In various parts of the United States, including in the District of Maryland, citizens are being targeted by phone calls threatening them with arrest for a missed summons for jury service in federal court. The callers have impersonated court officials, U.S. Marshals, and other state and federal law enforcement officers and have telephoned random victims to convince them to pay a fine to avoid arrest for failing to appear for jury duty. The callers insisted that their victims arrange to meet them with cash or prepaid credit cards. Fraudulent callers sometimes disguse their phone numbers so that they appear to be court or law enforcement numbers on the recipients' caller ID. They also may transfer victims during the calls to create the illusion that they are speaking with government offices.
These phone calls are fraudulent and have no connection to either the United States District Court or to the United States Marshals Service.
Neither this Court nor any other law enforcement agency will ever call someone to request the payment of a fine over the telephone for failure to appear for jury duty. Typically, jurors who miss jury duty will be contacted by the Clerk’s Office and may, in certain circumstances, be ordered to appear in court before a judge. Any fine for failure to appear for jury duty will be imposed by a judge during an open session of court, and the summoned juror will be given the opportunity to explain the failure to appear.
If anyone is contacted or has been contacted by someone requesting such payments, please do not make the payment and instead immediately report the details of the incident to the FBI’s Maryland Field Office at (410) 265-8080. For questions about jury service, including confirming whether you have been summoned for jury service, please contact the Clerk’s Office at 410-962-3090.