Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Another view of jury duty

I'll be honest. At times, jury duty can be perceived as a hassle. I've had employers that wouldn't pay you during jury duty, and I've had occasions when I've been in the middle of some project when a jury duty call intervened. People who take care of small children have to worry about child care while they are on jury duty.

But what if you're unemployed or underemployed, and you don't have kids? Then perhaps you may WANT jury duty. But it still may be too hard to serve.

Matt Munson:

I am required to call after 6 in the evening to find out if I have been canceled, postponed or I have to show up at the exact time. However I do lack the transportation to easily get to the court house within a hour window if I call between 11 and 12 in the afternoon to get to the court house by 12:45. In recent years, I ended up getting ready to the court house and while I am on the bus I find out that my jury duty service is not needed for the year.

Due to my employer going down the toilet due to working in the retail industry I would like to know if I am going to be part of this process. Sadly jury duty will pay more than my part time job and I would love the opportunity to serve on the jury and at least get some nominal money for my time.

Matt has shared some suggestions to improve jury duty in his February 4 post. Here's one of his suggestions:

Give more than a hour window for those who do not have access to a car or a drivers license to get to the court house. Having people call at 8 or 9 in the morning instead of calling between 11 and 12 would be easier for those who have to use mass transit.

Frankly, that suggestion is also good for people who DO have transporation. For example, I work in Orange County, but my courthouse is in Rancho Cucamonga. If I had to call between 11 and 12, I can't even guarantee that I'd make it to the courthouse on time.

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