HR Strange But True!
August 22, 2002

Given a summons for federal jury duty and told that he should keep August free of commitments, San Antonio, Texas, computer consultant "Peterson" wrote back to court officials with this response: Sure, I'll serve - at my normal rate of $100 an hour.

He prepared an invoice of $16,800, charging the government for "court-ordered professional services for the entire month of August 2002." Along with the invoice, reports the San Antonio Express-News, was a warning that the bill would come due at the end of August and would begin accumulating interest at 2 percent a month if not paid.

Peterson even mailed the invoice two more times, after getting no response.

Then came a form telling him to report on Aug. 26 for a seven-week trial. Rather than send the invoice a fourth time, he wrote back that he could afford to be away from his business for seven weeks and asked that his jury duty be postponed until next year - just as it had been in 2000 and 2001. He added: "If you would like to meet and discuss this, please have his honor call and schedule an appointment."

U.S. District Judge Fred Biery's answer showed up on Peterson's fax machine ASAP..

"The Court is happy to accommodate Mr. Peterson's suggestion for an appointment: Mr. Peterson is HEREBY ORDERED TO APPEAR in Courtroom 2 of the John H. Wood Jr. United States Courthouse to show cause why he should not be held in CONTEMPT OF THE COURT AND JAILED ACCORDINGLY."

Peterson said he would show up for the hearing.

Source: The San Antonio Express-News

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