Things NOT to take to Detroit’s Third Circuit Court

Having received several of those “Your name was drawn for possible jury duty service, please complete this questionnaire and return it” notices over the past 5 years or so, I wasn’t surprised when I opened my mailbox a few months ago and found an official Jury Duty Summons.

Never having been called for jury duty and never having been to Detroit’s Third Judicial Circuit Court, you can imagine my surprise when, very sleepy-eyed, I arrived at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice at 7:45 in the morning a few weeks ago and saw that the line to get through the building’s metal detectors was nearly out the door.

I am a planner by nature, so I actually read the entire summons two or three times before going to the court the first day, and – my husband got a big kick out of this one – even checked out the court’s list of “Prohibited Items”.

Apparently, I am one of two people who did this.

In the event you go to the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice or another Third Judicial Circuit court building, please allow me to offer this tip: check the list. There are many items that you probably wouldn’t anticipate being proihibited – Bingo markers, for one – and it will save you a long walk to and from your car (you are given the chance to either put the item(s) in your car or throw them away) if you know what not to bring.

The biggest prohibited item people tried to bring in? Cell phones. Even if they are turned completely off, cell phones cannot be taken into the building unless you are a lawyer with a current Bar card. Same goes for video games, toys, PDAs (except current attorneys), radios and headphones.

My advice? Bring your keys, your ID, a book, a bag lunch and some cash for a parking space, and leave the rest at home.

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