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Posted: 3:25 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014

Orange County residents who missed jury duty explain why to Judge Belvin Perry

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Prospective jurors explain why they were no-shows photo
A man who missed jury duty offers his explanation to Judge Belvin Perry. (1/22/14)

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. —

A group of Orange County citizens faced a judge Wednesday to explain why they failed to show up after being summoned for jury duty.

One by one the residents tried to explain to Chief Judge Belvin Perry why they were no-shows for jury duty.

"I never received the second summons," said one.

"It just slipped my mind, or whatever," another told Perry.

"I dropped the ball. No one else did. It was my fault," said another one who missed jury duty.

Julian Ceballos told Perry he didn't receive the initial summons but did get his failure to appear notice.

"I find it strikingly odd that you received the letter but you didn't receive the summons," said Perry.

"It looked pretty funny, the story I had, so I see why he did what he did," Ceballos told Channel 9's Deneige Broom.

One man said he showed up to the courthouse but didn't make it up the steps and inside, but never told anyone he was sick.

He wasn't the only one.

"Well, did you think when you were out sick to pick up the phone and call them?" Perry asked a woman who claimed she was sick at the time.

"No," she replied.

In the end Ceballos and nearly all of the 19 people set to appear Wednesday walked out of court with fines of around $100 or were rescheduled for jury duty. The other options could've been community service or even jail time.

One man who had been summoned didn't show up for court. Perry issued an order to have sheriff's deputies bring him in.

Broom asked the jury coordinator if 19 no-shows was unusual. She said it's lower than usual, especially considering they send out 4,400 jury notices sent out each week.

There was a slip-up on the court's part in January when 4,400 jury summons didn't get mailed. The jury coordinator told Broom that mishap didn't affect any of the people called before the judge Wednesday.

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