My letter came in the mail a month ago. My very first summons to Jury Duty for Oakland County. I have always had a fascination with court, police and all of the formality that goes along with it. This Jury Duty thing would have been very interesting to me if it would just come 5 years from now when all 6 kids are in school full time. Then I would not have to move a mountain to arrange for my absence. I was cautioned by some and assured by others that it could go either way...I could be asked or released. My theory was to go in and be honest and hope that they just didn't want me.
We were in our room of jurors awaiting for our number to be called when I opened up my reading materials thinking that there is no way they will call on me. (I never win anything so why should this be any different). I was the 10th person to be called and I was a shocked. There were 36 of us who were taken up to the 5th floor of the court house to a court room where we walked in and sat awaiting further instructions. The attorneys were standing as we walked in along with the Plaintiff and Defendant. They were eyeing each one of us as we walked in slowly and very orderly. We sat down and had some instructions read to us via the Judge. I was startled and a little unnerved when the Judge kindly outlined the civil case that was at hand and that it was going to be a 10 to 12 day case. I was trying to listen but could not help but try to think in my head how the heck I would manage the organization and the work involved to be able to be gone for 10 days from 8 to 5pm. I just don't have the daytime sitter availability that I would need. I was going back and forth with the intrigue of being a juror and the panic of "what if I am picked". Eight of us at a time were instructed to sit in the famous seats that you see on every episode of Law and Order. Each of us were asked a series of questions beginning with the Judge followed by the attorneys. The Judge requested that we make any issues about serving known at that time. I answered the questions and ended with, "I am a mom of 6 young children but I will do my best to find childcare etc". (I should have said more but when it was my turn to speak I have to say I got a little nervous. I also felt a little guilty, lots of people have kids and jury duty is an inconvenience for many). The attorneys then took their turns asking each one of us specific questions about education, experiences and clearly they were narrowing down their search for what they wanted. The defense attorney got to me and asked me about my education and if I had any experience with contracts. I responded with no and he then said, "Mrs. Mott please tell us the age of your 6 children" (gosh they always have to ask don't they.....I guess here goes). "Sir, I have twins who are 9, a singleton who is 7 and triplets who are 3". At that moment...that very moment the court room went from silence to a dull roar of laughter..... I had the entire courtroom laughing. The attorney smiles and says, "well good luck to you Mrs. Mott". He returns to his seat and asks the Judge if he can approach the bench. They speak for a moment and then he turns to the jury box and says, "We are going to release juror #7". I look around and then he says, "Yes that is you Mrs. Mott, go home and take care of those kids....and good luck". The court room again breaks out in chuckles and I grab my bag and begin my exit before anyone changes their minds. I was out of the building by 10:30am and more relieved than you could ever imagine. What a cool opportunity but just not right now in my life. So sometimes it does help using the "I have 6 kids" card.