Saturday, May 26, 2007

A Long Weekend

Monday the 28th is Memorial Day, a holiday, and this means we have a long weekend. Some people have gone out of town, but I have opted to stay put. I am not going to any campground, amusement parks, or out of town visiting some friends who could be out there celebrating. It was not TGIF for me yesterday. I've been fidgeting in my seat since last month every time I'm reminded to do my duty as a citizen. I received a court summons to be present at jury service selection. I have registered by phone as instructed within 5 days of receiving the summons. Since then I get anxiety attacks every time I think of it. I don't want to sit at a witness stand and be cross examined by the prosecuting and defense attorneys. But, I have to do it; my duty as a citizen. Ngeee. I know it's my duty, what else can I do? But it seems not fare to me.

Sometime in the 1990s I twice received this same kind of summons from the court. The first and second time I managed to exempt myself, being a licensed business owner--freelance consulting. But nowadays, that excuse is no longer acceptable, it was deleted from the list. I may be exempted if I'm mentally disabled--comatose siguro. Well, there are exemptions still but the list had been reduced to a few and I'm not in any of those. Then in 2004 I had my third summons and since I can't be excused anymore I availed myself to the court. After the number of jurors the court needed were satisfied, I and the rest of the assembly were sent home, which in essence means we have performed our duty. So, now, again I have this summons. This is my fourth one!

I have today, Saturday, tomorrow and Monday to be away from it. On Tuesday the 29th I have to be up early and be there at the assembly room at 8:15 AM. Hopefully, nothing's going to happen to me driving to court and coming home. The last time I went there in 2004 I had a car accident. Yeah. Remember that Nini? LOL I was looking at signs or landmarks on my way to lunch to familiarize myself with the place. The courthouse is about 15 miles away from my place, but it's not one I always go to. Well, as I was driving I didn't notice the red light until I was too close, and didn't have enough time to stop. A van was coming out of the intersection, and I prayed as I plowed into her front ripping away her bumper. As I did that I prayed and said to myself, "This is it. This is the end of me." But lo and behold, I managed to park my car on the side and got out unscathed. I was unhurt but shaky. I hastily got out of the car forgetting the key in the ignition. My car engine was still running as I stepped on the sidewalk. People who heard the crash all came out of their stores and shops and gawked at me and the mess. I didn't care, I was shaken. A couple who owned the store where I parked came out and called a police officer. The officer was very courteous and understanding; he noticed my JUROR BADGE on my chest. He didn't give me a ticket for running a red light, but made a report about the accident. The guy...err, woman who was driving the van kept asking me if I worked for the city--a government official or employee. He...err, she saw my badge, as well. I should have told her I, but I didn't. I work on my own, man...err, woman. Intiende? He he he

My car was a total loss.


vk said...

Happy Whitsunday to you.....
Tomorrow we are also holiday,,,,sandwich day...or Whit Monday....

Thanks for sharing this topic, the first time I know-read this,...I know only by watching crime movie....JURY SERVICE.....

My God, your accident...Kung ako siguro, na collapsed na takot at sa nervous...

nakatawa naman, you are exempted while you are Juror....

Thanks I know about your service.....maybe someday, when I need some advices, Can I ask you????
If I am right or false?, Can I?
Just only advices, maybe someday.....

Thanks for your comments-compliments about us, in my blog too....

Have a nice whit Sunday....

nini said...

yeah, i remember that! this time, please ask the resident geek to give you a ride. would that work? lol..or take a cab and charge to the defendant j/k


sasha said...

Hi Mari! I hope you're okay now. Ano ba yang summons na yan? You'd take the stand as a witness or part of the jury? Paano yan pinipili? Na-curious daw ako bigla. I love watching courtroom drama pero never heard of the real one until this post of yours hehe

I hope everything will turn out fine for you.

Take care ha and be careful driving! God bless!

P.S. The comment box is now working fine. I don't know what happened last night. Will look into it, thanks! :)

Mari said...

vk, sandwich day! Does that mean you eat a lot of sandwich that day? LOL...just kidding.

