“You Are Excused”

Of the few ways one can “exercise” citizenship directly, being chosen as a sitting juror seems most capricious.

Ever since I turned 18 I’ve waited for the call.

Master jury lists in North Carolina are randomly drawn from voter rolls and driver license records. Having been a licensed driver and voting maniac (all elections except one 2nd primary) for over 30 years, I expected to have been selected at least once before now, yet it was only last month I was notified of my first opportunity to serve.

Given my activist background, I imagined that being selected to serve in court was a long shot. Still, getting my chance to discharge this citizen obligation was rewarding enough. Yes, I know it might sound a bit crazy to many folks, especially those who have tried and possibly succeeded in ducking the call, but I was excited my turn finally arrived.

Orange County has a fairly efficient system. You get a letter a month beforehand. You’re instructed to call a particular phone number (919-644-4516 in Orange County should you happen to Google this post) the night before to check your status.

After returning from this evening’s Board of Commissioner’s meeting I made that call.

The disappointing recorded message was short, to the point – “All jurors are excused. This concludes your jury service.”

Excused, yes. Concluded? Just doesn’t feel that way.


4 responses to ““You Are Excused””

  1. zabouti Avatar

    I’m really glad to see you posting again, Citizen Will.

  2. jcb Avatar

    I was called several times during the 2 years that we lived in Georgia (got out of the 1st just because I was a student, the last because we moved back to NC right before I was supposed to serve. Can’t remember if there was 3rd in the middle).

    But in the 31 years I’ve lived in NC (20 as legal age), I’ve never been called.

  3. m Avatar

    Was called & was elected foreman on a car accident case about 10 yrs ago that never should have gone to trial. Greed motivated the plaintiff. Was a good learning experience.

  4. Administrator Avatar

    I know it was a long shot and maybe a total waste of time but….

    I ran into Judge Baddour yesterday and it turns out he would’ve been the sitting judge. The defendant opted for a bench trial so we were dismissed.

    Interestingly, my relationship with Allen would not have been an immediate disqualifier.

    Next chance to serve is two years out.

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