I received a letter recently summoning me to attend Jury Duty at the local Circuit Court. Unfortunately I am ineligible to serve as I am not a US Citizen.
The standard forms included, confirming eligibility to serve (where I fail on the first count), claims for travel costs, a one-day bus pass should one not have a car etc., did not anticipate that a recipient could possibly not be a Citizen. They allowed for excusion from duty for age and infirmity, or for reasons of having been involved in a crime, but not on the first and most telling point, not being a citizen.
I tried calling the phone number on the forms, but no luck, it was an automated line with no way to talk to a human or leave a message. I had the option of faxing a form in, but I haven't used a fax machine for ten years when email attachments made them almost obsolete. The final try was mailing back the form with my objection written in the "other reasons for not serving that you may wish us to take into account" box, where I wrote "I am not a US Citizen. I am a Permanent Resident, and unfortunately not qualified to serve as a Juror" or something to that effect.
Yesterday I received the response letter confirming that as a non-Citizen I am excused duty.
I'm wondering what database they chose my name from, as anywhere where I officially exist, it should be pretty clear that I am an non-Citizen. Beth suggested the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) provide data, as most adults in the State would have a driving license, and that is quite possible.
My suggestion for an improvement in local Government efficiency is to use the Register of Electors (or whatever the equivalent form is called), though Beth pointed out that some people do not bother registering to vote, while they would still want to be able to drive a car. Should non-voters get to stand on a jury? I suspect that people who so not exercise their Democratic right to vote would not make the best jury members anyway.
Whatever, until I qualify as a Citizen (in another year or so) and take the test and oath, I will not be turning up at a courthouse to pass judgement on my fellow Eugenians.
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