Mall shoppers in Calgary summoned to jury duty

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Brian Lutz
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Mall shoppers in Calgary summoned to jury duty

Post by Brian Lutz »


https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/ ... -1.6493797

On June 16th, 50 Shoppers at the Core Shopping Centre in Calgary Alberta were issued summons by Sheriff's deputies to appear immediately as potential jurors at a nearby courthouse after the court determined that there were not enough people in the jury pool to cover the court's docket for the day. This was done by using something called the "Talesman Procedure", a carryover from British law allowing the court to summon jurors from nearby public locations to cover for a jury shortage. The last time this procedure was used in Calgary before this was in 1996.

As far as I can tell there is no equivalent to this in US federal law (although some states do have Talesman provisions in court procedures), but I'm sure the risk of being summoned to jury duty on your lunch hour doesn't help out the mall much.
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Re: Mall shoppers in Calgary summoned to jury duty

Post by Alpha8472 »

That is terrible planning if they did not schedule enough extra people ahead of time. Were they arrested if they refused to participate?
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Re: Mall shoppers in Calgary summoned to jury duty

Post by Brian Lutz »

Legally, the jurors were compelled to participate, and could be taken to the Courthouse in handcuffs if they refused to participate voluntarily. On the court side, not having enough jurors to form a jury would have forced the court to drop all charges against any criminal defendants and result in mistrial in any civil cases. It does appear that the use of juries in civil cases is rare in Canada and that misdemeanor level (summary conviction) cases are usually handled using bench (non jury) trials so it is probably safe to assume that these were likely indictable (equivalent to felonies in the US system) criminal cases.
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