My Adventures with Jury Duty in San Luis Obispo County


Courthouse Annex in San Luis Obispo

Courthouse Annex in San Luis Obispo

Lest you think I’m involved in some exciting case and am breaking the rules for jurors, you would be wrong. I have been called for jury duty, but I have not had to appear just yet. I was supposed to check the web site after 5:30 last night to see if I would be needed today. So I did. In fact, I did it three times, because the system didn’t have my information. I didn’t do any better calling the automated information.

This was frustrating because I normally work into the wee small hours of the morning, and I was supposed to have a lab test that required fasting this morning. I had hoped to be able to find out whether I had to head for San Luis Obispo early this morning so I could decide when I had to start fasting. But I could get no information. Neither could I take the chance of sleeping until I woke up — normally about 9:30 — and then going to get my blood drawn. I had to be prepared to wait until a live person would answer the phone today and then take off if necessary. So I had the inconvenience of beginning my fast last night at 7, and getting to the lab by 7 — just in case. People at the lab said, “Hey, if you’re not in the system, forget about it.” But I knew it would not be as simple as that. They had sent me the notice, so I knew they had to have made a mistake on my birth date.

At 8, I called the number given on the website to reach a live person, but all I got was the voice mail run-around again. So I got out my handy North County Access Directoryand looked up the Paso Robles Courthouse. It didn’t open until 8:30. Heard the entire menu three times and, finally, as a last resort, I punched the “0.”  That did lead to an operator who finally got me to the jury room. I explained my dilemma and said I didn’t know what I was supposed to be doing or if I was already supposed to be somewhere. She checked my information and I discovered I was a male with my husband’s birthdate. She corrected the information so I could access the system tonight, and then told me I was off the hook for today. (I could have slept in after all.)

Tonight I was able to access the system and I’m on call tomorrow and have to check the website again between 11:30 and noon to see if I have to make a mad dash to the San Luis Obisbo County Courthouse. But as least I can get a good night’s sleep. I was hoping I’d get to go to the new courthouse in Paso Robles, but evidently  my group has to go to San Luis Obispo.

I wrote this in case anyone else ever finds themselves in my predicament. If you can’t get into the website, don’t assume you can ignore your notice to appear. Call and have them correct your information. Call  the courthouse direct and press “0” to get through to a live person.  If you do not appear, you will be held in contempt. I am hoping that they won’t need me, and they will release me for another year.