Thursday, November 29, 2007

Jury Duty

Shortly following Elisabeth's birth I was summoned for jury duty. Milwaukee County offers its jurors one six month deferment if they're unable to serve at the requested time. Having a newborn, exclusively breastfed baby I immediately realized I would be unable to serve at the requested time in January of 2006 or six months from then. On the advice of my in-house counsel I took Elisabeth with me, diaper bag, car carrier and all with the hope of being excused.

I never made it into the courtroom. After arriving at the courthouse the clerk in charge of checking the jurors in looked disdainfully down at Elisabeth and sneered, "What is that?!" I explained my predicament but the impatient woman clearly wasn't interested. She'd heard too many excuses from prospective jurors wishing to escape their civic duty, I suppose. Thankfully, the chief judge (is that what the head county judges are called? You'd think I'd know that, being married to an attorney that practices in that courthouse and all) Kitty Brennan was much more understanding in her response to me after I mailed her a letter summarizing my predicament. She postponed my summons for a two year span which, I understood to mean, I'd be summoned again in January of 2008.

Well, I got the summons and it's not for January of 2008. It's December of 2007-- right before Christmas. Ugh! All I can say is for once in my life procrastination has paid off because Superdad will be in New York during the time I'm expected to serve and I was planning on going with him, I just hadn't bought my plane ticket yet. Whew! At least now the Milwaukee County justice system won't deprive me of the cost of an airline ticket.

At this point I see little hope of being excused from serving. I'll play all my cards; my husband is a litigator, I'm a primary caregiver for our three children, we home school, for Pete's sake. But when it's all said and done I have a bad, bad feeling.

3 comments:

sixty-five said...

This sounds absurd to me. What will probably happen is that you won't even get picked for a jury and you'll spend 3 days sitting around twiddling your thumbs. I'd buy the plane ticket and insist on a two-week deferral!

SuperMom said...

Well, I was going to get all irate and push it more, but now Joe's going to NYC in February also, so I may just stay here, get Christmas stuff done and vacation in Feb.

Superdad said...

Also, that whole failure to respond to a summons can get you arrest business is kind of a bummer.

I think she should just keep showing up with the kids and let them send her home. Not that I would ever give that as legal advice mind you.