Recently, prospective jurors within the 15th Judicial District of Logan, Scott, Yell and Conway counties have received calls apparently threatening arrest unless a monetary fine is satisfied, according to 15th Judicial District Judge Jerry Don Ramey.
Ramey said this is a scam.
It is accurate that a circuit court can issue sanctions, such as fines and incarceration, for willfully failing to comply with statutory attendance requirements. However, Ramey said, at no time will a juror receive a telephone call requesting money for failure to appear for jury service.
“When you receive an official notice of your selection as a juror it will include a questionnaire for information to you,” Ramey said in a prepared statement last week. “That questionnaire will need to be completed and returned to your local circuit clerk.
“On that same form you will be notified of your jury orientation date and time. Your appearance is mandatory and failure to appear can result in sanctions issued by the presiding circuit judge. However, payment to a random telephone caller will never be on of those sanctions.” Ramey said. “If you receive a telephone call of this type, please contact your local sheriff’s office.”
Logan County Circuit Clerk Elaine Robertson said this week the scam hasn’t been seen in Logan County.
“All I’ve heard about is in Dardanelle and Russellville,” Robertson said. “When Judge (David) McCormick held jury orientation here in September, he told them about this. So, I would think that stopped it here because he made everyone aware of it.”
In Logan County, jury panels serve for four months. A new jury panel was sworn in in September and will serve through December, Robertson said.
“It’s possible this has quieted down because a new jury panel is in place and are aware of it,” Roberston said.