Jury Duty

On day one (Monday), I headed down to the Polk County Courthouse, went through the metal detector, and headed up to floor three. This being my first visit to the courthouse, I was pretty impressed by the grandeur of it all. Though beneath the grandeur, one could tell that the building was quite old and starting to show its age. I guess that is why they want to build a new one (plus the fact that they're basically jamming offices in there with a crowbar).

I thought I was running late, however apparently, as with most things with the government, it's a hurry up and wait situation. So I went and stood over by a door, and then they crammed us into one of the courtrooms. The clerk of that courtroom stuffed everyone in there and showed us a super cheesy 70s style video of the details of court service. We were then greeted by the Judge, who, instead of appearing in his robes, like most have done in the past (according to him), appeared in normal wear and proceed to tell a joke and describe the situation.

After a bit more, the clerks of the various courts came up and called people for their jury panel for their courtroom. We got a bit of a break, and then were lined up and headed down to the courtroom on the first floor. It was a civil trial. A lady was suing a Plumbing company for poorly installing a water heater. She claimed it caused carbon dioxide poisoning, and a bunch of other stuff because of that.

The jury interviews and selection took forever...Interviews lasted to about 12:30 before we took a break for lunch, came back, and interviewed some more. I thought the questions that both of the lawyers asked were fairly transparent as to what they were trying to get at. Given the small size of the courtroom, when they were doing the juror strikes. The lawyers passed a pice of paper from themselves, to the clerk to the other lawyer back to the clerk and etc. At around 2:30 in the afternoon, they Judge read off the names of the people that would be serving...and apparently I had gotten the axe...

I headed home.

On Wednesday, I headed back down to the courthouse. They said to report at 8:30 instead of 8:AM, which for me is better, since I have trouble making it to places before 9:AM. So I left early, but due to the snow storm, traffic was a mess, and it took me 30 minutes to get from home to the courthouse, which would usually take less then 15 minutes. I headed up to the jury selection room. Waited until around 10:AM, when they finally came up and called for the jury panel...which I made again (woo). The rest got to go home (boo!).

The clerk told us that the judge wanted to start at around 10:15, so she'd be back shortly.

The definition of short took on a whole new meaning that day. Though I guess in the grand timeline of the entire universe, it was very short, but beyond that...we didn't hear back from them until around noon, where they announced that a plea bargain had been reached and we were no longer needed.

We all got our parking validated and left.

Unlike the first day, where it was actually interesting and even though I didn't get picked, it was an experience none the less. The other time just led to a whole lot of time that was wasted. Now I don't know about others time, but my time is far more valuable then that. I understand the whole reason for it...but I still feel like my time was wasted.

So I headed back to work. I'm glad to be finished....but it would've been interesting to serve on a jury.