Sunday, February 04, 2007

Jury Duty

Many readers have heard me comment on Ocracokers and jury duty. Well, this week is my week. I will be leaving on the 6:30 a.m. ferry to Swan Quarter on Monday (thoughtfully, the state waives the fee for those called to jury duty). There's usually a contingent of a dozen or so islanders called at one time. We chat on the way over, or play cards, or nap. We'll get to the court house by 9:30 to be sworn in (I always "affirm" -- it seems to me that my word is sufficient testimony to my intentions to do my duty faitfully).

Mostly it's sit and wait, but some of us are always called to serve on a particular jury. If I am picked I may be traveling to Swan Quarter every day for a week. On the other hand, perhaps I'll be dismissed in a day or two. Most folks ride the 4:00 pm ferry home in the evening. On Monday I may "drive around" through Nags Head so I can stop and buy a new water heater (we islanders are good at "killing two birds with one stone").

The last time I was on jury duty the state paid $12.00 a day for our services. Given our distance from the court it amounts to about $1.00 an hour, but everyone I speak with is generally happy to do his or her civic duty.

I'll keep you posted.

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter chronicles the story of commercial fishing on Ocracoke, and tells of the efforts of the Ocracoke Working Watermen's Association to save the island's last remaining fish house. Click here to read the entire newsletter....and learn how to make a donation.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:47 PM

    Your entry about the unique obligations of island residents called to jury duty sparked a question in my mind about how you folks deal with another everyday part of life -- death. I don't recall seeing any funeral homes on the island in my many visits there. I certainly don't mean to be insensitive, but what's the standard procedure on Ocracoke for dealing with this inevitable part of life?