Civil Obedience

Ticket of Exoneration

Ticket of Exoneration

About a month ago I got a letter in the mail from the circuit court of Cook county, Illinois. I had been summoned for jury duty sadly/luckily it was during my spring break. My husband and I were planning to go home that week and spend time with family, so it had the potential to shorten our trip to a four day affair instead of a week. I was a bit upset but nothing was final that I would have to serve.

Jury duty is unique to our system of government, unlike other judicial systems across the globe civil and criminal court cases may elect to have a trial by jury. Jurors are chosen based upon drivers’ licenses and voting records for a particular county in a state, so essentially residency in a particular area. If you are chosen you are the luck of the draw and must fulfill your civil responsibility or be penalized.

As you might have guessed or known I was called to serve…

We left for Chicagoland the day before my engagement and woke up early the next day to make it to the Maybrook courthouse by 8:30 AM. When I arrived there were a handful of people inside holding a similar document that I had also received. I was a bit early so I waited until the clock struck 8:30. At that time we were allowed to pass through the threshold of the building but not without going through security. Once we had our purses/bags checked, walked through the metal detector and wanded we were instructed to walk into the jury assembly room downstairs. Upon our arrival into the room we turned in our jury summons and received a panel number. Once the majority of people arrived we were told how the day would carry out and a video was played to answer any questions we had about serving as a juror. Then the waiting began…

The jury room proctors did leave the TV on so we were able to watch a few early morning talk shows, Oprah and the View if we wanted. I had brought a book along to read but had a hard time focusing. The only thought in my head was: will I be called? At 10:30 AM the phone rang in the jury assembly room they were calling for jurors. I sat there patiently hoping I would not push my luck now three times in being called. I knew if I was called I could have the potential to serve multiple days (keeping in mind I am down to the final month of my spring semester) this could send my final weeks into turmoil.

Finally the proctor addressed the assembly room and the following numbers were called 23, 27, 28, and 29.  I had not been called. A little over half the room left to be interviewed and then potentially chosen to serve as a juror. We waited another hour and after another telephone call we were released and given our $17.20 compensation. What a relief it was over!

To learn more about one of the largest circuit county court systems click here!

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4 thoughts on “Civil Obedience

  1. I too was recently sent a summons but didn’t have to show up, which was nice. Glad the last month of your semester wasn’t thrown into turmoil.

    It’s also nice to have a fresh blog post for you. Welcome back!

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