I am writing in regards to my horrible experience when I received a summons for jury duty for December 10, 2012. I have numerous medical issues and knew I would be unable to serve, so I contacted two of my physicians for a medical release letter. I could have contacted more of my doctors, but felt two would be sufficient.
I arrive at the courthouse on the appointed day with all my paperwork filled out and with my letters in hand. The clerk of the court started out by thanking us for coming and telling us if there were days we could not come for jury duty that we were to just call her and tell her we had a doctor appointment or a vacation planned and we would be exempt for that day. Now the judge enters and takes volunteers for the grand jury and steps out to give them instructions before coming back to speak to the rest of us. I wont get into all that the judge spoke about other than to say he tried very hard to guilt everyone into jury service by talking about World War Two, the Korean War, and our troops overseas today. He then told us that if we had a reason to be exempt for jury service that we should look at the United States flag behind him as if it were a soldier standing there when we came up to ask to be excused. Obviously the judge felt none of our excuses would be worthy in comparison to what a soldier goes through.
Those who did not have exemptions were then dismissed and those of us with were told to line up in order to speak to the judge privately. Speaking to the judge was hardly in private as the courtroom was being prepared for hearings. I take my paperwork and letters up to the judge who never even read the paperwork I filled out stating all my medical issues and then proceeds to scan one doctors letter and does not even bother to look at the other letter. He then very nastily tells me he does not want to dismiss me, but he will and with a flick of his hand I was summarily dismissed and handed back my paperwork and letters. As a suggestion to the court maybe you should not schedule hearings on the same day as jury duty summonses, because it was obvious the judge was not happy to see 20 to 25 people in line that wanted to speak to him about exemptions.
To the judge, you sir have no idea what my daily life is like and the constant pain I am in. You like everyone else sees a young woman standing before you with no obvious outside issues and you make assumptions. I have been ill now for twelve years, eight of which were horrendous until the wonderful doctors at the Mayo Clinic were finally able to figure out what was wrong with me. A diagnosis however did not give me a cure. You tried to guilt and humiliate me into jury service and all you really did was make me very angry. To question my patriotism was appalling and beyond infuriating!
You and your clerk both stated that you the court were there to serve us and not vice versa, but obviously that is not true!