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Jury Duty

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NEWS
May 23, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
FOR THE first time in more than a decade, people who failed to show up for jury duty in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court were summoned to the Criminal Justice Center to explain themselves. And explain they did, over several hours in front of Common Pleas Administrative Judge John Herron, who convened the city's first juror-scofflaw court in 2000. "The failure-to-appear rate has accelerated to an unacceptable level," Herron said in a soft but authoritative voice to the 59 Philadelphians who packed the courtroom.
NEWS
September 25, 1998
Court officials in cities and towns across the country have cast their vote for getting tough with jury-duty deadbeats - slapping them with hefty fines and even imposing daylong courthouse arrests. So Camden County this week became only the latest jurisdiction to go this route, holding the first of what will be monthly sessions where no-show jurists receive their unwanted day in court. County residents who ignore repeated jury-duty notices will face fines of about $150. Failing to show when summoned to answer as a jury-duty delinquent will earn an automatic $500 levy.
NEWS
September 27, 2000
Howard Eskin will walk If the Miss America Pageant attempts to sue Howard Eskin, we think they're going to lose. First, they have to prove that somebody listens to Howard, and then they must prove there is someone that actually takes what Howard says seriously. GEORGIANNA (KATIE) GARDNER Philadelphia Give peace a chance Today, we are facing a strange enigma. Rather than trying to plant productive crops, we have seen millions of land mines "planted" in many countries.
NEWS
July 17, 1996 | BY TONY DPHAXILE KING
On May 8, I had the privilege of being summoned to court to participate in this nation's highest level of civic duty - jury service. It turned out to be the most frustrating, frightening and bewildering day I have experienced so far this year. My debut as a juror was not a huge disappointment because of failed expectations of the legal system. It was a disappointment because my fellow citizens did not seem to have a clue or a care in the world as to why they had been summoned. Adults were doing more complaining, crying and whining than children.
NEWS
August 29, 2001 | By Trudy Rubin
On my first day back from several weeks away - first in Russia, then on a Cape Cod vacation - I reported for jury duty. Our frazzled ranks of potential jurors were offered free juice, coffee, donuts and bagels - the first time I've encountered such perks in the half a dozen times I've been summoned. A jury commissioner explained that this was part of a program aimed at expanding the pool of potential jurors. Many Philadelphians never respond when called, so the city is pursuing and fining scofflaws and using the proceeds to feed those who do their civic duty.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 21, 2005 | HOWARD GENSLER gensleh@phillynews.com Daily News wire services contributed to this report
IT'S ALMOST too good to be true: Michael Jackson has been called for jury duty. Jackson received a summons at his Neverland Valley Ranch, four months after he was acquitted of child-molestation charges. Alas, it's unlikely that Jackson will show up for jury selection because his lawyers say he now lives in Bahrain. "He is permanently living outside of the United States," said Thomas Mesereau, who defended Jackson against the child-molestation charges. "All he has to do is show he has legal residency somewhere else and he'll be exempted," said jury commissioner Gary Blair.
NEWS
April 8, 2016
ISSUE | JURY DUTY A civic responsibility If only 14 percent of Philadelphia residents summoned to jury duty show up, it's past time for the Inquirer to run a series about all the privileges of being an American ("Seeking new way to get jurors," Monday). Jury duty is not supposed to be - never has been - cushy, convenient, remunerative, or entertaining. It's an obligation of all legal residents, who should be proud to serve. |Bruce M. Brown, Bryn Mawr
NEWS
November 17, 2011
The Philadelphia court system announced Wednesday the introduction of an online service for those called to jury duty. The eJuror System allows potential jurors the option of filling out a juror questionnaire or summons online rather than using regular mail for responses. People can use the system to update personal information or submit a request to be excused from jury duty and select another time to serve. The system will help the courts save money and help prospective jurors save time, said David Wasson, court administrator for the First Judicial District.
NEWS
August 5, 1989 | By Dianna Marder, Inquirer Staff Writer
Don't show up for jury duty in Philadelphia, Gloucester or Burlington Counties and you'll get a letter and a maybe a phone call. Don't show up for jury duty in Camden County and you could spend a night in jail. When a Camden mother was held overnight recently in the Camden County Jail for failing to appear for jury duty, it was the first time in months that the county employed its legal right to incarcerate jury scofflaws. People who fail to report for duty in Camden County's one-day, one-trial system are given two chances to explain their reasons.
NEWS
December 14, 1989 | By Michele M. Fizzano, Special to The Inquirer
The job can last for hours, days or weeks. Often sequestered from the outside world, a juror lives in a vacuum, consuming only what the system feeds him. When all the queries are resolved, reimbursement - $9 a day to start - takes more than a month to collect. But in Chester County, a new computer system is about to take some of the sting out of jury duty, said court administrator Jeffrey Huss. "Our new program automatically puts the juror's information into the computer," said Huss.
