Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Jury Duty

I got the Summons for Jury duty before completing my 1st year of citizenship. You have to fill out the questionnaire in Summons thru online or in Summons sheet before you report.

I reported to the Court house on time as scheduled in my Summons. There were 250+ people reported that day for 189 candidates. You have to check-in at the front desk where they will scan your Summons that will feed your attendance to the system.

Process started by  watching a 10min informative Tv session about Jury duty. After that Judge read all the exception options for Jury duty and asked to form a line for those who qualify for exceptions. That was a line of 25 and 15 of them got excused that day. Then they started dividing into groups and I ended up in Group 1 which is suppose to report to Count#158. After a 15mins break we all reported to the Court assigned to us. We have to follow the seating arrangement inside the court as the lawyers uses that order to identify you. We saw Judge, lawyers along with the parties inside the Court. Judge gave us a introductory speech about the process.

Lawyers from each party will then spend 45mins to ask questions. These Q&A will help them to pick a 'weak' Jury. Thru the questions they will find out the people who has any case related interest or bias towards any client or any other personal issues toward the nature of the case. Lawyers tries to eliminate strong Jurors by these questions which will help them to win the case.

After the questionnaire Judge picked the final 12 Jurors and I was not in that list, which I was very happy. We were send home with a Work excuse letter which will give you a day Off from work . You’ll be awarded $6 for 1st day of Jury service in Texas. That was the END of my 1st Jury duty.