Catticus and Advocatticus

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Boston cat called to jury duty

 

A cat in Boston has been called to jury duty even though his owner has insisted to court officials that the cat cannot speak English.

Sal the cat recently received a summons to appear at Suffolk Superior Court on March 23.

His owners, Anna and Guy Esposito, filed to have Sal disqualified for jury service, but the request was denied.

In her application, Anna Esposito said that Sal “is unable to speak and understand English,” one of 10 statutory qualifications for disqualification from service. (Others include “not a United States citizen,” “under age 18” and “over age 70.”)

The judicial branch website states that U.S. citizens who “do not speak and understand English sufficiently well may be disqualified.”

“Jurors are not expected to speak perfect English,” it specifies.

The Espositos believe Sal may have been mistakenly listed after they named him on a recent U.S. census in a question about pet ownership.

According to the Massachusetts Judicial Branch, “prospective jurors are selected randomly by computer from a Master Juror List … using street lists submitted annually by each city and town.”

“Take caution – those who hide the favourite cat toys, spend too much time with the dog or not enough time scratching behind your feline’s ears! You may find yourself under your cat’s scrutiny in the courtroom.”

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