Woman claims dead mother summoned for jury duty, expected in court after death certificate ‘denied’

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- A Guilford County woman claims her dead mother, who was recently summoned for jury duty, was notified by mail that she is expected to be in court in July after her death certificate and obituary were "denied."

Anne Nelson said she's tired of fighting with the clerk's office over whether or not her mother, Mary, should serve jury duty next month.

Mary has been dead since 2010.

Nelson said she responded to the first jury summons a few weeks ago by criticizing the county's record keeping and attaching both a death certificate and an obituary.

"They sent it all back to me with this letter saying my report had been denied, report as summoned," said Nelson. "It just floored me."

When FOX8 took Nelson’s complaint to the Guilford County Clerk’s Office, they looked over the paperwork. A spokeswoman for the office said the only explanation for the jury exemption denial is that Nelson never submitted the death records that were requested.

That’s something Nelson denies.

Nelson has the option to appeal the ruling in person but doesn’t think she should have to.

“I'm going to type a letter to the three people at the top of the jury excuse denial letter and say this is the end, this is what I got in response when we requested her name to be removed,” said Nelson.

Another concern for Nelson is the fact that the jury summons came to her home and not her mother’s former home.

“Where did they get this?” Nelson wondered. “It wasn't off her driver's license, it wasn't off her water bill, it wasn't off anything they say they use.”

"This is just scary to me because this never existed -- her name and my address.”

Mary was permanently excused from jury duty 9 years before her death at 81 for medical reasons. Nelson said the county could have cross-checked her name with their records and avoided the jury summons, but the spokeswoman for the clerk’s office said their records for jury exclusions don’t go back that far.

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