A few days ago I had the honorable duty of attending Jury Duty! Now, I don't know why it is, but I have the blessed gift of receiving these summons often. Ric has yet to receive one. Hmmm.
I thought I may have lost this gift when we moved here 2 years ago...but, nope, this County found me here too.
So, after realizing that I had been called and that I could not check any boxes in the excuse area of the form ( I was no longer breastfeeding either), I had to take it upon me to serve my County and show up. So, I searched around for a babysitter that could come at last minute...because I would not know what time or if my number would be called until the day before after 5pm.
I had to reschedule several things on my calendar for that day (this took a lot of juggling) and finally was able to get everything squared away just in case my number was called to serve. Now, if my number was not called for that day, than I would be completely bummed because I had not figured out how to get everything coordinated for the following 5 days that I would have to wait. Thankfully, I was chosen to show up at 9:15am at the courthouse.
Babysitter showed up a little early (She is a keeper!) and I took my older daughter and neighbor boy to preschool on my way to the courthouse. I left early hoping to find a good parking spot. Um, nope...I spent about 15 minutes just trying to find one....and had to walk about 5 miles in the rain to get there (okay just kidding) 2 minutes to get there. I brought my computer (Free wi-fi) my new Lisa Welchel Momtime book, water and some snacks with me. I was set for this day.
After going through security screening, I made it to the "holding" room.
The "Holding" room...Room 117...was full of solemn faced people of all legal jury duty ages. I almost wanted to burst out with laughter. It was a funny sight to me. Everyone there in similar circumstances...wanting to leave....wanting to figure out how to get out of this duty service...grumpy....quiet.
"Oh my, this is going to be a looooong day" I thought.
Well, I actually saw somebody that I had not see in a long time. I was very excited about finding someone to chat with and suffer through this time.
I found out that there would be two trials that day. They would choose 60 people for each trial to sort through. The first 60 people were called and my name was not on the roll call. Good news, bad news. It would have been nice to be called early to get out of it early....or not get called in the second batch and go home....
But, my name was called in the second round and found out that I would not be starting in the courtroom until the afternoon. We had a two hour lunch and came back at 1:15pm.
Now, I forgot to mention, that I had wore a pregnancy shirt this day, because it helped me look even more pregnant with it on. The court lady noticed my predictament and told me on the way into the court room to tell the Baliff anytime I need to go use the bathroom. I had just gone before, so I thought to be just fine.
Well, upon entering the courtroom, I decided to sit in the back near a window. We were sworn in and the judge went over all of the legistics of the case, etc. Blah, blah....well, the first twelve people were called randomly to the jury seats to be questioned. I was not one of them (bummer...I want to go home). The Judge also mentioned that he would take claims of hardship before a break around 3pm....So, I would have to wait until then.
Well, I waited, listened, yawned, and then...I had to go. I really had to go. I had to go pee. Duty calls, I have to go I looked for the Baliff and realized he was across the room from me. I tried to wait...but, I had to go. I remembered what the court lady had told me....so, I discreetly got the attention of the Baliff. He walked over to me. I got up and whispered, "I need to use the restroom".
I thought this would be easy. I could just tell him and he would let me go do my business. Nope. He asked me my name and then proceeded to walk up to the front of the court area where the judge, attornies, etc. sat and talked to a lady that had a list of our names and was "responsible" for us. He told her my name and then she stood up next to the judge and waited until he was done giving a speech to the twelve in the jury box....while I am in the back of the room waiting to go pee. Really? Is this necessary?
Well, the Judge finished his statement, listened to the lady with the list, and then raised his eyes toward me and said, "Mrs. K----, I see that you are with child, Are you in any disposition?"
ME: "Well, your Honor, I need to use the potty, and if that is a disposition, than yes." (Did I just say potty to the Judge?"
THE COURTROOM: Laughter throughout....
ME: A red face and full bladder
JUDGE: "Well, Counsel Do you have any problem if Mrs. K---- leaves the courtroom to use the restroom?"
COUNSEL: "No, not at all"
JUDGE: Smiling--"Mrs. K----, yes you may leave and then just come back in when you are finished"
ME: "Thank you, your Honor"
I rushed out quickly found the Potty and was very relieved. But, I really did not want to go back into that courtroom. But, I did not want to be fined 2700.00 dollars or 5 days in jail either. So, I thought I will just go quietly back into the courtroom.
As I entered quietly, I see the Baliff nod at me and I just nod and quietly walk back to my seat in the back far corner of the courtroom.
Just as I thought I was back in safely, the JUDGE states: Let it be known that Mrs. K---- has entered back into the courtroom."
Well, even if I do not make it on the jury for this case...I did make it on the records. Everything that is said and done is recorded. Yes, that means the Pregnant Lady had to go to the Potty!
Right before break time, I was able to claim my hardship to the judge.
ME: I told him that I was pregnant with a weak bladder and sick through most of my pregnancy thus far, two small children at home, a Homemaker, and Financially we are just unable....
JUDGE: "Mrs. K----, You have many reasons why you can't be here....I am dismissing you for quite awhile!"
ME: "Thank you, your Honor. Thank you"
Oh my...the gift of being called for jury duty I think will be passed for quite awhile. Thank you YOUR HONOR....thank You!