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Walworth County law enforcement officials have issued a press release to educate prospective jurors of their civic duties and hold citizens accountable for failing to fulfill these duties.

Chapter 756 of the Wisconsin State Statutes sets forth the obligations concerning jury service, according to a press release from the Sheriff's Department.

In 2002, 175 Walworth County citizens failed to complete their obligations as prospective jurors.

Juror questionnaires are mailed out annually. In 2002 they were first mailed out Feb. 24.

A follow-up letter with a second questionnaire was mailed Nov. 18.

On Jan 17 this year a letter was sent to each of the 175 people notifying them that they are required to attend a contempt of court hearing before one of the four circuit court judges.

The 175 people failed to attend a contempt of court hearing, which resulted in bench warrants being issued.

These residents are afforded the opportunity to report to the Walworth County Clerk of Courts office, Room 211 of the county courthouse in downtown Elkhorn, 100 W. Walworth St., in person to complete and return a jury questionnaire before May 1 to avoid arrest.

"The vast majority of people in Walworth County who are summoned for jury duty do the right thing," Walworth County Circuit Court Judge Michael S. Gibbs said. "There are some though, who ignore the summons or simply refuse to do their duty as citizens. For the court system to work properly, we need jurors to protect the constitutional right of their fellow Americans. The judges of Walworth County take this very seriously."

For more information regarding juror obligations or the list of the 175 people who are being sought, contact the Clerk of Courts office, 741-4224, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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