The Chambers County District Clerk Patti L. Henry wants to warn the public about a scam to extort money from Chambers County residents. It has been reported in several counties across the State that criminals are posing as county court or law enforcement officials calling victims to collect fines for failing to appear for jury service. In most cases the impersonator(s) instruct their victims to pay the fine by using prepaid debit cards. Victims are further instructed to provide the card number and 3-digit card security code located on the back of the card, all while the impersonator remains on the line with the victim. The victims are then directed to the courthouse where a supposed court official will remove the
warrant for arrest as a result of the payment.
Chambers County does not call residents to ask them to pay jury service fines over the phone. We encourage potential jurors to contact our office directly should they have any doubts or inquiries regarding the jury process. We further encourage residents to be extremely cautious when any payment demands are made over the phone and report the incident immediately.
The law provides for a fine of $100 to $500 for failing to appear for jury service; however, no county court or law enforcement official will ever contact potential jurors over the phone to demand they make a payment. Only through normal court proceedings can a judge order a potential juror to either be arrested or pay a fine for failing to comply with the law.
Although there have been no reported incidents of this scam in Chambers County , the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office encourages any victims of this jury duty scam to report the incident immediately with the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over the address they reside in, said Hawthorne. We want to let the community know that we are concerned about their financial well-being and we advise against sharing any information over the phone that may be used for a financial transaction, whether it be credit card/debit card numbers, checking account information, or cash card information. The Chambers County Sheriff’s Office does not collect fines for violations of contempt of court or for failure to appear to jury duty over the phone. You can greatly contribute to helping stop this type of criminal activity by reporting similar incidents.
Please contact the Sheriff or my office if anyone tries to contact you by phone or in person to pay a jury service fine.
the Honorable Patti L. Henry