Judge hires lawyer to threaten court over jury summons

Sedgwick County, Kansas District Judge Michael Hoelscher retained counsel to threaten Judge Eric Melgren with a subpoena for insisting that he show up in person when summoned for jury service.

Judges may not serve on juries, but as Judge Melgren explained, it's a matter of respect for the public who are expected to show up when summoned to turn up in person, or at least notify the court.

In response to the Order to Show Cause, Mr. Hoelscher [a state-court judge] contacted the Court's jury clerk to discuss his actions and his reasons for non-appearance. Such contact is not unusual. What happened next, however, was most unusual; indeed, in this Court's experience, it is unprecedented. My staff received an irate phone call from an attorney, … indicating that he had been retained by Respondent [Hoelscher] …, informing my staff that respondent was a state court judge (of which fact we were aware) and that as such Respondent was not required to respond to the jury summons. [This] was quickly followed up with an email to the Chief Judge of this court threatening to subpoena numerous officials of this court to demonstrate their "ignorance of the law" and warning that "when I go to court, I go to win."

Some Judges Show Up for Jury Duty. Some Don't. And Some Lawyer Up. [Lowering the Bar]

(Image: 3D png Judges Gavel, Chris Potter, CC-BY)