, but that seems like more of a commitment than jury duty.
Well, I guess I’m going to jury duty. This could be fun. Maybe I’ll see someone get tazed. Or maybe I’ll get to do my part in keeping America atop the most-people-in-jail-per-capita-in-the-entire-world list. Is it a crime to steal a loaf of bread to feed your starving family? It is now that I’m on the job. Can Matt convince eleven other random strangers to throw a mentally handicapped 14 year old girl in the slammer for jaywalking? You bet your ass he can.
Say hello to juror number Matt.
I am the Decider.