A Haltom City man is stuck in a legal loophole in his attempts to get out of jury duty.
Harold Faber thought he had a get-out-of-jury-duty-free card because he says he’s a felon. A conviction disqualifies any person from serving on a jury, but Tarrant County has no record of his alleged convictions.
“I don't have no rights no more,” said Faber. “I can't vote; I can't do nothing.”
Faber was surprised when a jury summons arrived in his mailbox earlier this month. The 43-year-old factory worker and part-time welder says he was convicted of delivery of marijuana in Lubbock in 1994.
He says while he was on probation, he was arrested for being a felon in possession of a firearm and spent nearly five years in state and federal prison.
“I started in Abilene,” said Faber. “From there, I went to Hutchison Unit in Dallas, and then from Hutchison Unit, I went to Huntsville.”
But FOX 4 couldn't find any record of it; nor could Tarrant County's jury bailiff.
“He did try to claim his disqualification and we were unable to accept it because we didn't have the correct information,” said Paula Morales, Tarrant County jury bailiff.
Faber signed and mailed an affidavit with the date and county of his convictions, asking to be removed from the jury list.
But the bailiff’s records only show offenses in Tarrant County; not in the rest of the state. So Faber was denied and sent a second summons.
From what Morales understands, all district court clerks report felony convictions to the state, which then trickle back down to jury services.
“My source list comes from DPS records, which include driver's license and ID cards, and then voter registrations,” said Morales. “All of that gets sent to the secretary of state. They make sure there aren't any duplications, and then they send it to me. So, if the source is not correct, then it comes to me as wrong.”
The only evidence of an arrest that FOX 4 could find is a mug shot from a 2004 drug arrest that violated Faber's parole. But no records indicate what he was on parole for.
“I feel like I'm trying to do the right thing,” said Faber. “That's why I keep saying, 'No, I can't do this,’ and they keep, like, insisting that I'm going to have to do it.”
Similar screw-ups happen with the deceased and those who've changed their names or moved.
If the updated information isn't reported to the county, then the wrong name or deceased person stays on the county's list to be summoned for jury duty.
So it's up to individuals to change that information.
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