Jury duty crackdown: Scofflaws ordered to report to Maricopa County judge

Some people who skipped out on jury duty may still find themselves in court.

Maricopa County Superior Court is holding "order to show cause" hearings on October 20. The goal is to learn why people are ignoring their summons.

About 20 people are being asked to explain why they did not report for jury duty.

"The hearings, presided over by Judges Joseph Kreamer and Danielle Viola, will hold accountable those who are willfully avoiding jury service. Those without a valid excuse can be fined up to $500 and ordered to report for jury service," stated Timothy Tait of the Judicial Branch of Arizona in Maricopa County.

During the hearing, those who allegedly skipped jury duty offered up a number of reasons.

"I have a disc disease, and it affects the right side of my body," said one person.

"I work with kids. 16, 17-year-olds," said another person, who was heard crying. "I have to work 16 hours shifts."

The court wants to remind all citizens of the important role jurors play in the legal system.

"[The judge] made it very clear while we were there why we had a reason to be there, but I think he was also fair too," said Alan Minner.