So I hopped the No. 4 MTA bus at 7 a.m. and got down to the Stanley Mosk Courthouse for my jury duty with plenty of time to spare. Once the paperwork was completed and my juror badge was clipped to the collar of my jacket, it was all about filling the void of time that was only broken on a couple occasions with the juror assembly room personnel calling for everyone’s attention over the PA system and reading off a bunch of names.
I didn’t make either of those panels. So in between I plowed through the newspaper, crept through the first few chapters of Curse of the Narrows, listened to some Sounds From The Ground tunes on my iPod and tried to ignore Regis and Kelly being broadcast from the small TV across the aisle.
Finally the PA came to life again asking for everyone’s attention for a panel that came complete with “special instructions” and sure enough my name came up near the end of the roll call.
And what were those special instructions, you ask? That I am to report to Department 309 on the 14th floor of the Central Civil West Courthouse on Commonwealth Avenue near Wilshire at 10 a.m. tomorrow.
While my first instinct was disappointment at being made to abandon such a smooth public commute away from downtown for this less-familiar new place, it didn’t taint the combined relief at 1) landing on a panel, and 2) not having to hang around the jury room anymore.
Of course, other prospective jurors didn’t take it as well as I did. One man expressed his “shock” at not being excused, and another lady tried to protest saying she couldn’t afford to be on a jury. Both were met with stoney, unsympathetic looks from the assembly room workers.
I’m just wary enough to think that I may be in for a longer haul… that this new courthouse might be host to a trial that might be expected to take longer than normal (typically five to seven days) and that despite announcements that all selections are random, my current unemployed status might right up their preliminary alley.
I did manage to squeeze a $14 weekly MTA bus/rail pass out of them before leaving. Technically the passes are only for people who end up on juries, but I pointed out that sense I have to return tomorrow â€” and to a second location â€” I should be granted one. They acquiesced, even though I still might not make whatever jury I’m being pitched towards. If not, my service is done and I’m a $14 pass richer. But I’m still hoping I get to use the pass to get me to and from a jury box.
Anyway, with the remainder of the day all mine, I walked through downtown and ended up here at the Central Library where I had a salad and now am debating whether I’m going to head home or hang here awhile.