DETROIT (WWJ) – Of 138 people ordered to appear for a two-day show cause hearing to explain why they failed to appear for jury duty in Wayne County Circuit Court, just over fifty people responded on the first day.

Many of these people have, for a variety of reasons, failed to show up two, three, even four times reported WWJ Newsradio 950’s Pat Sweeting.  She said that those who still don’t show up might spend time behind bars.

“I think that sometimes people feel that ‘Oh well. There will be no consequence if I don’t show up’,” said Presiding Judge Timothy Kenny of the Criminal Division.

He said that’s not true and people who do not show up for the show cause hearing could be arrested and jailed for up to 90 days.

“We have had a situation over the past several months where judges have wanted to begin jury trials and there haven’t been enough people to be in the pool to begin jury selection,” said Kenny. “We’ve had to actually bump back the beginning of jury trials for a day until we can additional people to come forward.”

Detroit Police officer Mike Jones said those who fail to show up could face a bond more than $100 in addition to jail time.

“They were given the option of appearing for the show cause or they were also given an option to appear before the show cause date,” said Mary Kate Winstat, Director of Jury Services.

Those that fail to do either could hear the sound of handcuffs clicking shut around their wrists because bench warrants will be issued for their arrest. The court wants people to understand that a jury summons isn’t just a request or suggestion, it’s their responsibility as an American citizen.


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