The inside secret of how to get out of jury duty

Several years ago, my elderly father was called to jury duty. We decided to write this letter on his behalf.

King County Superior Court
516 3rd Ave.
Juror Assembly Room, 1st Floor
Seattle, WA 98104

July 29, 2014

Dear Jury Clerk.

Thank you for not automatically discriminating against me because of my age or address. I’m sure you checked the voter registration rolls before sending the jury summons to me and know that since I was born on Sept. 19, 1918, that I am nearly 96 years old. In fact, I will be 11 days away from my 96th birthday when my jury service is set to begin. I’m sure you also checked the address and noted that I live in a nursing home. Of course, to qualify to live in a nursing home I need help with my ADLs – those are Activities of Daily Living, which include at least some of the following: Dressing, Bathing, Eating, Toileting, Transferring (walking) and Continence. I need help with some of those, but I don’t feel that I need to tell you which ones ;-).

Although I have honed my opinion and happily and vocally shared it over the course of my 95 years of life, I have now reached the point in my life where I believe I should be allowed to step aside and let someone younger serve jury duty. However, if you do not think that is a good enough reason to excuse me from jury duty, I hope you will provide the following accommodations so that I can properly serve:

1) I assume you’ll be sending an escort and car. I can no longer get anywhere on my own and the nursing home requires that I have 24-hour care.
2) Please wait for me. I walk very slowly with my walker and am usually late. In fact, can we start after 11 a.m.? Getting anywhere before then is really hard for me.
3) Please make sure an ADA-approved bathroom is no more than a 2-minute shuffle from the courtroom. It must be accessible at all times because for someone my age, when you gotta go, you really gotta go. I would hate for an accident in the juror’s box to be grounds for an appeal.
4) The court shall assume all risk of injury. Old people like me are affected by gravity more that the rest of you youngins.
5) Will the court mind if I ask questions? After all these years, I have a lot of questions to ask and time is running out for me to get the answers.
6) It will be best if all the parties speaking would be male. No women or high talkers, as they are out of my limited hearing range. Males must speak very loudly, slowly and distinctly.
7) Can I give a closing remark? I love to make speeches and usually volunteer to speak at all weddings and funerals. Why should court be any different?
8) Don’t let the scraggly beard scare you off. It’s part of my old guy image – along with the hearing aids and glasses (that I sometimes forget to wear). Along those same lines, can I have a really big Juror badge? I have to be able to read it and I don’t want anyone to mistake me for a homeless person.
9) Is napping a problem? How about drooling, burping, farting or coughing?
10) Can you guarantee that someone in the courtroom will be in his or her 90s? After all, aren’t they supposed to have a “jury of their peers?”
11) Will it be a problem if we issue a news release to let the media know that there is going to be a 95-year-old juror? I think I’m pretty newsworthy. Google me to confirm that.

If you are unable to make appropriate accommodations then I respectfully request to be excused from jury duty at this time. If you think I need more explanation to be excused then maybe I should appear in court because there is obviously a lack of common sense there and I still have plenty to spare.

Sincerely,

Philip N. Flash

P.S. Have a super, super, super wonderful wonderful day. Good things all the time. I hope something good happens today that makes you smile.

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