Wednesday, June 24, 2009

NYC Jury Duty Explained

...well, at least from my perspective.

first i just have to say how ridiculous it is that nearly every person who just moved to new york who has previously never been called to jury duty in their home state, upon a few months in the city, has been seemingly immediately summoned to wretched 71 thomas street. may my fellow new yorkers (old and new) never know the innards of that building! i have pinpointed the reason for all of us ("all of us" referring to people new to new york) being summoned to three possible causes:

1) new york city is ruthless. bastards.
2) we registered to vote here. that is basically a dis-incentive to vote. bastards!
3) those recent new york residents have a high probability of being unemployed, (case in point... myself) and therefore have loads of time to sit around for days waiting to be selected for a jury instead of doing something productive like... looking for a job. gotta take advantage of unemployed fresh meat. BASTARDS.

anyway, this week i went (for the second time, i postponed earlier in april) to sit and wait. here is what i learned of the jury duty process.

a) you must show up the first day and at least the second day so they have ample time to call you for a jury pool.
b) if you don't get called at the end of the second day, you're free to go with a promise that they won't bother you for at least two years.
c) you may or may not be shown a really stupid video narrated by some b-list celebrity about how awesome jury duty is.
d) if you do get called, there's still a chance you'll be free--they call 35 people and the lawyers only need 12.
e) said lawyers may or may not look like they have a stick up their ass, but will most certainly look at you like a piece of meat.
f) you have to fill out a questionnaire before they call you. if you feel no guilt about it, i suggest you lie. say you love Jesus, believe in the death penalty, hate lawyers, and think that medical malpractice cases are a waste of time and from the devil. also, mention that you voted for george w. both times. and that you hate hispanics and immigrants.
g) the jury house has free wi-fi, but 5 plugs in the whole room. major fail. you can save yourself with hulu (as i did--so much great summer tv out there!) but only for a few hours before you fight with someone for a plug.
h) i have a secret fantasy that i'll meet my soulmate while waiting for jury duty. despite having spent nearly 3 days waiting, pickings have been slim.
i) you may or may not be dismissed early for the day. i got out 2 hours early the first day, 5 hours early the second day.
j) you get paid $40 a day. that's better than california (arnold, you cheap bastard.)
k) you may or may not have a lunch break longer than an hour, but you'll have at least an hour.
l) the employees who manage the whole surly bunch of us are surprisingly good natured despite having to deal with loads of angry people on a regular basis. one of them saw my jury slip and asked where i was a student. when i told him Columbia he said, "huh... heard of it." :D

anyways, 5 hours of hulu/netflix (thanks keiske!), several magazines, and a few job applications later, i am free of jury duty... at least for a few years.

1 comment:

  1. You hogged the wifi for five hours? Because you aren't capable of bringing a book to read? And God forbid anyone ask you to be a responsible citizen. What an awesome narration of selfishness.