At least 350 southeastern Mississippi residents received a jury summons that mistakenly instructed them to call a sex hotline instead of the correct number for the circuit clerk's office in response to jury summons Monday.
Potential jurors in Jackson County were startled when they called the number listed on the summon to find out if they needed to show up for jury selection only to be asked to hit "1" or "2" to specify if they were a man or woman, according to the Sun Herald. If anyone continued with the call, Circuit Clerk Randy Carney said, "I'm assuming there may be a charge."
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Carney told the Sun Herald that he believes most people recognized the mistake when then called and just hung up. "I would hope you realize there is an error in that number," Carney said.
The trouble began when the company with which the Circuit Clerk's office had a contract to issue jury summons letters and draft telephone numbers sent out the wrong one to the potential jurors. Carney first became aware of the mix-up when Circuit Judge Robert Krebs called him Sunday night to let him know. Although it still remains unclear how the erroneous number made its way into this particular summons, Carney said that he is determined to get to the bottom of the whole catastrophe, the paper noted.
Carney said that many of the potential jurors called to complain following their unplanned experiences with the sex hotline, and still others took the time to stop by his office to complain in person, according to the Associated Press. In the mix-up's aftermath, Carney drafted a personal letter of apology to be mailed to everyone who received the letter. At this point, it is unclear whether or not Carney's office will be liable for any costs associated with the potential jurors' bills for phoning the hotline.
To avoid the possibility of suffering any more embarrassing mix-ups, Carney has promised to personally review all future summons before they are mailed, the AP reported.