Boy, 9, summoned for jury duty

March 19, 2012 at 2:40 PM
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WEST YARMOUTH, Mass., March 19 (UPI) -- The family of a Massachusetts 9-year-old who was summoned for jury duty said the local jury commission office had the wrong birth year for the boy.

Robby Clark of West Yarmouth, father of Jacob Clark, 9, and Deborah Clark, the boy's grandmother, said they were perplexed when the third-grader received a summons in the mail ordering him to report for jury duty April 18, the Cape Cod Times reported Monday.

"I was like, 'What's a jury duty?'" Jacob said.

Deborah Clark said her grandson decided he did not want to serve on a jury after learning it would require him to face people accused of crimes.

She said Robby Clark called the jury commission office and discovered Jacob's birth year had been entered as 1982 in the system instead of 2002.

Massachusetts Jury Commissioner Pamela Wood said children end up receiving summonses "once or twice a year."

She said some towns enter fictional birth dates for children if their parents do not supply the correct years on census forms. Wood said officials are encouraged to choose dates outside the realm of possibility, such as 1776, but they occasionally put in a date that results in the child mistakenly being listed as of voting age.

Wood said the mistake was quickly cleared up and Jacob will not have to report.

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