How I Got Out of Jury Duty

How I Got Out of Jury Duty

How I got out of Jury Duty

Freelancing makes for some complicated Lyft conversations. It also makes that little line on the jury duty form not nearly long enough as I discovered a few weeks ago.

On the form, I put that I babysit a toddler because that’s the job that takes most of my time and that I get the most income from, but I also act as an office assistant, write daily blog posts, and do social media for a real estate photography company. It’s not as time-consuming but it still pays. The writing I consider work but I’m not yet getting paid for any of it so I squeeze it in between whatever else I can.

Normally jury duty is simple in California. You call every day for a week and they may or may not tell you to come in. If you do come in you spend a lot of time in the jury pool room or the room of extreme boredom. Seriously, the number of people who don’t bring anything to do and not even a book to read astound me. If you are unlucky, or lucky depending on how bored you are, you get called to a courtroom to sit on a jury panel and answer a bunch of questions.

This time at least the case I was called for was a civil case so the questions are not nearly as invasive as if it were a criminal trial. The judge and lawyers still spent a good amount of time questioning everything I do.

Lawyer: You work in real estate?

Me sitting in the seat for Juror #5: No, I’m a social media person for a real estate photographer.

L: You take the pictures?

M: No, my boss does, I just blog about them.

L: That’s a job?

M: Yes.

L: What do you photograph?

M: My boss mostly photographs residential properties for sale, houses, and condos. She will sometimes take before and after pictures of a kitchen or bathroom remodel.

L: So you know a lot of real estate agents?

M: My boss does. I’ve only met three face to face.

L: You said you’re also a writer? What do you write?

M: Science fiction.

L: What does that have to do with real estate?

M: Nothing.

I’m sure it was less time than it felt but sheesh, this lawyer needed to actually listen to my damn answers.

Keep in mind I’m sitting in this quietly dignified courtroom full of papers, hard-working people in suits, an actual judge, and I have bright mint green hair and Wonder Woman Converse.

The real kicker here is that I still had to come back the next day. The other folks in the jury pool were joking that if I wasn’t dismissed yet we were all doomed. I had one appointment and one babysitting job for the next day that I had to call and cancel.

Cut to the next morning. I’m at the courthouse bright and early ready to actually be on a jury for once. My friend that I babysit for had someone to cover for her. I spent the previous night queueing up blog posts and social media stuff for my boss for the next week since that was how long they expected the trial to last. To be honest, since it was a civil trial I was actually a little excited to experience something new.

We had ten minutes of general jury questions and then after a short discussion with the judge the first words out of a lawyer’s mouth is “We’d like to thank and excuse Juror #5”

I was almost disappointed. I had to double check that was the seat I was in.

I even managed to get a couple laughs from the rest of the jury pool when I fiddled with my hair on the way out of the courtroom. The few other folks that got dismissed were a little bit more realistically relieved. The very nice court clerk lady who popped out to make sure we all knew where to go couldn’t tell me for sure if I was released due to my hair color.

Now, realistically I know I was most likely dismissed due to my perceived connection to real estate since such a big deal was made of that but with all the weird things going on in the world, I enjoy the idea that I was dismissed for something as petty as having green hair.

Moral of the story. Be yourself, it may get you out of Jury Duty

Share This:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.