24 October 2007

It would be funny if it weren't tragic.

John got a jury duty summons in the mail today.

I figured I'd just fill out the form stating that he was disqualified; this can't be the first time this has happened. The form I needed to send in was a Scantron-type thing. You are to fill in one bubble of the ten provided to indicate why the prospective juror can't serve. I looked in the accompanying booklet for the descriptions of the reasons, figuring for sure that one of them would be "Deceased."

Nope.

Which of these ten do you think I chose?

1. Not a U.S. citizen.
2. Age 70 or older & choose not to serve.
3. Under age 18.
4. Cannot speak and understand English.
5. Moved permanently outside country.
6. Living full-time outside the country without returning at anytime for more than 1 year.
7. Convicted of a felony within the last 7 years, or currently charged with a felony, or currently in custody.
8. Previous juror service within the past 3 years.
9. Physically or mentally incapable of performing jury duty.
10. Primary caregiver for a permanently disabled person who is a member of the same household.

I was oh-so-tempted to choose 5 or 6, but ultimately I went with 9, and in the explanation section I put, "Juror is deceased. Date of death: 11 April 07."

I'd better not get any flak for this from the jury service folks.

25 comments:

Veronica said...

That truly is terrible.

They better not give you any flak, that would just be rubbing salt into the wound.

I am sorry that they sent this too you, don't you wish that the beaurocracies would actually talk to each other!

Kizz said...

What you'd better get is an apology and a promise to make the form easier to use going forward. Not that that will help YOU any but at least you'd know others were spared.

Stupid bureaucracy.

Manda said...

About six months after my grandfather passed away, he got a letter offering him life insurance. People are stupid.

Personally, I'd go with #5.

Jess said...

Man, that's awful. I wouldn't worry about getting flak for it. My mom got a jury summons for me from North Carolina, where my parents live, after I'd moved to DC and switched my license, voter registration, etc. She just wrote "no longer at this address" on the envelope and sent it back, and neither of us heard anything more about it after that. They don't seem to try that hard.

Leggy said...

Just when you think you are finding some semblance of normal, all those little reminders can be a real slap in the face. And I'm surprised they don't have deceased as an option. Surely this can't be the first time they've incorrectly sent a juror's summons?

Laura J. said...

Ah, Sweetie, I am so sorry when this kind of crap pops up and smacks you in the face. Sending love to you.

Kathy said...

I'm sorry that that had to happen to you. Boo jury duty!!

Rachel said...

That's just awful. Those reminders must be so painful. Jerks. I hope they feel bad when they see the form.

soralis said...

That stinks that you had to deal with that. I hope the person that opens it feels bad that you were sent that. Take care

Geohde said...

Oh that just sucks. Jury duty responsibility should be tee'd up with the regsitry of births/deaths, surely?

How unpleasant.

J

Lisa said...

Geez, that's awful.

I remember dealing with the phone company after my mom's death. The bill was beyond late, and my dad still needed the phone service, but they wouldn't let any of us access the account without my mom's permission. How many times I had to say, "She can't give us permission because SHE'S DEAD"

Oh, I might have told that story before, if so, sorry.

I got called for Jury duty and was called on my C-section date to appear. I picked "not physically able to perform" and was given a form about how people with disabilities were not automatically disqualified. (Which is good, in and of itself--but I just didn't want to do it.) I had to list what accommodations I would need. I listed an interpreter, large print materials and displays, visual discriptions, etc. I never heard from them again.

glove said...

This sounds like something from a farce. Tragicomedy. I commend your restraint in calmly filling out and returning the summons. No judge would convict you if you get some sort of form letter back asking for further details, and you are forced to go awol at city hall.

Kathryn said...

Oh- that's horrible. I do hope you're not feeling too shaken by their hopelessness

Karen said...

That happened in our family after my mother passed away. Though in NJ deceased is an option on the form. This year - 5 years after mom's death - my dad reported that he recieved a birthday card for mom from their auto-insurance company. Of course they had been informed of her death and she was removed from the policy as soon as she passed. But I told dad to double check that he wasn't still pay a premium so that she could drive.

Amber said...

I got a notice to appear for jury duty, in a small town 30 miles away (some 60 miles from the nearest hospital and NICU), when I had premature labor which was progressing and my dr. expected that I could give birth at any time (I had my daughter to days later). I tried calling (I work at a court, and in these kinds of situations, calling in is usually fine), but couldn't get a live person on the phone. I ended up going all the way up there, waddling up the judge while timing my contractions, and was let go in a hurry.

I'm sorry that you have these reminders, I am thinking of you and wishing you well.

Michelle said...

Oh dear...I had this happen three times, the third time I called and asked if someone could manage to see that it didn't happen again. It didn't, but it sucked each time regardless.

tana said...

In Los Angeles you have to fill out the preliminary paper work (which does have a deceased check box), then you have to call and answer the same questions on an automated sytem, then if you need to be excused you are then connected to a live person who says "Ok do this" or "Sorry no dice" then send in a copy of the death certificate with the summons paperwork.

I HAD to get my peditrian to sign the paperwork because I said I was breastfeeding and couldn't serve.

My mom never posted an obituary or notified any of the utilities that my dad had passed away because she didn't want scam artists calling her. It's been 17 years and she still hasn't taken my dads name off her phone bill so everytime she calls my caller ID says my dad is calling.

Yankee T said...

I'm sorry.

Christine said...

My hubby the lawyer goes on a long tear about how stupid the whole jury system is in general. You just gave him more fuel. On a personal note, I'm so sorry you got a letter like that. As others have said, I hope the person who opens your response has a shred of regret for you being sent that. Hugs.

kabbage said...

On the other side of the fence, I had a nasty experience while working a college telethon. I was the one calling asking for the deceased, who had been gone for years. His widow was very nice about it, although obviously teary on the phone, but I felt like sh!t. I flagged that name in every way I could think so that she wouldn't get another call the next year.

serendipitious turtle said...

I'm sorry that happened. Probably what it was is that most places use the voter registration rolls for jury panel selections, and in many (if not most) places, the voter registration rolls aren't coordinated with the folks that process death certificates. So, most likely, your husband is still registered to vote. Where I'm from, you can take someone off the voter registration rolls at the polling place- I did that this spring with my grandmother who had died a few weeks previous. Our names were next to each other on the registration book, so I told the poll workers that she was deceased and filled out a little form and that was that. You might be able to call the election board for your county and see how to take him off the rolls, which would prevent the jury summons from happening, and probably some other things, too.

Cari said...

I am SO sorry that you got that. My mom got a customer service survey addressed to my dad about 2 weeks after he died in the hospital that sent the survey. The accompanying letter thanked him for his business and wished him continued good health. The CEO of the hospital and the third party surveying company got some VERY STERNLY worded letters from me.

I so hope they do not give you any flak.

terri c said...

Ick. That is awful, and I'm sorry.

Jolene said...

I'm so sorry. Can I just say it SUCKS in every sense of the word.

Sara said...

I know how you feel - sort of. My fiancee's wife passed away from Ovarian Cancer and we still get calls for her and letters in the mail. It happens from time to time, just people not realizing what they might encounter when doing things. Even almost 3 years after Jess passed away, it stil happens. It gets easier though. Hang in there!