Tuesday, September 4, 2012
I was given a summons for jury duty about a month ago. I mean, there's only 10 million people in this city, but Los Angeles adheres to the "one day, one trial" rule which spreads the joy of jury duty at a rapid pace.
Whatever. But I wasn't upset just about the jury duty itself, but the fact that they are asking me to report in Santa Monica. I live in Los Angeles proper, just a tad to the south of Hollywood, and if I had to take a bus to the court house, well, let's just say it would take well over an hour.
So I asked for a change of venue. Explained myself real good. Told the nameless, faceless bureaucracy that I live not too far from the Red Line, which has as one stop the Superior Court of Los Angeles. I asked to be sent there.
Two weeks later, the original summons came in the mail. I was going to Santa Monica. No amount of protest could change it, especially since it fell on deaf ears. No one associated with the courts of Los Angeles would pick up the phone and hear me out.
Well, since I got the car yesterday, I wouldn't have to take the bus. Not that it saved me any time. To those familiar with the freeways here at 7:15 am, it's more like a parking lot. I was getting more upset by the minute.
When I got to Santa Monica, I calmed down immediately. The courthouse is right on the beach. Palm trees, surf, people walking around. Paradise. I check in, got my badge, watched the really weird "it's great to be a juror" video and we all took a 15 minute break. All 40 of us.
Last time I was called to jury duty it was to the Superior Court of Los Angeles. There were hundreds of us, barely any room to sit down. You didn't want to go to the bathroom for fear you'd lose your seat. This time around, we got tables to ourselves.
At 9:45 am, the announcement came. The one trial set for today was going to arbitration - no jury was needed. We were all excused for the rest of the year. That's because the "one trial, one day" rule means if you are not called to serve on a jury the first day, you're off for the rest of the year. I was so shocked I yelled "what!" and gathered my things. I was home by 10:30 am.
Despite all my efforts, I was destined for Santa Monica Court. And I served for about an hour and 45 minutes. I could feel the G-dliness it was so obvious. It was truly an amazing morning. Keep it coming!