Some Muskegon County citizens have been hit with a jury scam.
We have received numerous phone calls from citizens and potential jurors informing us that they have received phone calls and e-mails stating that they have missed jury duty. Some have been told their name is on a list at the courthouse, some have been told that they have a bench warrant out for their arrest. Some have been told that they have the option to pay a $500 fine or serve a 30 day jail sentence.
The Muskegon County Clerk’s office calls the prank calls an email, a scam which tells the recipients to pass it on to trick their friends. It is part of something called the Humor Hotline.
A press release from the clerk’s office warns county residents that if they receive any information concerning their missed jury duty to make sure that the person is identified as a Muskegon County Jury Clerk. They will always properly identify themselves to the public.
“This ‘humor’ hotline is anything but humorous,” said Muskegon County Sheriff Dean Roesler. “It creates disruption within the courts and creates unnecessary concerns for innocent citizens. Even though this phone call suggests to ‘pay it forward’ I would remind citizens that it is a misdemeanor crime to use the telephone to harass, annoy, threaten, intimidate, or otherwise intentionally disrupt a person’s peace.’”
Muskegon County Prosecutor D.J. Hilson added, “Our system of justice relies on the citizens of this community to serve as impartial jurors. This attempt at humor has the potential to deter people from fulfilling their civic duty which limits our ability to provide a fair cross section of the community in the jury pool.”
For more information regarding Muskegon County Jury Duty, go to the website http://www.co.muskegon.mi.us/jury.