Adhere to Jury Summons or Face Increased Fines and Possible Arrest

from the office of County Judge Mark Riley

by Joel Kertok


Parker County District and County Court at Law Judges are letting Parker County residents know that if they fail to show up for Jury Duty they will be fined and that the maximum fine has just increased from $100 to $500.

The 6th and 7th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution preserve the right to trial by jury in criminal trials and certain civil trials.  The United States of American is one of the last countries in the world to guarantee trial by Jury.“In order for us to have jury trials we must have approximately 20 to 70 people show up for jury service after they have been summoned,” 43rd District Court Judge Don Chrestman said.  “The issue before us is that only thirty to forty percent of the jurors summoned in the last few months have appeared for jury service.”

Chrestman said this failure to appear, has caused trials to go untried or be delayed.

“I know of one of our Judges who has already sent out fine notices to 44 people who did not honor the jury summons for a trial that was to begin on September 14, 2009,” Chrestman said. “More important is the fact that a warrant for your arrest will be forthcoming if you don’t pay the fine within thirty days of the date of the Order setting the fine.”

Juries are made up of a group of people from the community where the parties to the trial live and this is called a trial by our peers. The alternative to trial by jury is trial before a judge, a bureaucrat, an arbitrator or some other person agreed upon by the parties in some circumstances.

Constitutional Rights are very important to the courts and if summoned for jury service, please remember the 6th and 7th Amendments preserve the right to trial by jury.

For additional informatin contact: Joel Kertok

Phone: (817) 598-6166

4 responses

  1. Everyone complains about jury duty, but it is a duty to be taken seriously. Everyone that may potentially serve on a jury should read the Citizens Rule Book before doing so. See it here:

    The Minneapolis Star and Tribune in a news paper article appearing in its November 30th 1984 edition, entitled: “What judges don’t tell the juries” stated:

    “At the time of the adoption of the Constitution, the jury’s role as defense against political oppression was unquestioned in American jurisprudence. This nation survived until the 1850’s when prosecutions under the Fugitive Slave Act were largely unsuccessful because juries refused to convict.”

    “Then judges began to erode the institution of free juries, leading to the absurd compromise that is the current state of the law. While our courts uniformly state juries have the power to return a verdict of not guilty whatever the facts, they routinely tell the jurors the opposite.”

    “Further, the courts will not allow the defendants or their counsel to inform the jurors of their true power. A lawyer who made…Hamilton’s argument would face professional discipline and charges of contempt of court.”

    “By what logic should juries have the power to acquit a defendant but no right to know about the power? The court decisions that have suppressed the notion of jury nullification cannot resolve this paradox.”

    “More than logic has suffered. As originally conceived, juries were to be a kind of safety valve, a way to soften the bureaucratic rigidity of the judicial system by introducing the common sense of the community. If they are to function effectively as the ‘conscience of the community,’ jurors must be told that they have the power and the right to say no to a prosecution in order to achieve a greater good. To cut jurors off from this information is to undermine one of our most important institutions.”

    “Perhaps the community should educate itself. Then citizens called for jury duty could teach the judge a needed lesson in civics.”

    This information is designed to bring to your attention one important way our nation’s founders provided to insure that you, (not the growing army of politicians, judges, lawyers, and bureaucrats, rule this nation. It will focus on the true power you possess as a JUROR, how you got it, why you have it, and remind you of the basis on which you must decide not only the facts placed in evidence but also the validity or application of every law, rule, regulation, ordinance, or instruction given by any man seated as a judge or attorney when you serve as a JUROR.

    One JUROR can stop tyranny with a “NOT GUILTY VOTE!” He can nullify bad law in any case, by “HANGING THE JURY!”

    I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I should do and, with the help of God, I will do!
    Everett Hale

    The only power the judge has over the JURY is their ignorance!

    “WE THE PEOPLE,” must relearn a desperately needed lesson in civics.

    1. Powerful message Kerri!

      So how do we get the word out to all those who are uninformed?

      1. What if every juror that was to serve on a trial got a copy of the Citizens Rule Book once they were picked to serve on the jury?
        They can be bought in bulk for .55 each

        .55 x 12 jurors seems like a small price to pay for an informed jury.

        Educators of Liberty handed out hundreds of these during the April 15th tea party in Weatherford. Hopefully some of them were read.

  2. I’ve lived my entire life wishing to be on a jury, but never have been. I’m always number eleventy on the roster. They throw out a few, then take 1-12. Everyone else goes home. It boggles my mind that there are folks who don’t wish to perform this civic duty. Likely the same folks who bemoan the state of our legal system and tort results.

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