Every few years I receive a jury summons in the mail and most often, it is to appear in Murrieta. Why? A drive to Banning from my house is at least a half hour shorter. Maybe, you think, they try more cases in Murrieta. Yet the last time Jack appeared there, except for him, the jury room was empty. Once called, he learned he could have gone to Banning instead.

Friday night, I checked my jury status online to learn my service wasn’t needed Monday. Over the years of having this same experience, I came to believe this is a good sign — that I’ll hear the same message each night until Thursday night when I’m told I’m free for another year.

Monday night, however, I called to learn that I was expected at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. Right now, it is 12:52 p.m. and I’m still at my desk writing and am 21st in the queue to speak to a live person at the court.

Because when I sent an email this morning asking for a reprieve to Wednesday and a trip to Banning instead, I immediately received back a form letter advising me to show up the next day if I failed to show Tuesday.

The form letter also stated someone would get back to me within one to three business days. I need more immediate service. So I made the call (now 20th in the queue) and once this column is written, I may even leave for jury duty — hopefully, to Banning.

Several people have suggested I ignore this summons. I’ve not heard of anyone being imprisoned or fined for failing to appear for jury duty, but I’m not going to be the first.

I don’t agree with the jury system in our country, but since I can’t change it, I believe in doing my part without grumbling much. I’m at the bottom of the column (1:12 p.m., now 17th in the queue.) Might be tomorrow afterall.

Becky Clark,