County publishes list of citizens who fail to respond to jury questionnaire

People who frequent the Madison County website will see a new link on the homepage this week.

The link takes viewers to a list of potential jurors in Madison County who have failed to respond to their summons questionnaire.

The idea behind putting the names on the county Website came from Madison County Clerk of District Court Bundy Bailey.

She got the idea from the clerk in Silver Bow County who published the names of jurors who failed to respond to their summons in the local newspaper.

The list consists of about 65 names and if those on the list don’t respond to their juror questionnaire by the end of August, it could lead to a visit from a Madison County Sheriff’s Deputy, Bailey said.

The questionnaires were sent out in June and are the first step in filling a jury pool for the jury term that begins in June and ends in July next year, she said.

People are selected for the jury pool randomly using voting and driver’s license records, Bailey said. The county selects about 600 people to be on the jury pool. When a jury is actually called, only about 45 people will be selected off the entire list to actually come to juror selection process.

Frequently, people ignore their juror questionnaire because they think it will get them out of jury duty, but that isn’t the case, she said.

“If they don’t return their questionnaire, that doesn’t mean they won’t get called, it just means they’ll have to answer all those questions to the attorneys in front of everyone (in a court room),” Bailey said.

Failure to respond to a jury summons will lead to the sheriff getting involved, said Madison County Sheriff Dave Schenk.

“If they don’t show up then the judge will have the sheriff serve a summons to show cause why they didn’t show up,” he said.

If surprised to find yourself on the list posted on the county’s website, it is important to call Bailey.

“They can either call or if they’ve received a questionnaire they can just simply return it,” she said.

The questionnaire was sent out the first time in June with a request to return it to the county within seven days. Since then, she’s sent out two more notices to people who haven’t responded.

“They’ve had quite and extension here,” Bailey said. “If the sheriff would have to go out and serve each one of those (people) personally that’s a tremendous cost to the sheriff in both time and money.”

To see the list of names click here. People with questions can call Bailey at 843-4230.

2 Responses to County publishes list of citizens who fail to respond to jury questionnaire

  1. Miranda Rae says:

    As an American citizen, it is our duty to, at least, respond to a jury summons. These folks are overlooking such a great opportunity and honor to serve our peers. This is a fundamental foundation of democracy and to not respond is fairly disrespectful to everyone. It is, however, unfortunate that the county is in a place that they have to publicly shame people, but sometimes that creates initiative. Interesting article, thanks.

  2. Ennis Citizen says:

    Good idea but I also see names on this list of people serving our country in Afghanistan, people who have died and also people who haven’t lived here for sometime! maybe not very effective!!!

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