Jurors deserve parking in Georgetown

September 1, 2023

I was recently called to jury duty in Sussex County at the courthouse in Georgetown. I don’t mind doing my civic duty; however, I do have an issue with lack of parking for jurors. Nowhere in the instructions we received was there any information on where to park. I went on the web and all I found was this blurb: “Jurors who arrive early, may possibly find a parking space in the courthouse's parking lot located at East Pine Street and South Race Street. If no parking is available in the courthouse lot, jurors may park on South Race Street, the street that runs behind the courthouse. However, the parking spaces closest to the courthouse have parking meters.”

The instructions I received on the phone when I did my call-in the night before stated that you could not park in any space in the courthouse parking lot with a blue and white sign. After driving through the lot, it seemed that every space had a blue and white sign, reserving the spots for judges, lawyers, etc. Nothing for us jurors who are possibly the most important people of all! Also, there is construction going on for a new public building on South Race Street, eliminating most parking spaces there. As noted, there are spaces in front of and near the courthouse for two-hour paid parking. These filled up fast, and 30 to 40 of us were left to find parking in town on our own. I ended up parking in a lot on a side street, not knowing if I was going to come back and find my car towed. Every juror I spoke with had the same concern.

Would it be too much trouble for the court system to send out a town map to jurors to show parking areas clearly marked? Although I didn’t serve on an actual trial, which could have taken all day, I wonder if the judge gives breaks every two hours for people to either feed the meters or check if their car is still where they left it. This can’t be good for the concentration of jurors trying to focus on case details. Ultimately, the town might consider a parking garage or a juror lot, which other states provide to their jurors. It is about time to treat your jurors, who are giving up their personal time to serve, as valued members of the process.

Deborah Klotz
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