Once a year or so, citizens who have repeatedly failed to answer the call for jury service are summoned into Mohave County Superior Court to explain their absences. Such was the case September 15 and 16 when 24 such citizens were directed to attend Order To Show Cause hearings conducted by Judges Billy Sipe and Steve Conn.
The Judges reportedly found a number of the prospective jurors had reasonable explanations for their failures to appear. A number of other cases were dismissed as mail informing citizens of the hearings was returned as undeliverable.
The judges found nine jurors in contempt of court, and fined each of them $250 as a civil sanction.
Court officials noted that they must summon extra prospective jurors for jury selection because they can’t anticipate how many won’t fulfill their obligation. They said this represents an extra cost burden upon taxpayers and sometimes represents inconvenience when an excessive number of prospective jurors are summoned given the uncertainty of attendance.