Civic Duty?


I made it through almost 55 years but they finally caught me.  Today, after having a perfectly shitty day, I received notification that I have to appear for jury duty in April.

Ah crap!  It’s not that I oppose the concept and I’m sure that no one finds it convenient but I would really rather not be doing it at this time.

For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, let’s take a look at the little booklet that answers some of the “commonly asked questions about jury duty”.

Why do I have to serve as a juror? (GOOD QUESTION)

As a Canadian Citizen, it your civic duty to respond to a jury summons and, if chosen, to serve as a juror. (sure, appeal to my sense of honor and..well..Canadianism)

How long will I have to be at the courthouse? (in other words, how long am I going to be away from work?)

While panel members are “on-call” for 2 or 3 weeks, your actual attendance is 1-2 days and will depend on the number of trials which are scheduled to commence during the “on-call” period.

If you are selected from the panel to sit on a jury, the length of time you may be required to attend will depend upon the nature of the trial. (hmm..IF I am selected, gotta work on a strategy)

What do I do if I have small children? (I don’t but let’s see how compassionate the court system is)

It is your responsibility to make your own child care arrangements. (not much compassion there)

Do I get paid for jury duty? (show me the money!!!)

A travel allowance is paid to jury member who live more than 40 kilometres from the court. (nope, doesn’t apply)

If you are required to attend for more than 10 days, you will begin to receive a daily fee (finally, some moolah) From days 11-49, the fee is $40 a day and, in rare occasions where you may be required to serve for 50 days or more, this increases to $100 day. (somehow this doesn’t seem like a real good deal)

Does my employer have to pay me during jury duty? (let’s see – it’s my civic duty.  One would think that the boss should play a part in this)

The law does not require employers to pay your salary during jury duty but some employers do. (better check the employees’ manual tomorrow)

It’s pretty easy to see why some people do everything they can to duck this little exercise.  I don’t really have a good excuse so, unless the boss has some reason, I guess I’ll be there in my place with a smile on my face knowing that I’m doing my part to keep the justice system running smoothly.

Guess it’s better to be on the jury than facing one.