Ninerbios din ako, pero nagpalakas na lang ng loob.

Sure you can ask me, and I'll give you an answer if I know it. LOL...why don't you give me your email address here on the comment box? Don't worry I won't post it (the email address) on my blog.

Thanks for your comment.

nini, maybe I should ask him, huh? LOL, of course, you know they only reimburse you one way of your trip to the courthouse...and only $15 per day if you serve as juror. :-( Lugi na ang mga self-employed.

sasha, I'm okay now, back to normal.

Of the hundred or so they select randomly as potential jurors a batch of 20 or so are grilled in the courtroom itself by the prosecutor and defense attorney. That is to see if you are impartial or have an open mind. If they find you biased or influenced by others they let you go. Kung nagustuhan ka ng defense attorney at prosecutor gawin ka ng juror. These I learned from my husband who was a 2-time juror. He liked the experience. I'm glad I aroused your curiosity.

Thanks, I'll drive carefully, this time.

Mari said...

sasha, if you want to learn more about the court and jury here's a link: Jury Info. Resource Center

Cat said...

jeez, that was scary Mari, buti na lang you were fine.

yeah me too, curious din ako. I only saw this jury-picking on movies and series..I'm sure they are just exaggerating Mari. I'm sure being one of the jurors would be a nice experience and it would be an eye opener to see just how things work. We all know juries are what the case comes down to, but to see the defendant, prosecution and the judge and the families depending on the case and it all comes down to the jury. It reminds me how good your system is..unlike here in the Philippines

Ebb Tide said...

Last Thurday and Friday, my husband had to visit one of their companies in San Diego. So we extended our trip over the Memorial week-end. Not bad, because the company paid for our dinner, gas and mileage. Plus my some of my sisters/brother live in S.D. So, it was likehitting 2-birds w/ 1 bullet.
I am not fond of doing jury duty but my husband had done it many times. He found it interesting and the company pays them while on duty. But I think jury duty and bad luck are together. Ten years ago, my husband did a jury duty in Van Nuys. After his duty, he went out to the parking lot and found his car (Explorer) was stolen. No kidding! He called the police and they suspected it's on the way to Tijuana, Mexico. See, you had jury duty and car accident before. No wonder, nakakanerbiyos.

SexyMom said...

what a day! hope you are okay now. there must have been a multitude of angels who saved you from a maor incident. the car can be replaced anytime, but what is most important is that you are unscathed and alive.

am curious, were you able to appear in court?

Mari said...

cat, yeah, what we see in the movies are mostly exagerated. That's one way of giving excitement to the movie. They don't show the boring part of jury selection. I and the rest of the jurors sat at the assembly room waiting and waiting and waiting.

Thanks for your interest.

ebb, that was one great Memorial Day weekend for you and your hubby.

I don't blame you. Most of the prospective jurors were not happy to be there. I am one of them, but there was a lady beside me who was so willing to sit as a juror. She wanted very much to experience it.

Thanks for dropping by.

sexy mom, am okay now. Back to my normal driving, but more's a lesson learned once again. You could be right about those angels, they must've though I'm worth saving. Yeah, material things could be replaced, but our lives once it's done it's all more second chance.

That accident happened during my lunch break and it was only a couple of blocks away from the courthouse, so I walked back there.

Thanks for dropping by.

ghee said...

heyy,that was cool!!being a juror??what an experience!!

although you made me panick a bit about that car were lucky then that you were unscratched!
and the badge helped a lot :)

Mari said...

ghee, it was an experience, all right, with the accident and all.

Yeah, it could've been the badge that helped and some angels out there.

Thanks for coming and dropping me a line.

JMom said...

aw, that sucks. Sorry to hear about your accident.

I didn't know they give out juror badges :)

Mari said...

jmom, it did suck. But, it's my fault, I was not careful enough.

The badge is a card that's a bit bigger than a business card with big fat letters that say JUROR BADGE with juror number, and some other data in it. I should've taken a picture of it and posted here...but...shucks, I was just thinking of the whole ordeal.

Thanks for your comment.