April 16, 2014 / 8:04 PM / 4 years ago

Every dog has his day in court, in New Jersey

IV, a 5 year-old German Shepherd dog belonging to Barrett Griner IV, is seen in an undated photo in Bridgeton, New Jersey. REUTERS/Barrett Griner Iv/handout via Reuters

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.

A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty, court officials in New Jersey’s Cumberland County said on Wednesday.

Barrett Griner IV, of Bridgeton, said he opened a jury summons on Friday addressed to “IV Griner,” the name of his 5-year-old dog.

“It was just funny,” he said. “I got mail for my dog.”

The vaccination certificate of IV, a 5 year-old German Shepherd belonging to Barrett Griner IV, is seen below a summons for the dog to attend jury duty in an undated photo taken at the family home in Bridgeton, New Jersey. REUTERS/Barrett Griner Iv/Handout via Reuters

The court did not actually request that a dog serve on a jury, said Mark Sprock, the local trial court administrator. He said a computer probably misread Griner’s numerical suffix IV as his first name.

“It probably picked up that IV, which is usually after his name, from one of the databases and put it into his first name slot in the jury system,” Sprock said.

IV, a 5 year-old German Shepherd dog belonging to Barrett Griner IV, is seen in an undated photo at the family home in Bridgeton, New Jersey. REUTERS/Barrett Griner Iv/handout via Reuters

Typically, someone getting such an erroneous jury summons can call the court offices and the error will be fixed, he said.

Griner, 40, who works as a treatment plant operator at the local water department, said he hasn’t yet made that call.

“I hope that the judge finds it kind of humorous,” he said. “That’s all I need is to have the local county and judge think I‘m making a mockery of his courtroom.”

Reporting by Curtis Skinner; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Gunna Dickson

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