A Baltimore jury duty Catch-22

This is a comment on problems with a city bureaucracy other than faulty water bills.

On Feb. 14-16, I served as a juror on a city murder trial. About two weeks later I received a summons for duty on April 19th. I promptly filled in the new "efficient" form claiming the "served within a year" dispensation and mailed it at the post office.

On March 24, I received a postcard claiming that I hadn't completed my questionnaire and threatening a fine $1,000 and/or imprisonment.

This card placed me in a Catch-22 situation. I could not file online, because I was claiming the dispensation. I could not file the questionnaire because I had already mailed it.

On March 26, I called the jury commissioner's office to explain my situation. After being transferred for over half an hour, I was told that my form probably hadn't been processed yet. There was no way to check. My only recourse was to come down to City Hall and fill out a new form. Have others had similar problems?

Kathleen Ryan, Baltimore

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