THE COMPLETE INCOMPETENCE AND INEFFICIENCY OF OUR MUNICIPAL BODIES IN THE U.S.This morning I received a text message from my mother and it was a picture of a jury summons letter sent to me, in my name. The envelope had HUGE BOLD RED LETTERS on the front that said “Notice of Failure to Respond to Your Jury Summons”. Inside the letter was a list of penalties, fines, and even a threat of jail time for not responding to the jury summons.For those of you who are foreign to the U.S. court system, every U.S. Citizen is required to perform jury duty if summoned after they turn 18. Some people never get called for jury duty (my mother and brother have never once received summons), and some people get letters to do it every two years (me). Which is an entirely different rant altogether. If you don’t respond to the jury duty summons or fail to attend on the day they asked of you, you can face large penalties/fines or face imprisonment. It’s pathetically drastic and excessive. But whatever, civic duty, fuck yeah!ANYWAY, this morning I get this text message and I immediately chuckle because the jury summons is for Los Angeles County and I live and have lived in Portland, OR for over 3 years and also haven’t lived in my mother’s house for over 5 years. I figured, this would be a simple fix, that I would call the Los Angeles County Courts hotline and let them know I’ve moved and they need to update their records per the DMV.The conversation goes like this:*ring, ring* Dial one for english… punch in your jury code…punch in your jury code again…list of options that don’t apply to you…mash the fucking zero button until a representative gets on the line….Operator: Los Angeles County Juror Services, how can I help you?Me: Hi, my mother just notified me that she received a letter in the mail that I have failed to report for jury duty.Operator: So why haven’t you responded?Me: I am, right now, this is the first I hear of it and I think you have your records wrong, I have not lived in Los Angeles County nor California for over three years.Operator: Have you updated your records with the DMV?Me: Yes, I am a permanent Oregon resident and have been for 3 years. I have an Oregon Driver’s license and I am registered to vote in Oregon.Operator: Well, that’s not what our records show.Me: Where do you get your data?Operator: From the California DMV.Me: When was the last time you have updated your data? Because even in the California DMV I have moved from my mother’s house and yet she’s still getting letters from you.Operator: We don’t need to update our data. You need to update us.Me: Huh? I need to call the juror service hotline and let them know I no longer live in California? Why don’t you just update your data with the DMV?Operator: It is your responsibility to update the DMV.Me (as calmly as I could muster): I have updated the DMV, I have an Oregon Driver’s License, you haven’t updated your records.Operator (now having big attitude): You’re the one who hasn’t notified the DMV because our records show that in California you still live at your mother’s address and you’re telling me that you now live in Oregon but we never received proof of that.Me: You’re not understanding me, when I re-register to vote and change my permanent address, it is up to you to update your own records and communicate with the California DMV that has received notice from the Oregon DMV that I no longer live in California. I’ve done my due diligence, your system is inefficient, you’re wasting paper and my time.Operator (now yelling at me): Well, if you want us to update our records you’re going to have to fill out a form and provide proof of Oregon residence via ID and a utility bill.Me: No, I’m not going to do that. You can call the Oregon DMV yourself and verify that I have changed my address years ago and sort this out. I don’t have time for this.Operator: So you want to be in contempt of court for not showing up to your jury duty??You get the gist of this 30 minute phone call. It went around in circles. I would like to say that this woman was just bad at her job or didn’t know the system, but unfortunately, THIS IS THE SYSTEM. The municipal governments throw millions of dollars into a hole that is labeled “bureaucracy” and the red tape is so fucking thick you need a pair of scissors with a 50 carat diamond blade to cut through it. This woman is one of hundreds of interactions I have had living in the U.S. and trying to do my due diligence. Paperwork gets lost, going online is still apparently a nonexistent unicorn for municipal governements, phone operators are rude, everything costs you an arm and a leg. It takes months and sometimes years for you to have an arraignment on a simple traffic violation. I can almost guarantee you that even when I do provide proof of Oregon residence, my mother will still get a jury summons for me at some point in the future.It’s inefficient, it’s a waste of my precious time, it’s expensive, it’s wrong for tax payers to continue to pay for these “services” and it’s quite frankly insulting. There has to be a better way to get things done.