Saturday, August 25, 2007

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Courtroom!

My last two posts have been about my experience as a juror on a court case this week. I just can't leave this subject without sharing a funny experience I had on the way to the courtroom on Wednesday morning. It didn't seem too funny at the time. A bit embarrassing.

Each time court reconvened we met in the Jury Assembly Room in an adjoining building. Shortly before time for court to begin the Court Clerk came next door, checked the sign-in sheet and counted noses to be sure we were all there. Then he took us to the courthouse where we went through airport-type security and he led us upstairs to the Jury Room just off the courtroom where he left us until the judge asked him to take us into court. The Jury Room adjacent to the courtroom has 2 small restrooms - something we all appreciated, especially during our hours of deliberation yesterday.

Wednesday morning while we waited in the Jury Room several of our group used the restrooms. Close to the time we expected to enter the courtroom I knew I should the same. I turned to the people seated near me and said, "At the risk of holding up the schedule, I'm going to the restroom." Just a couple of minutes later when I opened the restroom door the Jury Room was completely empty! They were gone! I had been left in the restroom and now they were all in the courtroom. What should I do now? Should I open the door next to the jury box, near the witness stand, and just march into court? Had the judge seated the alternate in my seat? At the risk of doing the wrong thing I opened the door.
All eyes in the courtroom were on me! The judge, the court clerk, all of the attorneys, the plaintiff, the defendant and the entire group seated in the gallery. I quietly stepped into the room and walked across the front of the jury box, passed the witness on the witness stand, excused myself as I walked in front of the alternate juror, stepped across the two jurors seated at the end near my seat and quickly took my seat -- right in the MIDDLE of the front row! Fortunately the judge had not begun proceedings. (Later I was told that he had noted the absence of one juror and had waited just seconds before my head appeared out the door of the Jury Room.) I'm sure this isn't the first time this has happened. The Court Clerk knew he had taken 13 jurors in the Jury Room. What he had failed to do was to make sure no one was in either of the restrooms.

As soon as we entered the Jury Room during our next break I said (loud enough to be heard by most of the jurors, "I am going to the restroom - don't leave me in there again!" It never happened again. Every time the Court Clerk entered the Jury Room to take us into court he was sure to do a head count!

4 comments:

  1. Yikes, I'm not sure what I would have done. That is a funny story though!

    Manuela

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  2. Very funny story...thanks for the laugh! Glad to know you are free woman now! Need to add you to faves couldn't find you for awhile. xoxo, cherry

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  3. Oh, my that is funny...you just have to laugh, or die of embarrassment!

    Glad you are back!

    Melissa

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  4. Hi, I so enjoyed reading your blog.....very nice! Lynn

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