Saturday, July 28, 2007
Being Served the Cheese
Earlier this week this poor little 64 year old lady from North Carolina decided to go out one morning to her local grocery store to buy herself some cheese. God bless her heart, she never had a chance to step out of her car before a sheriff tossed a summons to report for jury duty through her car window. She had one hour to report to the courthouse or else be held in contempt.

I sure hope this annoying practice to land jurors doesn't spread on south to Georgia. I can't imagine what I would do if put in this situation, except to say I would feel incredibly violated.

At least once a year I receive a jury duty summons, one year it happened twice. Like many US citizens I tend to groan and mumble when they arrive. The duty is burdensome and for me, it places a financial debt upon me due to a weeks worth of missed employment with the added burden of paying for childcare expenses, gas and time. But I still report for duty.

I believe Jury Duty is every American's duty along with Voting. It is a way to protect and ensure that we as a people are governed by people. God forbid if I ever am on trial, I would surely exercise my constitutional right to have a jury of my peers.

But to be served with one hours notice would have me bursting at the seams with major issues. Not just me, but for the many people who depend on me. Just last week I fell sick with a summer flu and it disrupted dozens of lives. From my family, a friend that I take for radiation treatments at the Anderson Cancer Center, the older couple I cook meals and do laundry for, and right down to the wonderful others who were able to do these things in my place while I was out for the count.

It leaves me to wonder why the North Carolina Sheriff decided to serve this 64 year old woman a spontaneous summons. Was his choice random or did he merely assume she was old, retired and had nothing better to do that day but to go to the store for some cheese? What if she was like many grandmothers who watch their grandchildren during the summer vacation so their parents can go to work? What about her plans for the day or in some cases, her entire week? Jury Duty should be served with a bit of notice so a person can realign their plans and responsibilities.

In the meantime I think I'll move my shopping day to early Saturday mornings.


Stumble It! .......posted by Margaret @ 12:07 PM  
  • At 4:46 PM, Blogger Dr.John said…

    There has to be a better way to get jurors than that.

  • At 8:20 AM, Blogger Carlos said…

    I'm not sure what my reaction would be, but I sure wouldn't be happy about it, and I'd most likely voice my displeasure to the officer issuing the summons using choice epithets.

    I think the practice is pretty shitty. Why should I be inconvenienced, and forced to cancel a slice ofmy life on an hour's notice, because the county/city can't manage a jury program? Pfft.....pretty shitty.

  • At 10:03 AM, Blogger Orhan Kahn said…

    I'm so glad that doesn't happen here in the Island Home of Oz. It also helps that I have a criminal record, so I will never have to serve as a juror.

  • At 11:51 AM, Blogger Woozie said…

    I'd have to put snakes on someone's plane, if you catch my drift...

  • At 2:56 PM, Blogger - PRACTiCAL CHiCK said…

    I think that grocery shopping at six or seven in the morning (you know at like sprawl-mart) would avoid it. I've only been summoned once - and all I did was call my shrink (that I saw at the time). I never did have to go. I wonder why...

  • At 4:02 AM, Blogger ela zawrat said…

    Dear Margaret,
    hope the flu is over! and - hope that you won't be summoned again any time soon - it sounds like you've done your duty!
    Thanks for sending me your kind words via my blog - yes I've almost disappeared from the blog & internet scene - live has been too busy and something had to go... :( at least for now. I guess I'm a kind of "wavy" type - I do something with passion, and a lot of it, like blogging, then the low tide comes and I have to back off….. I felt very touched by your visit and your words ... Nice to have you out there in the blogosphere! hugs Ela

  • At 12:15 PM, Blogger Jill said…

    Are they that desperate? I've only been summoned twice but both times the trial was settled out of court.

  • At 11:59 PM, Blogger doctor chip said…

    I've never had to serve, but I got called when I was in Florida. this is something I would like to do as a life experience sometime, but haven't yet.

    I remember that at the time, there was no way I could miss work; not just the money, but job responsibilities as well. which I told them in the response mailer card.

    Lee County, Florida, that was, and they excused me from the duty. in fact, they never asked again.

    that was pretty good, considering that my "plan B" was to convince them I was a racist serial baby-killer with a penchant for hate crimes against the elderly.

    gee. I'm glad I didn't have to go there...




  • At 8:54 AM, Blogger Flyinfox_SATX said…

    An hour's notice? That is just so wrong. I would go in with the death penalty attitude if I were given just an hour's notice.


  • At 11:33 AM, Blogger Dawn Marie said…

    that would irritate the hell out of me. Especially since I have little babies. I guess the cop could babysit, no?

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