Civic Duty Day 3: Wrap-up of Jury Duty in Newark, NJ

Today was my third day reporting to jury duty. Today was the day I would find out if I was chosen to serve or be released. The judge said we should arrive at 9 a.m. this morning at his courtroom so I did, along with the rest of my still-large group of prospective jurors and the 10 chosen jurors.

Would I or wouldn't I serve on this jury?

We arrived a few minutes early, all of us, but the courtroom door was locked. By now I’ve ¬†figured out that locking the door is standard operating procedure. We watched the defense lawyer and his people arrived at 9:25 a.m. The door to the courtroom opened at 9:30 a.m. and we all sat down. The judge walked in and we all stood, then he motioned for us to sit back down; he acted like we were old friends by now and in a way I guess we were. After all, it was Day 3 together.

The judge explained that a “problem” had arisen, and although he couldn’t tell us what it was, he said he and the two sets of lawyers needed to talk. The judge dismissed us until 10:15. People grumbled; many of the older folks felt they were being “abused.” We all filed out, waited for the elevators, and returned to the jury common area to wait. I checked email. I read a book. I surfed the internet.

We returned to the courtroom and waited outside the door until it opened almost 30 minutes later. We filed in. We sat down. The judge walked in. He told us we were all dismissed, including the 10 jurors who had already been chosen to serve on the panel. Yes. Three days of appearing. Three days of process, slow, methodical process. And we were dismissed. The judge couldn’t tell us why, but he did thank us for coming.

Did you learn anything from your jury duty stint?

I learned at least nine things while I was on jury duty this week and I will be posting that list on my Montclair Patch blog. As soon as it’s posted (likely Friday) I’ll link up. Stay tuned!

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One Response to Civic Duty Day 3: Wrap-up of Jury Duty in Newark, NJ

  1. Joyce says:

    I was called this year for our local jury duty but never had to even go to the courthouse. It wasn’t great timing for me so I was kind of happy but I wouldn’t mind serving (preferrably not all the way in Newark though!)

    Happy New Year!

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