Thanks, Facebook, for Keeping Me Out of Jail
The day for me to be selected for jury duty has finally arrived, but it almost cost me a trip to jail.
A letter was mailed out for my "official summons for Juror Service" by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of Jury Commissioner last Thursday. However, I almost didn't get that letter, no thanks to the fact that it was mailed to an address I lived at about four years ago.
Not once have I ever received any type of mail at that address, even when I was living there. I'm pretty sure I was still using my parents' address at the time, so I'm not exactly sure why the New Bedford address they sent it to was listed under my name.
I'm registered in Westport (even though I just moved to New Bedford, I'm working on changing that) and always have been.
Here's the problem: if you do not respond back to a jury duty summons, you will have a warrant out for your arrest.
Luckily for me, the woman who lives at the address that the letter was sent to found me on Facebook and messaged me immediately. She asked me to call her as soon as I could because there was an important piece of mail with my name on it – and she was right.
In the end, I ended up retrieving the letter and registered online as soon as I could. If it wasn't for a courtesy Facebook message and the power of social media, I would be somewhat screwed right about now, perhaps sitting in a holding cell in handcuffs. That's probably a little extreme, of course, but it at least saved me the headache of having to fight a bench warrant.
Moral of the story? It just goes to show how important it is to update your current address and to inform the U.S.P.S. to forward any mail from your old address to your current one. You know, just in case you get sent an important letter like a juror summons.
You may not be stoked about the fact that you have jury duty, but at least it's better than going to the courthouse to deal with a warrant.