Grady County Residents Not Laughing About Jury Duty Phone Hoax

Wednesday, March 6th 2013, 7:01 pm
By: News 9

Some Grady County residents have reported receiving text message notifying them they failed to appear in court for jury duty. 

The text directs them to a number, "the following is an urgent message from the national justice center" a recording indicates the person failed to appear for jury duty last Monday morning at 9 a.m.

Abby Robnett did not think she missed the call for jury duty until she received the text.

"I just about had a heart attack," said Robnett.

Robnett says she followed the instructions and immediately called the number. She was surprised to hear the following message, "To make arrangements to pay the $500 fine for failure to appear for jury duty, press 2." 

The other option given is serve a 30-day prison sentence for failure to appear for jury duty. Robnett did not like the options given, so she listened to the entire message. The recording later indicated the entire thing was a prank.

"You have one final option; pass this phone number on to your top 10 most gullible friends." 

Robnett was relieved.

"I was like ‘Oh that is so not funny.'"   

Unlike Robnett, several frantically hung up in the middle of the recording and called the court clerk's office. 

"It's a hoax and we don't think it's very funny and I'm sure the people who get the calls don't think it's very funny," said Grady County Court Clerk Lois Foster.

Foster says a jury summons will never come by phone. Instead, you will get a letter in the mail. Foster also says that no one texts or calls to warn you if you have a warrant out for your arrest.

Although many are not laughing, the hoax is not serious enough for the jokester to be in any legal trouble. Grady County Sheriff Jim Weir sent out the warning to residents.

"Although it causes a big waste of time and money for us, it's a joke. And I just don't think there's anything that covers that in state statute," said Weir.   

Robnett says it's something she can laugh about now.

"It was a pretty funny joke after it was all said and done, but at first it wasn't funny."

The text and phone recording is linked to, a website offering a variety of phone pranks.