Potential jurors' personal information made public in Marion courts mix-up

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MARION COUNTY, Fla. - Channel 9 discovered hundreds of potential jurors' personal information was mistakenly made public by the Marion County courts.

An attorney said she notified the clerk two weeks ago, but nothing was done about it until Channel 9 called.

"I've never heard of this happening before," said attorney Beth Gordon.

Gordon said while poring through 4,000 pages of documents for a divorce case last month, she found juror names, addresses and Social Security numbers.

The Marion County clerk accidentally released more than 400 names, addresses, ages and Social Security numbers of potential jurors.

"The record doesn't normally contain that. It wasn't a jury trial, it was a family case," said Gordon.

It's believed only a handful of attorneys laid eyes on it. But Gordon fears anyone could have stolen the identity of those fulfilling their civic duty.

"People that would be mining for such information for ID theft could have potentially got their hands on it," said Gordon.

She said she notified the clerk on March 2, but nothing was done.

"They were a little hostile when I called to tell them they might want to deal with them. It actually took [Channel 9] to send a letter to all the attorneys," said Gordon.

An email was sent by the clerk ordering the documents destroyed Tuesday.

Court officials said those documents have also been removed from the public record.

Marion County Clerk of Courts David Ellspermann apologized for the error and said, "What occurred ... was an accident and ... the information went to the court and to officers of the court. We have evaluated what happened and have corrected the process."

The clerk's office is urging anyone concerned about their information going public to contact them directly.