Sunday, May 04, 2008

Bloody hell, again???

It seems like only yesterday[^] that I got my first jury summons here in the US. I expressed, at the time, some doubt about whether to claim an inability to serve on the grounds that I wasn't, at the time of the summons, a US citizen. I would, however, be one on the date for which I was summoned, and eventually I waited until *after* my oath ceremony to return the form with a tick in the box stating that I could serve.

I remember Vern expressing surprise that I hadn't taken the opportunity to duck out; all I had to do was return the form *before* my oath ceremony, with a photocopy of my green card, and I would have been home and free. Well maybe. But I really didn't want to start my career as a US citizen by playing with strict interpretations of the law.

As it happened, when I rang the supplied number the night before the big day I was informed that my panel wasn't required so I didn't actually get to front up and sit patiently through a day of 'will I be picked or won't I?'.

That was a year and a half ago. My experience in Australia is that one is pinged for Jury Service maybe once a decade. Lemme see, I was called up in 1978, 1986 and a third time in 2001. I've already written[^] (a trifle egotistically it seems upon a reread) about what happened during the 2001 call up.

Well, I've been pinged again! Quite by coincidence, exactly 7 years to the day from my 2001 call. I fear I won't be able to pull the same excuse off a second time. So who knows, I might yet find myself sitting on a jury. Let's just hope it's not a long trial; here in Arizona there's no obligation on one's employer to make up the difference between what the state pays and what one would ordinarily earn. The state pays $12 a day plus mileage! They *do* provide free parking and a bus pass.

One detail I loved; the free parking aforesaid is two blocks from the court. I'd reckon a slow walker could cover the distance in five minutes. Me? I'll cover it in two. They run a shuttle bus!

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