It's Monday afternoon and I am home from a morning at the Benton County Courthouse in downtown Corvallis. About a month ago I received a letter stating that I was being called for jury duty during the months of October and November. This is my second call for jury duty in 2008. Its kind of a funny story....
Earlier this year I received a jury duty summons from the city of Corvallis. I filled out the necessary paperwork which consisted of personal imformation and potential dates I needed to be free of duty due to vacations or other circumstances. I mailed it in and figured all I had to do was call the jury duty line to see if I my number was called. Then, about 3 weeks later I receive a jury duty summons again. I opened it up to find more paperwork to be filled out with personal information, etc. This ticked me off a bit because I had already mailed my paperwork in. Later that evening I showed it to Katrina when she arrived home from work. She quickly pointed out that the jury summons was for Benton County, not the city of Corvallis. So, I was being summoned for two jury duty assigments at the same time! I have never been called for jury duty in my life and now I am being called upon by two different courts at the very same time.
Long story short, I called the county office and told them what had happened. The jury director told me I couldn't serve two different courts at the same time so I would have to defer my county summons to later in the year.
This takes us to this morning. I had to meet at the courthouse at 7:40am to check in for jury orientation from 8 - 9 am. When that was over, 32 of us had our numbers chosen for a jury trial that started today. My number was called. We waited for the court to begin session then the judge called us into the courtroom. We all sat in the gallery and waited for 18 of us to randomly have our juror numbers called. Mine was not called. Those who were chosen had to sit in the jury box and in front of it (the jurors box only holds 12 seats). The judge asked them some general questions and let 3 people go home. So, three more random numbers were chosen to fill those seats. Not me. Both attorneys were now able to ask the jurors questions. After about 20 minutes, all of us were released back to the jurors room to wait for the attorney's to pick the jury. When we were called back into the courtroom, 12 were chosen to sit on the jury and the rest of us were sent home.
I must say, its an interesting process and I understand our civic duty to be jurors, but everything moves very slowly. I'm glad I had my book with me.
I am free for this week but must call the jury line each Friday night to see if my number is picked for the next week. I have to do this each week through Nov 28th. Who knows, maybe I have more insight into the judicial process yet to come.