Shopping Leads to Jury Service

Only about 46 percent of people summoned for jury duty show up, and court systems are trying to do something about it.

In Sanford, N.C., sheriff’s deputies rounded up some jurors in March by dispatching sheriff’s deputies to the parking lots of Food Lion and Wal-Mart, the Associated Press reports. Madeline Byrne, who got a summons after buying cheese, was told to show up in an hour or face a contempt charge.

Some courts send deputies to homes of no-shows to hand them a summons directing them to appear in court.

Other court systems are trying a Madison Avenue approach. Los Angeles promotes jury service on its mail trucks, while Florida court officials encourage service with a poster featuring actor Harrison Ford.

“Everybody likes jury duty—just not this week,” Patricia Lee Refo, who chaired the ABA’s American Jury Project, told AP.

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