Bliss is getting excused from jury duty online

Oh, the wonders of that balky contraption Al Gore invented, the Internet. It's only taken fifteen years or so, but government agencies are finally figuring out how to make their cyber presence a little more useful. While certain state websites continue to suck glistening giblets -- we won't mention any names, will we, soon-to-be-outta-there Secretary of State Mike Coffman? -- at least some folks in the judicial branch seem to have their act together.

When I received my biannual summons to jury duty a few weeks ago, with a date right in the middle of a planned vacation, I was able to log onto the Second Judicial District's Jury Information website and arrange a postponement. When the new date rolled around, I went back to the site, clicked on "Choose Location," and found out I didn't have to report at all. "No Jurors Needed" for the day in question, meaning I just saved a few bucks on parking and a shuffle through courthouse security and up to the fourth floor. No more wasteful consumption of gas, time and effort to discover my own superfluousness!

Yes, you can still use the phone to find out if your number is up. But the online service, available after 5 p.m. on the business day prior to your reporting day, is faster and easier. And if you're still on the list, hey, at least that trip to the limbolike pit of the jury room won't be in vain. - Alan Prendergast

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