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Juror Number Four

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Hannah Ortman walked into the courthouse to report for jury duty. As she passed the trash can she threw away the large cup from her morning coffee.

Hannah sat in the Jury Room mingling with the other jurors before court started, she could hear a few of them commenting about the judge. It seemed that Judge Rock had a reputation for being very stern. Hannah was told Judge Rock had very strict conduct standards for his courtroom. After hearing about the judge, Hannah was glad she had chosen to wear dress pants and a nice blouse instead of a more comfortable pair of jeans and sweater.

The jurors were escorted to the courtroom by the bailiff and were assigned seats in the jury box, Hannah was placed in seat number four. Court was called into session as the judge took a seat behind the bench.

The defendant was a young woman in her late twenties, she was accused of shoplifting from a local store. The defendant stood next to her lawyer, she kept looking at the floor in shame, with her shoulders slumped, as the accusation was read aloud by the court clerk. "Stand up straight! Have some respect for these proceedings" admonished the judge. "How do you plead?"

"My client pleads not guilty your honor" replied the defense attorney.

Hannah began to take notes as the prosecutor began his opening arguments. Hannah sat with rapt attention for the first hour of the trial. As the attorneys prattled on and on, she began to become slightly distracted by a twinge in her bladder. As  the attorneys  finished  their opening  arguments, Hannah looked at the clock to see that it was already 9:45 a.m. and no witnesses had begun to testify yet.  Hannah hoped the judge would call a short recess so she could visit the ladies room, but to her dismay the judge told the prosecutor to call his first witness.

As the store owner give her testimony Hannah try to focus on the trial and take good notes. She found herself fidgeting and squirming as the owner went on and on about the incident. The store owner was on the witness stand for a full hour before her testimony was finished.

By the time the first witness had finished her testimony, Hannah's squirming was no longer subtle. As the second witness was called , she realized the pressure her bladder had escalated from mild discomfort to an urgent need for relief.

Hannah's attempt to maintain bladder control was now beginning to draw the attention of Juror number 3 on her left and Juror number 5 on her right. The woman on her left gave a knowing nod to Hana acknowledging her plight, the man on her right stifled a smirk as he watched her wiggle in her seat.

As the second witness was 20 minutes into his testimony, Hannah felt she could take it no longer. She found a clean page in her notebook and scribbled a plea for a restroom break and handed it to the bailiff. She watched as the bailiff read the note and then shook his head as he handed the paper back to her. Her heart sank and in the pit of her stomach she began feel uneasy with fear of embarrassment as the pressure in her bladder continued to rapidly increase.

At 11:15 a.m. the arresting officer began his testimony. Hannah was unable to focus on what the officer was saying. She realized that in addition to the squirming and squeezing her legs together she was beginning to tap her feet, and the noise was drawing attention to her struggle. Hannah noticed Juror number 5 kept staring at her  thighs in her tight khaki pants. She blushed as she realized she was making a spectacle of herself.  Hannah vowed to maintain composure as she waited impatiently for the judge to call a recess.

Hannah's mind wandered as she tried in vain to keep her squirms from being noticed. As Hannah wiggled in her seat she thought with regret of an instance a few months earlier when her eldest daughter had been sent home from high school after wetting her pants in class when the teacher would not excuse her during a test.

Hannah and her husband had been anything but sympathetic when 18 year old Caroline arrived home with her jeans soaked and her face streaked with tears. Hannah had told her daughter that she was "far too old for that kind of behavior." When Caroline sobbed about the humiliation she had suffered her mother replied that she deserved the embarrassment as part of the "natural consequences" for her lack of self control. To make matters worse for Caroline, Hannah and her husband decided the "natural consequence" of embarrassment was not enough, Caroline deserved an actual punishment as well.  As Hannah sat on the hard wooden chair trying to maintain her dignity she began to regret that she and her husband had made Caroline suffer a punishment for an accident.  

Reality sunk in for Hannah that she might find herself in the same predicament her daughter had recently endured. For the first time in her adult life Hannah understood how a grown woman could find herself in a situation where she might have an accident.

Hannah forced herself to listen to the testimony being given. She was only able to pay attention for a few moments before her full bladder demanded all of her attention. Hannah had to hold the notebook in one hand as the other hand went between her thighs to help prevent her bladder from leaking.

