Dog Chosen for Jury Duty?

By Queen Muse
|  Tuesday, Apr 15, 2014  |  Updated 11:45 AM EDT
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Dog Chosen for Jury Duty?

Barrett Griner, IV

"She [the dog] might be good for a cat burglar case or something like that," said IV's owner, Barrett Griner, IV.

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"It’s kinda strange."

That was New Jersey resident Barrett Griner's first thought when he checked his mail last week and found that one of the mail items from his local county clerk's office was not for him. It was for his 5-year-old German Shepherd dog, IV.

"I got the mail and I look at it, and I’m like IV Griner, this is my dog’s name," he said.

"I’m wondering like, What is this? Something from the county office about her vaccinations or something? Like, why is my dog getting mail?"

The notice, addressed from the Cumberland County Clerk of Courts, was a juror summons for someone with the first name IV and the last name Griner -- the exact name Barrett Griner IV says he legally gave to his dog.

"She’s a female, so I named her 'IV' without the 'Y' as sort of a play on words. Somebody had to physically type in that name and they didn’t pay any bit of attention to it," he said.

As it turns out, the mix-up was actually due to a fairly common computer error.

Cumberland County Judiciary Coordinator Dennis Moffa said the county's jury duty notices are computer-generated in District Court offices in Trenton, N.J., and frequently include name errors.

"This happens many times. As an example, if you had John Henry IV, sometimes the notice might just say Henry IV," Moffa said. "I think that the computer probably randomly picks some things that are probably not as on point as they should be."

Barrett Griner IV said he's still unsure whether the summons were meant for him or not. He says he's received jury duty notices from the county before, but they've always included his full name.

Moffa said the discrepancy can easily be resolved with a call to the county clerk's office.

"They call here and they provide us with information from the summons and additional identifying information, and we can determine who the summons is actually for," he said.

For Barrett Griner IV, the mix-up was more humorous than anything else.

"She [the dog] might be good for a cat burglar case or something like that," he added. "The whole thing was just really, really funny."

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