Now in Legal Rebels:
Posted Feb 17, 2012 10:41 pm CST
A Florida juror who sent a friend request to the defendant in an auto negligence trial on Facebook in December was dismissed from hearing the case as a result.
But what apparently really got Jacob Jock into trouble was a subsequent Facebook post. The message: “Score … I got dismissed!! apparently they frown upon sending a friend request to the defendant … haha,” reports the Sarasota Tribune.
Yesterday, Circuit Judge Nancy Donnellan sentenced the 29-year-old to three days in jail for criminal contempt. Being late to court both for his arraignment and trial apparently didn’t create a favorable impression on the judge, either, according to the newspaper.
Jock testified at trial that he mistakenly hit “friend request” instead of “mutual friends” while checking his 1,300 Facebook contacts to see whether defendant Violeta Milerman was already among them, after lawyers asked potential jurors if they knew anyone in the case.
He said he is sorry he didn’t alert the court to the problem at the time. Instead, Milerman brought the friend request to her lawyer’s attention, and he took the matter to the judge.
“I was just hoping she’d forget about it,” Jock said. “It was a total mistake … I kind of thought what happened wasn’t that big a deal. Little did I know.”
ABAJournal.com: “Juror Who Friended Defendant Could See Jail Time”