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NEWS
April 8, 2016
ISSUE | JURY DUTY A civic responsibility If only 14 percent of Philadelphia residents summoned to jury duty show up, it's past time for the Inquirer to run a series about all the privileges of being an American ("Seeking new way to get jurors," Monday). Jury duty is not supposed to be - never has been - cushy, convenient, remunerative, or entertaining. It's an obligation of all legal residents, who should be proud to serve. |Bruce M. Brown, Bryn Mawr
NEWS
April 5, 2016 | Patricia Madej, Staff Writer
It hasn't even been two years since the Philadelphia Courts reinstituted a crackdown on jury no-shows and it's already back to the drawing board. Juror Scofflaw Court - designed to make an example of people who ignored their summons to jury duty by bringing them into court anyway - is no longer being used because it's just too costly to run and there aren't enough resources, said Jury Commissioner Daniel Rendine. "It was unfortunate, but we gave it a shot, but it didn't bode well for the long run," he said.
NEWS
June 6, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
They're from different parts of the city and had nothing in common - except for their predawn Wednesday wake-up call: court warrant officers arresting them for failing to appear for jury duty. Actually, it was more than that. Not only did they ignore at least two calls for jury duty, they ignored a summons telling them to appear in court May 21 or be held in contempt. Yes, we're talking about scofflaws in Philadelphia's new Juror Scofflaw Court. Two of the three - Timothy Shissler, 42, of Frankford, and John Sparks, 56, of Brewerytown - pleaded guilty before unsmiling Common Pleas Court Judges John W. Herron and Jeffrey P. Minehart.
NEWS
May 23, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
In criminal justice jargon, they were recidivists: People who have dodged jury duty two, three, four times. On Wednesday, 60 of them packed Courtroom 505 of the city's Criminal Justice Center after Common Pleas Court Administrative Judge John W. Herron made them an offer they couldn't refuse: Show up or be arrested. Welcome to Philadelphia's Juror Scofflaw Court, Herron's revival of a program he launched in 2000, when only one in five people summoned for jury duty ever showed. Herron might be happier today with that earlier level of participation.
NEWS
May 23, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
FOR THE first time in more than a decade, people who failed to show up for jury duty in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court were summoned to the Criminal Justice Center to explain themselves. And explain they did, over several hours in front of Common Pleas Administrative Judge John Herron, who convened the city's first juror-scofflaw court in 2000. "The failure-to-appear rate has accelerated to an unacceptable level," Herron said in a soft but authoritative voice to the 59 Philadelphians who packed the courtroom.
NEWS
March 17, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
  PHILADELPHIA Last year, nearly 600,000 Philadelphians were summoned for jury duty. More than a third never responded. Beginning this spring, those who dodge jury duty could get a new kind of summons: to Scofflaw Court, where they could be held in contempt of court, fined as much as $500, and sentenced to up to 10 days in jail. "It's just not fair," said Philadelphia jury commissioner Daniel A. Rendine. "One of our goals is to provide a fair cross-section of jurors. If 37 percent are ignoring us, that means that 63 percent of the people are doing 100 percent of the work.
NEWS
July 22, 2013 | By Debra Nussbaum
Courtesy tends to be contagious, Peggy Post writes in the introduction of Emily Post's Etiquette . She's correct. Good manners and civility tend to breed better behavior from those on the receiving end. In my travels around the region, I have found some places where treating people well translates into a satisfying experience for all. And the nice thing about good manners is that they don't cost anything and they can reap big benefits....
NEWS
April 14, 2013 | By Francesca Serritella, For The Inquirer
When I received the summons for jury duty, I didn't know what to expect. Turns out, jury duty is a lot like high school. While our instructor was taking attendance, I felt like I was back in homeroom. Everyone was sleepy, grumpy, and seated in a collective slump. There were posters on the wall picturing a perfectly diverse group of smiling people, only instead of "Knowledge Is Power," it had fine print about doing your civic duty. I don't know how much motivation you need to do something that's compulsory.
NEWS
December 20, 2012
IT'S NOT LIKE I was expecting a ticker-tape parade or something in my first week. But a summons for jury duty? My first ever - and only four days after starting this new gig? What are you trying to do, Philly, get a girl fired? Luckily my editors, who aren't all that attached yet, were cool. Maybe I'd get a column out of it, one grumbled. Hey, I was game. I'm open to whatever Philly has. An invite to hang with longshoremen? There. A growing list of people "you just gotta meet.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 9, 2012 | By Kellie Patrick Gates, For The Inquirer
Hello there On a March morning in 2010, Monica unenthusiastically appeared at the Delaware County Courthouse, prepared to serve as a juror, if she had to. When she moved to a courtroom for jury selection, she noticed a familiar-looking sheriff's deputy. Could that be Vince, her high school sweetheart? All of a sudden, she was hoping to be chosen, just to satisfy her curiosity. Monica and Vince had been an item in 1997, when she was a junior and he a sophomore at Upper Darby High.
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