My daughter got a surprising piece of mail a couple of weeks ago: a summons to jury duty. At first we assumed we'd easily be able to get her out of it because she's a college student, but our county doesn't offer that as an exemption (though we've applied for an extension for her next school break). Then we considered trying to get her out of it because of her language and learning disabilities -- but as it became apparent that we'd have to get doctor letters and documentation to pursue that escape, I started to think that really, she was ready for this, and perfectly capable of sitting bored in a chair for hours, answering questions in a courtroom, and, if it came down to it, having an opinion about events presented to her. I am telling myself that this is more in support of her self-advocacy and competence than my exhaustion at the idea of chasing the requisite papers. This is what people do. If she can drive a car and go to college and one day work at a job, she should be able to do this too.
Really, ability to do the actual jury-duty part isn't what worries me, so much as the getting from the parking garage to the courthouse in a bad part of town, and the going through the metal-detector and then finding the right room in a maze of hallways, and the figuring out where to go for lunch, and the finding her way out of the building when she may have been led 'round to various spots. Those are parts I have sometimes struggled with myself, and since the routine varies and the area is restricted, there's no way for me to walk her through it over and over as I normally would. Of course, I would also hope and pray that any jury she gets put on has a case more like the traffic squabble I sat on last time I pulled duty than something traumatic and provoking of her already considerable anxiety.
Has your young adult with special needs served jury duty? How did it go? What are the rules like in your particular state or county or country? Did you opt to get your young person out of it, and how did you do it? Share your experiences in the comments.