- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 2, 2016

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) - Hundreds of Jackson County citizens received jury summons that instructed them to call a sex hotline.

Multiple news outlets report that at least 350 jury summons with the incorrect phone number were sent out to potential jurors.

Circuit Clerk Randy Carney says people started calling the circuit clerk’s office Monday morning to report the problem. Others stopped by in person to address the issue.

The Circuit Clerk’s office has a contract with a company to send out the summons, and they draft the telephone numbers. Carney said he plans to get to the bottom of what happened.

Carney has drafted an apology letter that will go out those who received the erroneous summons. He says he doesn’t know if his office will be liable for costs associated with any potential jurors billed for using the hotline.

Carney added that he will personally review summons before they’re mailed out from now on.

If anyone called the sex hotline, which Carney said he did not, it gave callers the option of selecting 1 or 2 to specify whether they were a man or woman. If anyone proceeded with the call, Carney said, “I’m assuming there may be a charge.”

Carney believes most residents realized it was a mistake and hung up.

“I would hope you realize there is an error in that number,” he said.

Most calls for sex over the phone charge customers money.

In the letter, Carney asks potential jurors to “please accept my apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

Carney did not want to identify the company that prepared the summons, but said it had been preparing them for years prior to his taking office in January.

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