For the second time in his life, 9-year-old Jacob Clark was recently invited to join a jury of his peers.
But that jury wasn’t congregating on the elementary school playground: Clark was summoned to appear in Orleans District Court in Massachusetts on April 18 for jury selection.
“I looked at it and said, ‘This is ridiculous!’” Jacob’s grandmother, Deborah Clark, told ABCNews.com.
The Yarmouth, Mass., third grader was summoned to jury duty once before, when he was 2 years old.
Clark said her grandson’s birth year had been listed as 1982, instead of 2002.
When Jacob got home from school last week, Clark told Jacob about the notice.
“At first he thought of jury duty and going to court meant he did something wrong,” Clark said.
She and the boy’s father, Robby Clark, used the experience as a way to teach Jacob a lesson about civic duty.
“We explained to him what it is… When a bunch of people get together and sit and listen to the pros and cons and decide whether a person is guilty or not guilty,” she said. “I asked him if he wanted to go. I said it’s a day off from school and you get lunch.”
The 9-year-old then became excited.
“He goes: ‘I want to be a Yarmouth police officer so maybe this will help me,’” Clark said.
As for the court? Clark said they had no trouble believing Jacob was only half the minimum age to serve.
“My son filled out the bottom half and sent it in stating his age,” she said.
One follow-up call later, Jacob was in the clear and free to go mingle with peers closer to his own age.