Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBT+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Possible Jury Duty

About two or three years ago, I was contacted by the County Court system with regards to possibly serving on a jury. At that time, this required me to call the Court in question on specific days to find out if I was going to have to go in on the following weekday. I forget where, specifically I was told I may end up serving jury duty, but it I do recall it would have involved a bit of travel via public transit, so I got the courthouse’s address and planned my itinerary in case I should be summoned.

In the end, I wasn’t summoned. I was vaguely disappointed, because even though I don’t think I’d make a very good juror, I did kind of want to go for research purposes. The stipend they offered wouldn’t have been unwelcome, either.

Earlier this month, I received a letter and day-glow form to fill out for possible jury duty next month. In the letter, they made it clear that only if I’d served within the past twenty-four months could I be released from duty completely this time. Not that I was much inclined to try and get out of it. As before, it would be a good opportunity to do some real-life research.

The form, a particularly garish color somewhere between pink and orange, was easy to fill out. They had the wrong address on the letter, so I made sure to put my current address in the form, then, on the other side, where there were two check boxes with either a verification of the address the form had been mailed to or a statement that the resident no longer lived there, I checked the latter and made a note that I’d included my proper address on the other side of the form. It apparently takes a little while for the County Court system to catch up to voter registration address changes—which I did back in October so I could vote in the midterm election.

I filled out the form according to instructions. On it, they had a space where appointments could be listed, as a way to request permission to be excused on that particular day. Even though I’d be quite willing to change the appointment I listed, I put it in anyway because I wanted to inform them I have psych issues and there was no other place to do so on the form. No, not as a way to wiggle out of possibly serving, but simply to inform them I have the psych issues; I don’t know if that would have any bearing on being summoned, but I expect it to lead to questions of my current mental stability if I am summoned, and that’s what I want. I don’t want anyone agreeing to my placement on their jury without this knowledge, as it is an aspect of myself which will define some of my personal views on certain cases on whose jury I may be asked to serve.

According to the letter, I could be asked to serve at a Court either right near where I now live . . . or way across town somewhere that’ll require public transit. I don’t think I need to say which one I hope to be summoned to if I am called. LOL In either case, I now have the addresses to both Courts, as well as phone numbers to them; the local Court’s info was provided in the letter, and I called that to get the ‘cross-town Court’s info. Closer to Feb, I’ll get an itinerary from the Utah Transit Authority’s site and may make a trip out to the ‘cross-town Court just to make sure I know where it is.

1 Comment

  1. Good luck! Jury duty definitely leads to plot bunnies . . . which may be why I haven’t been called since I started writing. 😉

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