October 1st, 2006


Jury Duty call

Several weeks ago I received a notice of a call to Jury Duty. In Massachusetts we have a one-day / one-trial system - you have to go for one day and unless you get on a jury you just stay there that day. You are allowed to postpone it once, and I elected to move it from next week to the end of October. According to the notice you can do this online and they gave me a password and a badge number to use.

Actually, I received two notices 2 days apart, the first to be returned in 10 days, and the second in 5 days. When I went to their web site it said this feature is under construction and will be ready soon. I also tried to call the telephone number several times but it was always busy. I wanted to call to find out if I postponed would I be assigned the same court house. This seems to be typical Massachusetts governmental service - nothing much works very well.

In Middlesex county there are courthouses in Lowell, Framingham, somewhere else and Cambridge - my assigment was for Cambridge which has the most court rooms and I was gambling that it would stay that way since it is easiest to get to. And it did - my assignment is still in Cambridge.

This is my fourth call to Jury Duty. The first time was before the 1 day / 1 trial system and I had to go to the Framingham court for three weeks. It was a low level appeals courts and I was on about 8 juries - mostly DUIs.

The second time I got the 1 trial thing; it was a homicide trial that lasted for 6 weeks including about a week of being sequestered. I will be writing about this soon; it was a very interesting experience.

The third time was one day in Lowell - I think that day, there ended up being no trials.