Wisconsin Town in Need of Jurors Grabs People off the Street

Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Potential juror walking down street in Eau Claire, Wisconsin (AP photo)

Walking down the street in a Wisconsin town can mean being picked up by law enforcement and being forced to serve on a jury.


This occurred last week in Eau Claire. When Judge Michael Schumacher ran out of potential jurors for a trial, he instructed the sheriff, Ron Cramer, to round up more people. Cramer then hit the streets of the 65,000-population city, and using a little known law, ordered some residents to come with him to the courthouse. The sheriff cited the “Insufficient Jurors” statute on the books, which authorizes police to grab any local resident 18 years old with no felony convictions to serve on a jury if a pool runs dry.


 “It’s something that doesn’t happen very often,” Susan Schaffer, the county clerk of courts, told WEAU.


Cramer said he wound up giving a few jurors a ride home.


As it turned out, the spontaneous jurors wound up off the hook after the judge pushed back the trial.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Eau Claire Co. Hits the Streets in Search of Jurors (by Josh Spreiter, WEAU.com)

Insufficient Number of Jurors (OregonLaws.org)


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