I arrived at San Fernando Court for jury duty and was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the jury room. It was comfortable, well lighted, and temperature controlled. I waited around inside for three hours and digested some changes in the jury system.
It used to be they would call in a lot of people, and select some to go to a case. No, not any longer. If you show up at the court, you are going into a courtroom. Even crazier, because of budget cuts, they don’t have jury coordinators at every court. We would be assigned to one of two courtrooms, San Fernando or Santa Clarita based on the luck of the draw. I got Santa Clarita. So first I drive to San Fernando, and next I get to drive again to Santa Clarita. That was annoying.
Waiting in Santa Clarita was much less pleasant. 70’s era plastic chairs bolted to the floor, with about 40 people crammed into a space that fits 50 – I was lucky to have one seat beside me empty. And they let us wait for an hour and a half in those chairs. The bailiff was nice enough to let us know they were talking… “Could be good news”. Anytime there’s a jury waiting in the hallway, before getting officially assigned, I figured it was good news for us. Just having a jury present helps people accept plea bargains or whatever machinations go on in court.
Finally, we were called into the courtroom. I got a bit of that “star power” feeling as I walked in, goggling like I’d never been in a court for the last 30 years, which I haven’t. And the judge is a smoking-hot fortyish lady with the most friendly and chatty disposition, and she lets us know that we are free to go, since the case has “been resolved”. I’m off the hook for a year at least.
I managed to get in dozens of Scramble With Friends games and onto another 20 leaderboards in Life is Crime before the battery on my Droid died. I wasn’t bored in the least. My fears of having something “interesting” happen remained only fears, and I like it that way.