Monday April 12, 2004

Summoned to Appear (part 1 of 4)

I was summoned for Jury Duty back in November of 2003. At the time, I received the summons, I had a contract, so I asked for an extension until April 2004 (the court allows people to ask for an extension of up to 6 months).

By the time the original date came around, my contract had ended, unexpectedly. But hey, I had the extension filed. So I just put the new date on my calendar and went on with my life. I could have moved the date up, but it isn't as if I actually want to serve on a jury.

The new date was today, April 12. I had hoped there wouldn't be many cases on Easter Monday but no such luck. When I called last night, I was told that my presence would be required. (Some prospective jurors were told their presence would not be required; I was not so lucky).

Last time I was summoned, I took one book and finished it before noon, then spent the lunchtime break at the bookstore down the street. This time, I was prepared. Not only did I pack several books in my briefcase, I took my iPod (freshly charged), Bose noise-cancelling headphones, and a journal to write in to record the day.

So, I set the alarm for half an hour earlier than usual, got up, drove Rich to work, then headed back up the peninsula to Redwood City (RWC) and the County Courthouse. It's a good thing I gave myself extra time because Middlefield Road was under construction in two places within a block of the courthouse. However, I persevered and arrived at the parking lot by 8am ("appearance time" set for 8:30).

When I parked, there was another prospective juror in the car next to me, asleep. I could tell he was there for jury duty because he had the papers clutched in his hand. I tapped on the window to wake him up; no sense letting him sleep through and then get yelled at (or fined or whatever they do if you're a no-show). Then I walked to the courthouse.

The courthouse had a lot of metal temporary moveable fencing in front of it. I wondered why... There was also a television van about half a block away. I discovered later that the Scott Peterson trial is taking place in Redwood City at the moment, so this must all be for that.

RWC Court has a security system, so I put my briefcase in a bin and sent it through the scanner. I was a bit concerned about the iPod but the Security guy wasn't (bored, yes; concerned, no). I beeped when I walked through the "people scanner", so I went back and put wallet, keys and watch in another bucket. And then I was "in" and heading down to the Jury Assembly room.

To be continued...

part 1 | part 2 | part 3 | part 4

Summoned to Appear (part 1 of 4) ( in category Trivial Pursuits ) - posted at Mon, 12 Apr, 21:58 Pacific | «e»