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26 March 2010

What Were They Thinking #6: Jury Duty Process

Or maybe I should say, "What are they thinking?" since this isn't a past problem I had - it will be an ongoing issue until it is fixed...
I received a summons for jury duty. Not a big deal except for the fact that I'm going to be out of town at a conference at the same time.

So I started the process of getting an exemption.

The Problem: Not taking advantage of available technology to ease the pain of interacting with the court.

I called the courthouse and left a message. Next I had to wait for the Bailiff to return the call and let me know what I needed to do. Next she FAXed me an official court document - you know the kind - hard to read, copied 1000 times, written in legaleze so I had to spend the next 30 minutes trying to figure out which parts to fill out. Then I had to print off my supporting documents (conference registration and flight confirmation) and FAX everything back to the courthouse.

Needless to say - I'm not sure if it was right - and won't know if it was until I get picked up by the police for contempt of court. This, because they don't notify you UNLESS the deferral is denied.

The Solution: Catch up with the rest of society. Even the License Branch has started this process and you know that's progress!

We live in a new reality - people are connected and want to be able to take advantage of this option if at all possible. We'd much rather fill out a form online or submit paperwork via email than picking up a phone and using a FAX machine.

This gives me the opportunity to pimp an amazing online tool that we use at Granger. It has saved us hours of work and more than pays for itself.

It's called FormAssembly and allows you to create, implement and manage forms online. It has a sweet form creation tool and allows your submissions to be held in data so you can easily manage, archive or export them as needed.

When stuff like this is available - why wouldn't you take advantage of it?!