Planning on ignoring a district court jury summons?
Doing so could find you winning a trip to the courthouse in the back of a Navarro County Deputy Sheriffs’ patrol car, complete with a stop at the county jail.
It’s a problem that isn’t new, but it isn’t getting any better. In fact, it seems to have gotten worse, according to District Judge James Lagomarsino.
Lagomarsino said a jury summons sent out to 300 potential jurors this week for a sexual assault trial found only 65 people answering the call — far short of the number required to seat a panel of 12 jurors and an alternate after attorney strikes and excuses for service.
“It’s a problem we’ve had for a long time,” Lagomarsino said.
The judge said that generally around 50 to 70 jury summons sent out are returned by the post office for various reasons — obviously, he says, those folks have an excuse for not showing.
“The individuals that don’t show up where you don’t get a (postal) return it’s hard to know if they forgot about it, or got it and said ‘I’m not going up there’ ... it’s so hard to know.”
So what the judge has done is prepare for the next jury call set for Nov. 13 is reach out to Sheriff Les Cotten for help. The sheriff is ready to do so.
Lagomarsino said he’ll consider sending deputies to pick up prospective jurors should not enough of them show up for the summons.
“That’s one of the solutions,” Lagomarsino said. “It’s kind of an extreme measure, but at what point do you just sit there and say ‘Well, we can’t have a trail again because not enough people showed up.’”
Cotten had not seen Lagomarsino’s letter when the Daily Sun sought comment from him about the possibility of pressing deputies into service. But he’s on board with the idea.
“I can sure do it,” Cotten said. “I’ve been trying to get them to do it for two or three years.”
Cotten said El Paso County had adopted a similar stance on no-shows for jury duty by sending deputies to pick them up. He said Dallas County was considering it as well.
“If they didn’t have a valid excuse for not showing up for jury duty, they spend 24 hours in jail plus a fine,” Cotten said.
Will it work?
“It will get their attention,” Cotten said. “It’s kinda like voting and taxes — it’s part of the free system.”
Lagomarsino said he hasn’t decided for sure if he’ll have deputies go pick up no-shows, but he’s not ruling it out, either.
“I’ll have enough deputies to go pick them up in one day and have them in court,” Cotten said. “They’ll get a free ride in the sheriff’s car.
“But, they’ll have to walk home.”
- - - - -
Bob Belcher may be reached by email at email@example.com . Want to “Soundoff” on this story? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Deputies may be picking up jurors for no-show
Planning on ignoring a district court jury summons?
- Latest News
Tragedy in Eureka: Detectives believe shooting of 3-year-old accidental
A 3-year-old boy was shot and killed Monday in Eureka in what appears to be an tragic accidental shooting between two cousins, according to Navarro County Sheriff Elmer Tanner.
Mildred ISD to provide grief counseling Tuesday
Becky Burns of Mildred ISD has announced Mildred Elementary School will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday providing grief counseling following Monday’s tragedy in Eureka.
Storm spotter training well attended
The National Weather Service office in Fort Worth has monitors, radar, radio, computers, cell phones and satellite feeds, but no windows.
To get a good view of what’s actually happening, they rely on spotters, explained Mark A. Fox, warning and coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service, who spoke Saturday at a Skywarn training seminar at the Palace Theatre in Corsicana.
Council reviews ordinance changes
The Corsicana City Council continued its discussions during a Monday work session on proposed changes to the city’s ordinances regulating several areas — among them, banners, satellite dishes, fencing in front yards, bamboo growth, windows in the downtown district and specific use permits for manufactured homes.
County OKs more overtime
At the request of Navarro County Sheriff Elmer Tanner, the county commissioners court authorized transferring another $50,000 into overtime pay, primarily for the jail.
Detectives believe shooting of 3-year-old accidental
A 3-year-old boy was shot and killed Monday morning in Eureka in what appears to be an accidental shooting between two children, according to Navarro County Sheriff Elmer Tanner.
UPDATE: 3-year-old child killed in shooting
Navarro County Sheriff Elmer Tanner has confirmed that a 3-year-old Navarro County child has died as the result of a shooting in the Eureka area Monday afternoon.
Deputies responding to report of shooting
Navarro County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating the report of a shooting involving a child in the Eureka area at midday Monday.
No consensus on how to notify data breach victims
WASHINGTON — The data breach at Target Corp. that exposed millions of credit card numbers has focused attention on the patchwork of state consumer notification laws and renewed a push for a single national standard.
May 10 elections taking shape
Filing for city and school district elections ended last week, and many local governments are already breathing a sigh of relief that they can cancel elections, since there are a number of unopposed races.
- More Latest News Headlines
- Tragedy in Eureka: Detectives believe shooting of 3-year-old accidental