Darn, I'm must live in the SOUTH!
I am the proud recipient of a summons for Jury Duty! Proud? Well if I'm summoned, I must be officially a Tennessean, albeit recently transplanted.
I decided to wear teacher clothes, which some people might call business casual, to show proper respect for the court. To me that meant slacks, a sweater, flat shoes, and an extra sweater in case the courtroom was freezing. I knew denim was out of the question, though jeans are pretty much my go-to Tennessee uniform.
Wrong! Jurors showed up in jeans—and worse.
The summons mentioned both Circuit Court and Criminal Court, stating I would serve in Circuit Court. I was disappointed because Criminal Court would have been more to my liking.
Wrong! The summons is for Criminal Court, but doesn't actually say so. There are two judges that cover seven counties on a circuit--hence the name. That also explains why court only convenes as needed. "In fact, there isn't much scheduled for June," the clerk of court said.
The judge picked the grand jury first. He selected 15 people at random, 12 jurors and 3 alternates. They meet one day a month for four months.
Then he divided the rest of us into 12 person panels. We have a 2-month commitment on an as-needed basis. Since there are no cases this week, we're to check in next Monday after five in the evening to see if any cases are scheduled. The website will list which panels are to report for certain days and when the site must be checked again. I'm assuming a jury will be seated from the panels called.
The clerk instructed us to note any days we are unavailable for duty on the top of the jury information sheet and to consider our planned absences excused and confirmed. (Good, I'll be at my signing on 5/19.)
The judge assigned me to panel 2 and excused me and the rest of my panel for the day at about 9:30 in the morning.
Then I went to the Sheriff's department next door in hopes of finding someone to answer my questions about local law enforcement. A friendly lady at the window in the lobby sent me upstairs to the Sheriff's office manager who answered my questions—I have some editing to do on my work-in-progress. [Please note: The reception worker did not call upstairs first, verify my name, make me walk through a metal detector, or call an escort.]
Dorothy, you're not in Kansas anymore.... or Broward County either for that matter.
Why I've been quiet on this blog: I blog when I have a bee in my dandelion—or bug in my bonnet, if you prefer a tried and true cliché. Lately, most of the buzzing that has ignited my passion relates to politics. I reason, I suspect accurately, that the world is a better place with one fewer opinionated political blogger.