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Dear Matthew Alice:

How does the government choose who to recruit for jury duty? These people will not leave me alone! Before they disrupt my life yet again, please tell me (1) how they make their selections and (2) how a person could go about not getting chosen. Thank you! Please don't use my name or they will definitely target me!

-- Paranoid in Normal Heights

First, 'Noid, go to the DMV and tell 'em you died or something and you want to turn in your driver's license. And if you're registered to vote, unregister. The pool of potential jurors is made up of DMV lists (drivers' licenses and Cal IDs) and the voter rolls. According to the director of jury services at the county courthouse, the two computerized lists are merged each year, duplicates are eliminated, the computer assigns numbers to each name, then a random-number-generator program makes the final selection. To handle the county's trial volume, 350 people are called every Monday, 325 every Tuesday. But the guv just signed into law a bill requiring all state courts to switch to the "one day/one trial" system. We'll be called for only one day, then excused if we're not selected for a jury panel. If San Diego County can't demonstrate this would be a hardship, the office of jury services estimates that we'll each have to be called once every 18 months. The jury lounge will become our second home. But hey, 'Noid, kwitcher whining. It's all part of the great American democratic deal.

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