After taking a couple days off work to hang out with one of my very good friends visiting from Boston, I walked into my first day of jury duty in Ventura County, which was in — surprise — Ventura. Jury duty in Ventura is very different from the experience I had in downtown L.A. Ventura’s Hall of Justice housed both its civil and criminal courthouses and was in a more suburban setting. I did bring my laptop and took advantage of the free wifi here and there (mostly to continue researching the redesigns I’m planning for this here blog and Wedding Decorator), but I didn’t spend the entire day online. I would’ve gotten a headache.
I nearly ended up on a jury, but was excused today. It was somewhat surprising, but a bit of a relief — I did not look forward to driving to Encino after leaving Ventura at 4:30 to go pick up Michael from daycare. I have a few impressions from my Ventura County-flavored jury duty.
- The court system in Ventura County is a lot more relaxed than what I experienced in downtown Los Angeles. My first day, when everyone first gathered in the jury room, a judge actually had the time to come talk to us — at length — about why we were so valuable and how grateful he and the rest of the court system was to us for showing up for jury duty.
- A lot of the criminal cases in Ventura County seem to be DUI-related, if the statements about past jury service from other potential jurors was your only evidence.
- The judge I potentially may have served as a juror with was very verbose. I’d say his chattiness extended jury selection into a second day needlessly. But its not like he was boring — he was simply affable and talkative, sort of like a professor you like. In my mind, I kept thinking of him as Professor Judge.
- There really should be more eating options within walking distance of that courthouse.
And that’s my two days of jury service. I gotta say, I’ll miss the 20-minute morning and afternoon breaks and the luxurious 90-minute lunch….