Maricopa County cracking down on those skipping jury duty

PHOENIX - People who have skipped out on jury duty in Maricopa County could face a hefty fine.

On Friday afternoon, Maricopa County launched a new program, targeting those who don't show up for jury duty.

Twenty people, were back summoned to court, to explain why he/she skipped out on jury duty. A judge then issued fines to those found guilty of disobeying a court order. Some were fined around $500.

According to Associate Presiding Judge Janet Barton, 56% of people who are summed to court, for jury duty, don't show up.

"The law only requires that we issue two summonses and then we back bring you into court," said Barton.   "We go above and beyond, we issue three summonses and if you fail to appear for each of those three summonses, we'll bring you down."

Currently Maricopa County over-summons potential jurors because of the low turnout rate.

"It's expensive for the court when people don't show up," said Barton. "There's cost associated with sending out summons. It costs anywhere from $5-$25."

Each year, around 800,000 are summoned to court in Maricopa County.

"We shouldn't have to do that because people who show up for their jury duty. It's their civic service. It's in the constitution," said Barton.

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