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Life as a Scot in California

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Jury Duty

Posted by berkeleyscot on March 4, 2008

I’ve received a summons to appear at the Superior Court of California in Oakland on March 13.

This is problematic. The main problem is my getting to the courthouse. Richard will be in Washington, DC on that date and I’ve got get myself to the courthouse.

I called the courthouse and explained that I do not drive, don’t live near a BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station and have problems with the buses. I blogged about the local buses in October last year.

The court clerk didn’t know how to help with my transportation requirements. Surely EVERYONE drives!

She consulted her ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) manual. Am I blind? If I am, she could supply the court proceedings in Braille. Am I deaf? If I am, she could give a hearing loop.  At least, I think that’s what she said, if I heard her correctly.

Then she was completely flummoxed when I explained that I have the use of only one hand and that I might need assistance with attaching the juror badge, should I be required to attend the court. That wasn’t mentioned in the manual and did that mean that I don’t wear jewelry?

I’d need to get a note from my doctor, she said.

I’ve never consulted a doctor, in all the years I’ve lived in USA, for cerebral palsy. I stopped my six monthly visits with a consultant in Scotland when I was 15.  I thought I was wasting my time, because I knew there was no cure for CP. I chose to ‘get on with it’ and ignore cerebral palsy.

This has always been easier said than done, and my close friends and my husband have patiently borne the brunt of my frustrations.

I am very interested in the discussions of the models of disability; medical model versus social model.

I am not ill.

I just don’t want to depend on the kindness of strangers to pin my juror’s badge and I don’t want a doctor’s note to say I can’t.

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One Response to “Jury Duty”

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