Normally, seeing the jury summons from the county clerk’s office causes one of two reactions: a groan that comes from knowing jury duty is a hassle and disruption in an already overbooked life; resolute acceptance tinged with civic pride because you will be serving as a part of a fair and just judicial system. However, last week one New Jersey resident had a totally different reaction to finding a jury summons – bewilderment.
The letter was addressed for someone with the first name IV and the last name Griner — the name Barrett Griner IV says he gave his dog as a play on words (Ivy without the y).
“I’m wondering like, What is this? Something from the county office about her vaccinations or something? Like, why is my dog getting mail?”
It turns out that IV Griner, the man’s 4-year-old German shepherd, was most likely not the intended recipient of the summons. Cumberland County Judiciary Coordinator Dennis Moffa explained that the county’s jury duty notices are computer-generated and often result in being sent out with name errors.
“This happens many times. As an example, if you had John Henry IV, sometimes the notice might just say Henry IV,” Moffa said. “I think that the computer probably randomly picks some things that are probably not as on point as they should be.”
Moffa said they can resolve the mix up with a call to the county clerk’s office. ”They call here and they provide us with information from the summons and additional identifying information, and we can determine who the summons is actually for,” he said.
This isn’t the first time a pet has been summoned to jury duty… the other time it was a cat named Sal who had a hard time getting excused.
Griner thinks that IV might be the perfect juror depending on the case. ”She [the dog] might be good for a cat burglar case or something like that.”
photo credit: Barrett Griner, IV
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