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Some Tarrant County Jury Duty Checks Bounce After Service

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - To some, jury duty is an inconvenience. To others, it's an honor and a civic duty. But no matter how it's viewed, Tarrant County jurors have been getting an unwelcomed surprise long after they leave the courtroom: Bounced checks.

Jurors are paid $6 for their first day and $40 for every day after that. The paycheck doesn't exceed more than $200. Dozens of these have bounced, and there could be more.

Lynne Clem of Grapevine is a yoga instructor and mortgage loan officer. She's breathing much easier now after receiving another check Thursday for serving on jury duty in Tarrant County three weeks ago.

The first check she received from Tarrant County bounced.

"I was like, 'What the heck? What's going on?" Clem said.

Lynne Clem is self-employed and took off work to serve.

"So, I feel like they didn't do their part," Clem said.

Tarrant County said its bank, JP Morgan Chase, closed the account when two fraudulent checks were presented.

"That was an error," said Tarrant County Auditor Renee Tidwell, said, " They've accepted responsibility and are making everyone whole for any fees or charges."

That should've solved the problem, but it didn't.

"Today we came in and found they had yesterday closed the account in error related to the previous incident," Tidwell said.

Like Clem, other jurors could have trouble cashing their jury checks, Though Tarrant County thinks it will only be a few and is now working on safeguards to keep it from happening again.

"I don't understand why it would take so long to put something like that in place or why it's not in place in the first place," Clem said.

Tarrant County has a safeguard called "Positive Pay" or other accounts. They hope to have it in place for the jury account in 60 days.

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