Philly Cracks Down on Jury Duty Dodgers

Philadelphia officials have a warning for those who constantly skip out on jury duty. If you continue to ignore it when you’re called upon, you could be arrested.

According to officials, only 13 percent of the 576,000 Philadelphia residents who were summoned for jury duty last year actually showed up. The statewide average is 40 percent. Supervising Judge Jeffrey Minehart calls the low turnout in Philly compared to the rest of Pennsylvania “unacceptable.”

“That shows not only a disregard for their civic duty but also a disrespect for the court system,” Judge Minehart said.

Judicial leaders say skipping out on jury duty wastes a big part of the court’s half-million dollar budget for printing summons and reminder cards as well as postage.

Officials say they’re now cracking down on those who don’t show up though they admit only one overlooked summons is unlikely to get you in trouble.

“It’s the people who have missed twice,” Judge Minehart said. “[[The people]] who have a history of not showing up.”

Officials say they sent notices to 52 of the city’s most consistent Jury Duty dodgers. Those individuals are required to appear Wednesday on the ninth floor of the Criminal Justice Center building.

“If you miss tomorrow we will send the sheriffs after you at some time,” said Philadelphia Jury Commissioner Dan Rendine. “You will receive a knock at your door some night.”

Click here for more information on Jury Duty.


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