ST. CLOUD (AP) -- An Internet greeting card intended as a joke wasn't taken that way by courts in Minnesota and across the country.
The e-mail joke originated in New Jersey and looks like a jury duty notification. Although the Web site posting the cards removed them on Friday, court administrators remain concerned the public won't be able to tell the online gag is just that.
"I think what throws people off is that it pops up a very official-looking jury questionnaire," said Karl Thoennes, Stearns County court administrator.
The greeting card makes viewers answer a series of questions, Thoennes said, opening a new window with each click of an answer. The questions inquire about U.S. citizenship, a person's criminal record and other sometimes-personal questions, getting "sillier and sillier" with each new screen, Thoennes said. It purports to be part of a new system of jury notification system that began Jan. 1.
It also tells the viewer they are summoned to jury duty, to be ready to serve during a certain time frame and that failure to respond could lead to fines.
"There was quite a bit of activity in New Jersey and some in Michigan," Thoennes said. "The state court administration office in Minnesota surveyed the courts a week ago and it has spread across Minnesota."
The state doesn't notify any potential jurors by computer, although computers can be used to generate the lists of potential jurors from voting and driver's license records.
"All jury notification is done by first-class mail," Thoennes said.
Numerous courts across the country have called the operators of the Web site to complain about the "joke," Thoennes said.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.