Monday, January 17, 2011

Cat summoned for jury service in the U.S. and court says he 'must attend'


Not guilty, your honour: Sal has been summoned for jury duty from March 23 - and his owner has been told he is not exempt from serving

A pet cat has been summoned for jury duty in the U.S. - and has been told by courts he 'must attend'

Despite owner Anna Esposito's protestations that a mistake has been made, a jury commissioner has ruled that Sal must attend the court.

She wrote that Anna was 'unable to speak and understand English' - and included a letter from her vet saying that the animal was a 'domestic short-haired neutered feline'.

Amazed: Sal's owners Anna and Guy Esposito are preparing to take their pet to court after a jury commissioner turned down their request to have the animal exempted from service

Bizarrely, the court ruled the animal must report to the courtroom. If the matter is not resolved he will have to report to Suffolk Superior Crown Court in Boston, U.S. on March 23.

Anna wrote her Sal's name under 'pets' on the last census - she crossed out 'dogs' and said he was a cat.

She said: 'When they ask him guilty or not guilty? What's he supposed to say - miaow?

'Sal is a member of the family so I listed him on the last Census form under pets but there has clearly been a mix up.'

Case closed? Sal's details were recorded when there was a Boston state census - and he appears to have been mistakenly identified as a human when the forms were processed

Husband Guy added: 'I said, Sal, what's this? I was shocked. He likes to sit on my knee and watch crime shows with me but even so he's still under qualified for jury duty if you ask me.'

There are ten statutory disqualifications preventing people from serving on a jury - and Mrs Esposito said Sal was not suitable because he could not understand the language.

However, jurors are 'not expected' to have a perfect command of the English language.
The other exemptions did not apply because Sal was not ill, too old or a convicted felon.

It is thought he accidentally ended up on the juror list when paperwork was misread at the last census.

source: dailymail

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