Friday, December 17, 2021

Jury Duty (And A Bizarre Occurrence)


In November, I got a letter from the Ballard Circuit Court Clerk.  I had been selected for jury duty.  I’ve lived in the county for almost thirty years and this is my first summons.  I’ve know people selected multiple times in that timeframe.  I had done jury duty one time when we lived in McCracken County.  You serve for one month there.  In Ballard County, you serve for TWELVE months.  You don’t necessarily serve all of those months at least.  I got my letter a few days later telling me to report on December 8th for juror orientation. 

I went to the courthouse in Wickliffe when my appointed day arrived.  I go to Wickliffe even less now than I used to.  I now pay my property taxes via mail.  I renew my car registrations online.  It’s no longer the place I go to renew my driver’s licenses – that’s now in Paducah.    After going through the courthouse metal detector, I went up the stairs to the Circuit Courtroom.  It was bigger than I expected.  Now, here is the bizarre part.  We were told to not bring anything like phones or purses in.  It was strange to be in a room with over a hundred people and not a one of them was bent over looking at something in their hands.  I tried to remember how long it’d been since I experienced this.  It has to be over ten years.  People actually had to TALK to each other.

Judge Langford came in and started giving us information as to how jury duty would work.  He is the Circuit Judge for the four Mississippi river counties (Ballard, Carlisle, Hickman, and Fulton).  That of course limits the number of cases he can do at each location during each month.  We’ll be notified if we are part of jury pool by mail prior to each month we are drawn to serve.  If we have date conflicts, we can contact the Circuit Clerk to be excused.    We were there about forty minutes so it wasn’t bad at all.  I found it interesting. 

So, I am waiting for my first letter to see when I’ll serve.  I imagine it will be interesting to observe how things work in court in Ballard County.