Jury duty, life, and other nonsense

So I have neglected my blogging as of late, seems I do that from time to time, especially when something is going on in my life – I know I’m backwards.  That should be the time I am posting the most… Oh well, someone’s gotta be outta the norm, why not me.

There’s lots to blog about and I don’t want to make a dozen or so posts, so I am going to make one long, random, somewhat scattered brained post… so consider yourself warned !!

I had jury duty on the 4th in which I actually got selected to serve on the jury.  I was shocked being selected as juror # 1.  Does this mean good or bad things? Well only time would tell.  I am so all about crime shows, law and order, police work and that kinda stuff and to actually witness it first hand how things work in a court room was a real eye opener.  I know things aren’t always as they seem on tv, but rarely do you get to see the other side.  It was really interesting to see our judicial system in action, and yet disappointing and sad in that same realization.  I ended up serving on the jury for 6 days.  6 very long days.  I so wanted to do my own cross-examination at times.  I had so many questions and the attorneys were just not asking what I wanted/needed to know.   It was hard not being able to discuss the case or my feelings or concerns with anyone until deliberation came.  The case was a divorce / child custody case that had been going on for 7 years.  There were 2 children 8 and 10 and we had to decide after all the stories – and there were some stories- who would get custody of the children.

I don’t want to go into all the details cause they are way to many to go over.  Bottom line is both parties were somewhat shady,  each admitted to lying at one point or another during the trial.  This started back in 05 when the wife’s family from Mexico showed up on a Sat night banging on the door demanding to take the wife and the 2 small children with them.  The wife even testified that she did not know that they were coming, but that didn’t stop her from leaving with them.  She fled town and did not contact the father for over a week.  He was frantic at the time and called the police and said that his wife’s family was going to take her back to Mexico, there was nothing the police could do because it was civil and they let her leave.  The wife said she was not going to Mexico.  That didn’t make sense to me considering her ride was all people from Mexico, but whatever.  She would not allow him to speak to the children, to know where they were living or going to school or anything in relation to the children.  The husband eventually filed for divorce and the court ordered the wife to bring the children back to the current county and for both parents to take a parenting class.  The wife did not do any of the things ordered by the judge. (I had a problem with this)  The wife hired an attorney where she was residing near the Mexican border and filed for divorce there.  During this time she enrolled the kids in a private school and on the paperwork which she testified to it being her handwritting listed the father of the children as her attorney.  Listed dual residence as her apt and the attorney’s house.  She listed 7 emergency contacts on the children’s information and none of them were their father.  The wife began a relationship with this attny and then had a child by him.  The father of the children who was still paying child support, paying for insurance on the children was not allowed any medical information, no information on the children’s school, their records, how they were doing… NOTHING.  He drove down to where they were living which is where they lived when first getting married and he went to pediatricians to try to get info and went the schools to get info and no one would cooperate or give any info to him and the wife had him arrested for stalking, which was later dismissed due to no evidence.  This attorney bf threatened the father, told him to not contact the children and such as that.  It was a mess.  The father wrote letters to governors, to congressmen, to officials out the wazzoo.  The FBI was involved due to the possibility of the mother kidnapping the children across the border.  The FBI agent was testifing about her case and investigation and she testified to interviewing the mother and asking her if she had taken the children to Mexico and when the mother said NO, the FBI agent felt the case needed to be closed immediately (HER WORDS).  When agent was cross examined, they asked if there was further investigation to find out if what the mother said was true, if family or friends had been interviewed, if her passport had been check to see if it had been scanned, the FBI agents said she did NO FURTHER INVESTIGATION !!! (THIS INFURIATED ME)  I could not believe she went on just the word of the mother saying she didn’t go.  This further made me angry when later in the trial the mother admitted to lying previous and said that she did take the children to Mexico, but just to visit and just for holidays and vacations.  HOW DO WE KNOW how long those visits were. OMG I was sick over this information.  I was sick of the lack of professionalism and due diligence of the so called professionals in this case.   So many people dropped the ball and this father suffered for it.  He lost special time with his children that he can never get back.  The father took parenting classes, on his own, paid for by himself.  He got psych eval, did counseling, and anything else he could do to show he was trying to cooperate in any and every way possible.    He did all of this on a Kindergarten teachers wages.  He is not made of money but did what he had to do to try to get visitation with his children.   In the end during deliberation there were women that could not see the men’s point of view and the big factor alot of them had were they didn’t want to relocate the kids b/c they were in the same place for the last 4 years and they have friends and activities there and such as that.   There were a few that felt the same way I did, however one of the guidelines in the verdict said… you cannot select joint custody if you feel the parents cannot agree to make decisions together on the best interests of the children.  Most of the people said they could never agree and so they would not vote for joint custody.  I made a point that because they could not agree then the mother would be rewarded with sole custody because she cannot follow even court orders.  The father never asked for sole custody, he only asked for joint and based on the previous notion the majority voted to give the mother sole custody and the father visitation.   I had a problem w/ that b/c with joint custody the mother gets 9 exclusive rights where the father has no input including, schooling, medical, religion, if they can get married or go into the army and a few more things.  I did not feel it right to not to allow the father to have input in those particular things as well.  The other jurors said well he will have rights to make decisions when he has them for visitation.  I then said that only makes him a glorified babysitter.  I explained that when I have my sister’s kids during the summer, I have to make decisions on their behalf, but that doesn’t make me their parent, that makes me their “babysitter”. I could not agree to make this man a babysitter to his children.  So it came down to a vote of 11/1, me being the only one to stick my guns.  When time for everyone to sign who agreed, one other lady who was really torn decided not to sign either, so the final vote was 10/2.   When the judge read the verdict, I teared up and was absolutely heartbroken.  Sad for the father who had been an excellent dad according to all the testimonies, to records, and such and so sad for these children that were going to miss out on time with their father.  This really effected me and I was so drained after this trial was over.  I pray to God that he will take it from here and somehow work things out for the better of all persons involved.

