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Missing jury duty isn’t a crime…or is it?

In October, 2018 Okeechobee County Court sent out 325 jury summons. Out of those, there were 125 residents that did not show up. Summons are sent to individuals based on the address on their driver’s license or identification card issued by the State of Florida.

The 125 individuals that failed to show up will now receive an order to show cause from the Circuit Court Judge. An order to show cause is an order issued by the court advising the individual they must appear in court on a specified date and time to give reasons (show cause) why they failed to attend the jury summons.

Sheriff Noel E. Stephen stated, “I cautioned folks that this was coming. Our due process requires our participation. The process is easy to receive excused absences but unfortunately these folks failed to follow those steps. Now my deputies have to utilize their limited time between complaints, usually focused upon traffic enforcement and others duties, to personally serve these 125 individuals with an Order to Show Cause. It is my sincere hope that this does not continue moving forward into the future.”

Michele Bell, PIO

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