Fed up with mixups, Kalkaska County will privatize juror notification

Kalkaska County Clerk Patricia Rodgers will no longer be responsible or contacting prospective jurors; that duty will be privatized following a series of juror mixups that consumed the patience of trial court administrator Rudi Edel.

The trouble started on Oct. 10 when no jurors showed up for a probate court trial. Then, on Oct. 26, lawyers, witnesses and a judge all showed up for an animal cruelty trial in district court-but no jurors. Then, on Nov. 29, only 10 people out of a jury pool of 32 showed up for a district court trial. Many of the no-shows reportedly had called up the night before and listened to an answering machine message from the Clerk's office, saying the trial had been cancelled.

Rodgers told the Associated Press the mixups were not the fault of her office, and blamed them on the mail and the district court's office. Nevertheless, Edel will contract out this part of the county's jury selection process, at county expense, and have his own employees carry out related duties.