MOVING ON — I took some vacation days after the trial was over to recoup, to do some retail therapy which does wonders when one is in stress mode.  I did some cooking and party planning for a GNO – Girls Night Out that has been planned for at least 5 months.  I was disappointed as the week went on and I began getting cancellations from people who were dying to have this get together.   Some of the reasons for cancelling were absolutely absurd.  It made me think twice about who you can count on, who are your real friends, and how many unreliable people I have around me.  I then thought even more about the amazing wonderful people who I do have around me that I can count on and so I celebrated that day with them.  It turned from a GNO to a family bbq.  My sister and her hubby and youngest son drove into town and we all met up at my friends apt with her, her hubby and her 2 munchkins.  Then Chris made it over after he got off work to join us.  We grilled out, spent time in the pool and poolside doing the gossip thing and laughing out butts off.  My gf lets call her Sas-a-frass is so funny.  She cracks me up all the time and I love our times we get to visit.  I’m so glad my sister and her hubby got to come.  They have been going through their own ordeals after her husbands liver surgery and issues going on with her 2 oldest children and their dead-beat dad.   It turned out to be great fun had by all, except those loser biatches that missed out 🙂

What else?? Ummm Chris just finished his first year of college WHOO HOO, I am so proud of him and he even was on the deans list and nearly made straight A’s. That’s so great.  He has been working so hard and then Sat morning he got the asst mgrs position at work… The want to make him manager, however he goes to college full time and cannot work the amt of hours they want the mgr to work.   So now he has a few weeks off from school so we are going to take a few days this week and go back home to see my family, let him do a little fishing with the other men in my family and then I can have some more girl time with my sister.  She needs it, as do I.

Just returned to work today after being away for 2 weeks, nothing has changed, but it never does.

I don’t have to much more excitement to speak of so I will bore you no further. Happy Monday to everyone !!

 

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