A Pennsylvania woman who was upset she had to serve jury duty was charged $500 after complaining and cursing in a courtroom in Pennsylvania.
According to The Erie Times-News, when Kathleen Port was selected to serve on the jury for a weapons case, she let out an audible curse word and continued to express her dismay on her way to the jury box.
Lawyers on the case informed the judge, Ernest J. DiSantis, of Port's outburst, and he called her to the bench for a discussion, the newspaper said. DiSantis told Port she was off the jury, then fined her $500.
DiSantis told Port that if she did not pay within 90 days, he would consider jailing her.
The Erie Times-News reported that DiSantis previously jailed a juror for declaring a defendant guilty before the trial began.
DiSantis considers jury service a duty of citizenship and said that Port’s attitude “denigrates the jury system.”
Port apologized profusely to the judge, but defended her actions on the grounds that she was frustrated that she would lose income at work.
Although DiSantis admitted that jury duty “is inconvenient at times,” he did not drop the $500 fine because he said Port was, “totally out of line.” He said she did not indicate on her jury questionnaire that service would be a hardship.
DiSantis said Port remains eligible to serve on a jury and if she is called to serve, recommended that she avoid pulling “that kind of stunt.”
First published July 25 2013, 5:46 PM