So we’re at Friday, which happens to mark the conclusion week 1 of my Forced Participation in the Legal System, and I’ve yet to darken the door of the courthouse.
A week ago this evening, I made my first call to the Jury Action Hotline only to hear the voice on the other in inform that I was not selected to participate on Monday, in a sort of apologetic tone that implied that I might file this news in the Hard to Take Category. I was actually elated, as the news actually translated into a Free Day Off, as my school happened to be closed on Monday. I enjoyed my day, but figured the freebie made it all the more likely that I’d get summoned on Tuesday, when my school was open, and I would spend a long, boring day in court instead of printing and painting with my students.
I called the number at the appointed time Monday evening to learn my status, only to discover that the Action Line, was well, Inactive. With school administration waiting to hear whether or not I was going to be a no-show the next day, I spent a frantic half hour wondering if I’d be jailed if I turned out to be scheduled but was never able to find out. I reread my materials and discovered that I could check in online. I was, happily, not scheduled to report.
Nor was I scheduled Wednesday, Thursday, or today, which may seem to mean that the current standings are Me, 5, Virginia Court System ,0. I say may, because I am not sure this is the case at all.
See, it occurred to me long about Wednesday afternoon, better known as Day 3 of Not Being Able to Make Any Plans, that it might just be better to get the whole thing over with, especially after a second rereading of the literature revealed that once you work a trial (which tend to run 1-3 days) you’re excused from whatever remains of your two week service. At that point, anything short of a worst case scenario—a 3+ day trial, would get me out of this before the advent of the coming week, when my school is closed for the full week. (Yes, I notice the theme of excessive school closures. But it’s an Independent School, and they play by their own rules.)
The thought of a Winter Break when I could actually make plans was so appealing that I actually wished fervently to be called in. I realized that I’d rather spend two days in court and have a free week than to limp along day by day—even if I never get called in at all.
But it was not to be. We’re currently at T-2 hours until my next check-in. I don’t know what to hope for, really. I don’t want to go, but what I’m really afraid of is getting called in on the last day and having to serve Extra Time, which, I’m told, can happen. So really, no one is winning right now. Not me, and not the courts who so eagerly courted me. At least not yet. How this ends is anyone’s guess—the jury is still solidly out.