A cat named Tabby Sal has been summoned to do jury duty in the US despite its owners telling the court that he was “unable to speak and understand English”.
Sal’s owner’s Anna Esposito wrote to Suffolk Superior Crown Court in Boston, stating that they had made a mistake, The Telegraph (UK) reported.
She even included a letter from her vet confirming that the cat was “a domestic short-haired neutered feline.” But a jury commissioner said the cat must attend court on March 23.
Anna wrote her Sal’s name under ‘pets’ on the last census – she crossed out ‘dogs’ and said he was a cat. “When they ask him guilty or not guilty? What’s he supposed to say – miaow?” she said. “Sal is a member of the family so I listed him on the last Census form under pets but there has clearly been a mix-up.”
Husband Guy added: “I said, Sal, what’s this? I was shocked. He likes to sit on my knee and watch crime shows with me but even so he’s still under qualified for jury duty if you ask me.'”
There are ten statutory disqualifications preventing people from serving on a jury – and Mrs Esposito said Sal was not suitable because he could not understand the language.
However, a website for the U.S. judicial system states that jurors are “not expected to speak perfect English.”
The other exemptions did not apply because Sal was not ill, too old or a convicted felon. It is thought he accidentally ended up on the juror list when paperwork was misread at the last census. [via The Telegraph (UK) and Daily Mail (UK)]