How Disorganization Led to My Near Arrest…(a true story)

To begin with, I’d like to defend myself. In this country, we are innocent until proven guilty…

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The fact of the matter is that I’m a busy gal. I’m a single mom, college student, have a bit of a social life, and am a business owner. Not the kind of work where you show up on a regular schedule, do the same old thing, and then go home. No, the kind where you juggle everyone else’s lives simultaneously. So, I have a lot of balls in the air at any given moment. Things were going great without a hitch, until my doctor tinkered with my thyroid hormone dosage (as described here) and I had a hard time regaining equilibrium.

And then one day I received a letter from the government…I was to show up for jury duty at the end of the following month.

Cool! I was just starting a business law class for the summer and had never been called up for jury duty. Should I put it on my calendar? The new phone calendar I had wasn’t as good as the one on my old phone and the reminders weren’t so obvious. No, I’d put the letter on the fridge where I’d be constantly reminded (I don’t really have anything else on it) and surely it was so important that I would remember.

And I did remember!

I thought about my impending duty regularly, especially in law class when my teacher inquired during her lectures whether we had ever been on a jury. I’d say to myself, “I will be towards the end of this month.” …the problem is that time flies, the day came quick, and I had not been keeping track of the current date.

So, as I sat in law class one evening, it dawned on me…I was supposed to have been on the jury THAT MORNING! 

When we were dismissed I flew to the car and called my teenager. As he read the letter out loud to me, I panicked! I had indeed missed jury duty. What would happen to me? It was 8 pm so no government office was open for me to inquire of–I called anyways and got a recording.

I texted my mom who told me they usually come for you immediately. “Come for you?!” “Yes.” I texted a local police officer friend of mine. “They put a warrant out for your arrest,” was the reply. “Stop messing with me,” I said. “This is serious.”
Him: “I am serious. This is so great! I can’t wait to arrest you! Haha!”

I checked the county’s website to see if my number had in fact been called up but I was still in my car and had a hard time navigating it on my phone. I Googled “what happens if you skip jury”, and got the same answer. Sometimes a fine, but usually a bench warrant out for your arrest with up to three days in jail. I knew I’d never survive in prison!

Desperately, I returned to the county site to look for answers…and found them. I stumbled upon a page where it listed all of the juror numbers that had been called up for the week and found my number among those that had been dismissed!!!! Relief came over me in waves. Then I shuddered a little thinking again of how I would not have survived in the slammer. A resolve was made then and there to re-institute a better calendar and reminder system.

And so my dear readers, please learn from my mistake and please remember: organization is not just desirable– it’s a necessity! (If you’d like to avoid a run-in with the law!)

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