Trials & Litigation

Juror's 'total lack of manners' could result in contempt finding, judge says


A judge has declared a mistrial and is considering holding a juror in contempt because her “total lack of manners” distracted others in the case.

The unidentified woman rolled her eyes, stared at the ceiling and fiddled with her jewelry after she was selected to serve on a jury in Adelaide District Court, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reports.

A lawyer said she has mental health issues, and Judge David Lovell is waiting for a medical report before deciding whether to hold her in contempt.

“I will refrain from making too many comments at the moment about how I perceived your behaviour, other than to say at the very least it showed a complete lack of grace and a total lack of manners as an absolute minimum,” Lovell told the woman after declaring a mistrial.

“You made it perfectly obvious to everyone in the court that you were not listening and that you had no intention of listening and you demonstrated that in an ostentatious and overt way to ensure that the prosecutor, me, the court reporter and other members of staff knew that you were not properly participating in the jury process.”

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