So Goes July

Posted on Friday, July 11, 2008

Well, here we are. One of the most beautiful days of the year--sunshine, birdsong, and enough shedded pet hair to knit a whole new dog out of. In fact, Jazz got her first bath (yes, ever) just last night. It's not that we've been neglecting her this past year, it's just that she goes swimming almost every day. Until recently, the lakes and ponds have been refreshed almost daily with new rainfall, so she's been a pretty clean pup. With summer finally here, we've had a reprieve from rain, but it's left our local waterways stale and swampy. So, with the use of the backyard hose and most of a bottle of sour-apple deodorizing pet shampoo, Jazz got cleaned up last night. Thankfully, she hasn't yet rolled in anything rank to counteract the results. Having now washed the dog, I hope to not have to do it again for another year or so. It's an unpleasant business for all of us.

I've been out of commission most of the summer so far, mostly due to an infected tooth that tried to kill me over the course of a single weekend. But there was also the jury duty factor. Here is a conversation I was looking forward to having during Voir Dire for our local district court:

Judge: Although we anticipate completing the trial today, there is a possibility that it will continue into next week. If it does, are there any jurors who would have an insurmontable conflict in reporting on Monday?
Me: (Raises hand enthusiastically)
Judge: Yes, Juror 26, is it? What is your conflict?
Me: Your honor, I have been summoned to report for jury duty on Monday morning at 8:00 am. By King County Superior Court. If I fulfill my jury duty requirements here in district court, I will be in violation of my summons to Superior Court. The Superior Court will release me from my jury duty obligation based on completing service in another court during the preceding 12 months, but, if the trial continues on Monday, I will not have completed my service. And the Superior Court has been less clear about what happens in the case of overlapping service, as is the case here.

I don't know how the conversation would have gone beyond that point, but I was looking forward to finding out. Yes, I am a jury duty savant, called for service by multiple courts at the same time. None of whom have ever actually want me, by the way. The last time I made it to Voir Dire, it was for a child molestation case. The prosecutor wanted to know if we jurors would understand how difficult it would be for a 13-year-old child to give testimony in such a case and if, therefore, we would be able to find that child more credible than an adult in similar circumstances, because of the inherent stress on the witness (can't remember quite how he phrased it, but it was something like that). My response was something like, "Are you asking if I'd grant a lesser burden of proof in a case where the chief witness is 13? Of course not. I'm not even sure such a thing would be considered constitutional."

"Juror 26 is excused and we thank you for your service."

So much for that.

The only bright side of the whole infected tooth episode is that it got me excused from my final day of District Court jury duty, and, having completed that obligation, I was then excused by Superior Court, saving me a trip to downtown Seattle at the height of Monday morning rush hour—at a time, as it turns out, I was desperately trying to contact an endodontist, dentist, or surgeon to put me out of my misery.

Good times. Good, good times.

7 Response to "So Goes July"

JoJo Says:

Welcome back to blogland!!

You are such a good do-bee. I, on the other hand, will refuse my jury duty summons, should i get one. Ain't NOTHING gonna make me go to that part of Tacoma at any time of the day. I'm a first class bad neighborhood scaredy cat. For a paltry $30 a day and boredom beyond belief in the jury room? No computers. No place to park. No ability to do crafts in the jury room b/c all my craft supplies involve some kind of scissors or pointy metal object....

I was summoned once in CA. You'd call the night b/f and 9 times out of 10 they'd say not to show up the next day and that was it. One day. If you weren't asked to show up, your service was considered complete. If you did have to go, and weren't chosen, that was also it. The jury duty system up here sucks out loud and that's why we refuse to serve.

Danger Panda Says:

$30 a day?! It's $10 a day in these parts. And I know that both district and superior courts have wifi in these parts. In district court, jurors didn't even have to go through the metal detector. What really chaps my hide around here is that there is an imaginary I-90 line through King County, meaning if you commit a crime or file a suit north of that line, your case will be heard in the Seattle court, south of that line in the Kent court. You'd think they would use that same line in calling jurors, but invariably I get called to Seattle instead of Kent (I live minutes from Kent, and literally hours--depending on traffic--from Seattle). Drives me nuts!!!

Jen Says:

You are, of course, my ideal juror. But I can see how the prosecution wouldn't want you anywhere near the box.

Margaret Says:

I've always wanted to do jury duty, but the summons is never at a convenient time. It would be too hard to have a sub during the school year. You sound SO knowledgeable about all of this; I had to reread your post to get the gist of it.

Danger Panda Says:

With all the times I've been summoned (five times in a decade??), it might be nice to end up on a trial at least once.

Knowledgable, no. Experienced, yes--and how. I know it's supposed to be a random selection, but why have I been called 5 times and my husband 0? Something's just not right here.

JoJo Says:

Yeah, PC is magnanamous enough to offer a whopping $30 a day. But it's still not enough to inconvenience me for 2 weeks. The PC sheriff has too much to do, to drag in people who ignore the summons. Unlike in Marin County, CA where the sheriff actually would show up and drag your ass to Court if you missed jury duty.

I know about King County's "line of demarcation" w/ the coworker's dad, b/f he passed away, used to get summoned to Seattle all the time and he has lived in Enumclaw since the 1940's.

Danger Panda Says:

You KNOW that if I lived in Pierce County I would no-show jury duty as a matter of policy just in the hope that the sheriff's department would show up. That would truly make it all worthwile!

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