Jury Duty Lesson – A Small Goose Chase at the Courthouse

Well a few weeks ago I got a notice stating that I was summoned for Jury Service.  I didn’t really read all fine print and just read when and where I needed to show up… as I’ve served on a jury before over on Oahu.

What I didn’t realize… is that the court system here on the Big Island works a bit differently then Oahu.  On Oahu you simply have to show up when it says your suppose to show up.

Well here on the Big Island… they have a Jury Duty Hotline that folks summoned to Jury Duty are supposed to call the business day before they are to appear for court for jury duty.

This weekend I was looking at the summons and I noticed that I was suppose to call the number… and when I tried the number… I guess I didn’t follow the instructions properly because the recording basically told me to call back during regular business hours.

I posted the following picture of the Hawaii County Courthouse this morning on Facebook

So I put off all of my work that I had scheduled for this morning… dropped my son off at the bus and then battled Highway 130 traffic into town for about 45 minutes.  I arrived at the courthouse at about 7:45 and I’m supposed to check in there at 8:30.

I sit in my car for awhile checking messages and what not on my phone and then about 8:15 I make my way into the courthouse.

Still feeling lost… I go up the elevator to the 2nd floor and ask a sheriff deputy where the selected jurors are suppose to meeting me at.  He sends me down the hall… and I can’t find anyone… then I realize I’m not even on the right floor.

I go up to the 3rd floor… ask a court bailiff where I’m supposed to go… and he sends me back down to the first floor.  By this time I’m checking my watch and it’s 8:28 and I have two minutes to go until supposedly they are gonna hang my neck and put out a warrant for my arrest for failing to meet the jury demands or whatever the repercussions are if you miss these damn things.

I finally get down the elevators… (Can I say that the Hawaii County Courthouse must have the slowest elevators in the whole damn world)… I get to where the Jury folks are supposed to be meeting and I check-in with the secretary and she says… “Did you call the number”?

I’m like yeah I tried calling the number… but I don’t think I did something right as it didn’t give me any pertinent information.

So she goes and call’s the number for me… punches in the required number… and the next thing she tells me… is the case that I was supposed to be a juror on has been settled already!

*Sigh*

Jury Pool… Not Again! Well I Guess I Could Use the Money this Time

So I got the letter as I’m sure many folks in the community got today… that the State is looking to pool a jury together for a trial.

jury duty

The last time I got one of these, I was living on Oahu about 4-5 years ago.

I didn’t think there would be a chance in hell that I would even be questioned because there was 150 called to be on a jury of 12… (update… just opened the envelope and it’s just a notification telling me I may be selected for a jury pool in the next year)

I kid you not… I was the 12th jury member selected.

The trial was a very interesting trial and dealed with a suicide that happened at a psych ward in a hospital on Oahu where the plaintiffs were trying to sue a doctor for malpractice for failing to stop a suicide in his care.

The case lasted about 9 days and we found the doctor innocent of all charges.

What really irked me… is that I didn’t even get Jury Duty pay… because I was a State/Government Employee… and while you get time off to do your  civic duty… you don’t get compensated.

Then when you get back to your work… you end up being flooded with work trying to catch up on things.

There are many ways to avoid jury duty… I could have been lame and unhonest… but heck… it was a good experience at the time.

Now I’m unemployed and I could use that $35.00 bucks a day and gas mileage or whatever it is they pay folks to sit on Jury now.

Can you believe that… $35.00 a day????

What’s worst… is you are pretty much stuck there in that jury chair until the judge dismisses you.

No wonder why so many folks look at ways to get out of jury duty.  I kind of look at it as my civic responsibility… However, I think the jury needs to be compensated a bit more for their time.