We are legal residents of Clark County, Nevada. Though we don't live in the USA most of the time, Uncle Sam insists we have a legal address. We chose Nevada because 1) there is no state income tax; and 2) David's mum and sisters live here and we can use their address. We have Nevada driver's licenses and have registered to vote (and do vote via absentee ballot) in the Silver State, so we meet the criteria of being residents … except we're not usually here. So when Mary informed me that a very formal “The People of the State of Nevada Send Greetings and Summons to Jury Duty” for me in the mail in December, I was surprised.
Jurors are chosen at random. It appears that though I'm not lucky enough to win PowerBall lotteries … I didn't match even one number on the PowerBall draw the other night ... I do win Juror Summons Lotteries. I was summoned twice while I lived in Colorado and twice while I lived in Wisconsin and I've served on juries twice.
Since I was in Trinidad when Mary first let me know I was a winner, I contacted the Clark County court via their “ejuror” email address and explained I was out of the country. They responded that I had 90 days to change the date and could do it only once. Failure to respond could result in “contempt” charges and a fine of up to $500. Some lottery … you pay out instead of collecting. Knowing I'd be in Las Vegas soon, I set a date and sure enough, within a week, Mary informed me that my official Jury Summons notification had arrived. It required me to complete an on-line Qualification Survey within five days of my appearance date.
Are you a US citizen? Yes
Are you 18 years of age or older? Oh, yes x 3+
Are you a resident of Clark County, Nevada? Kind of
Do you understand English? Usually
Have you ever been convicted of a felony? Not that I know of
Have you ever served as a juror before? Yes
Are you breathing? Yes
“Congratulations and salutations”, I read, “you qualify”. With such strict criteria, I was feeling pretty chuffed. I was provided with all sorts of information regarding parking, smoking, proper attire (no shorts, halter tops, muscle shirts or jogging suits allowed), parking, security, etc. The next step was to wait till 6pm the night before I was to appear and call in with my special juror ID number to determine if I was really needed.
I googled “Clark County jury duty”. Clark County even provides a 10-minute video describing jury duty and gives an overview of the trial process. Though I wasn't all that thrilled about serving on a jury, I was certainly willing to do my civic duty. I was a bit put off by several posts describing how to avoid being picked for a jury, bogus reasons to provide to the court to be excused, and generally getting out of the process. My reasoning? If I was the defendant in a case, I'd want the best possible jury of my peers to judge me … not the ones who had nothing better to do or who were too dumb to figure out an excuse. But that's just me, I guess.
I called at 6:01pm. The verdict? I was excused … not needed for jury duty. Truth be told, I was a little disappointed. After all … I have experience.