Help Me Hank! Courtroom Confusion
Help Me Hank: Help Me Hank! Courtroom Confusion
Give Daniel DíAmico the ball and he definitely knows his way around the court.
But how do you think he'd do in Middlesex superior court on a jury?
"I thought it was nuts," mother Kacey DíAmico said.
But Daniel's mom had opened the mail. Her son, age four at the time, was officially notified to show up in court.
"He got summonsed to jury duty," D'Amico said.
His mom knew the justice system didnít really want a kid.
"We laughed and everyone we told about it laughed," D'Amico said.
D'Amico just thought it was funny and that it would go away.
She called the special jury number and explained Daniel was born in 1996 and he was only four.
"They didnít seem to have dealt with it before," D'Amico said.
She sent back the special jury form explaining Daniel was four.
"I mailed it in and I thought that was the end of that," D'Amico said.
But it wasnít. The administrative machinery designed to make sure jurors show up had already cranked into action. A delinquency notice arrived and then a summons for arraignment. It said juror failure to attend with words like fine and imprisonment.
"I said I have to get to the bottom of this and I really didn't know how and thatís when I called you," D'Amico said.
With Daniel, now eight, on the basketball court at his Watertown home, we headed to the town clerks office suspecting this confusion was not the jury commissionerís fault.
We came out with paperwork proving we were right: the town census list of residents for 1997, the year after Daniel was born. Along with his family it does show a Daniel J. D'Amico. One problem: the birthday is listed in 1960.
Since the town census lists are where the state finds prospective jurors, the mistake on Daniel's birthday made it look like he was in his 40's and jury-eligible.
We called the jury commissioner and faxed over Danielís birth certificate, and soon after his birth date was corrected and the case officially dismissed.
But Daniel says that in a few years he'll definitely be ready for his day in court.
"Iím only 8, but in the future I'll be able to do it," Daniel said.
For more information about jury duty, click here or call 1-800-THE-JURY (1-800-843-5879)
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