State Court Administrator Cautions Against Phone Call Hoax

HARRISBURG — Court Administrator of Pennsylvania Zygmont A. Pines is

urging residents across the Commonwealth to be wary of prank phone calls and text messages about jury duty.

District court administrators say there have been several instances statewide of citizens who received a phone call or text message from family members or friends, saying that their names appear in the local newspaper for failing to appear at jury duty.

The call then directs them to dial a phone number where a recorded message advises them they failed to appear for jury duty and face either a $500 fine or a 30-day jail sentence. The message ends by saying the call is a joke, and that the number ought to be forwarded to others to prolong the hoax.

“This prank is causing confusion and anxiety and has resulted in disruptions and undue work for court employees, which translates to a waste of tax dollars,” Pines said. “Please don’t forward these messages if you receive one. Our focus needs to be on providing the efficient administration of justice for the Commonwealth and its citizens.”

If someone has a question about a jury service call they are encouraged to call their county court administrator’s office, Pines said. A complete listing of court administrators is available on the Pennsylvania Judiciary Web site at: http://www.pacourts.us/T/CommonPleas/DCAs.htm.