Hannah was jolted back to reality by Judge Rock's loud voice demanding "Sit still and maintain decorum in this courtroom!" She looked around courtroom to realize that all eyes were on her. She had been so focused on controlling her bladder that she had forgotten she was in a room full of people!

Hannah wanted to shrink and disappear into her chair but she realized that would just anger the judge more, she forced herself to sit up straight and remove her hand from between her thighs.

Hannah reminded herself that a young woman's rights we're at stake, she needed to pay attention to the testimony.  As the officer's testimony continued Hannah tried to pay attention. Without realizing it, her mind drifted away from the testimony. Hannah could only think of the extreme discomfort she was in and the possibility that she might not make it to the toilet in time to preserve her dignity. 

Hannah scribbled another note begging for a break so she could use the restroom. As Hannah headed it to the bailiff she could see in his eyes that he understood the dire predicament she was in. Hannah anxiously watched as the bailiff handed the note to Judge Rock. She watched the judge hastily write a reply. She had to fight back tears as the bailiff handed her the reply that read: I will determine when a recess is taken. It is your responsibility to maintain control of yourself while in court of law! You must maintain proper decorum in court or you risk being found in contempt.

She tried desperately to sit still and maintain her composure. Hannah knew she would be unable to focus on any of the testimony. Her only goal at this point was to not wet her pants! Hannah's hand went between her thighs again as she wiggled on the hard wooden chair. She hoped the judge would take pity on her and call a recess as soon as the officer finished his testimony.

Hannah's mind raced with angst as she worried she wouldn't make it. She wondered what her husband and daughter would say if she arrived home in wet pants. Would Caroline insist that her mother be punished as Caroline had been? Would her husband be angry? Would the seat of the car be ruined by having to sit on it with urine soaked pants? Would juror number 5 laugh out loud or would he just keep smirking?

Between the fear and the desperate pressure Hannah could take no more! She jumped from her seat and began to dart for the door. Judge Rock ordered the bailiff to stop her.

As the bailiff grabbed her arm Hannah felt the pressure give way and she realized the crotch of her pants was warm. As the warmth flowed down her thighs and across the bottom of her butt, Hannah felt the bailiff spin her around and pin her hands behind her back. Hannah was too overwhelmed to realize the judge was ordering the bailiff to arrest her for contempt of court. As her buttocks became soaked and her pant legs saturated, Hannah began to hear the sound of her urine dripping from her pant legs and onto the floor. 

It was the cold metal of handcuffs hitting her wrist that caused Hannah to break down crying. Through the blur of her teary eyes she looked across the courtroom and could see mixed reaction on the faces around her. Juror number 3 had a look of sympathy on her face. Juror number 5 was stifling a laugh. The defendant had a shocked  look on her face .  The court  reporter  was smirking . Judge Rock was red with anger as he ordered that she be remanded into custody for contempt of court.

The next several minutes were a blur to Hannah. The judge declared a mistrial for the shoplifter and a bailiff removed the thief from the courtroom to take her back to jail. Hannah was lead to the defendant's table where she stood next to public defender as she was officially charged with contempt of court.

She stood handcuffed in her wet pants in front of the judge and those she had just been on jury duty with, she couldn't stop sobbing. Her pants quickly became cold and clammy as the soaked cotton clung to her shapely thighs and butt. The cold steel bit into her wrists, but the pain of the tight handcuffs was nothing compared to the shame of being a grown woman who had wet her pants in front of her peers.

As she stood in shame, Hannah could not listen to the lecture Judge Rock was giving her. It wasn't until she was being led away by the bailiff that she realized she had been sentenced to one month in jail.

Hannah Ortman had begun her day as Juror number 4 fulfilling her civic duty, she was ending it as Inmate number 53478 paying a debt to society.

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Wow!  And quite believable in the right universe and context, too!  I don't know that this would happen in America without some lash back, but I could certainly see it happening in a place that gave judges more power over people than they should have in the American law.

Anyway, very interesting story....  Though I am a little mad that she got a month in jail after everything she did to try to keep decorum.  I guess she should have just peed her pants in her seat?  Or would she still have been punished?  hm....

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