“Ms. Heard had a right to rely on the basic protection, as prescribed by the Virginia Code, that the jurors in this trial would be individuals who were actually summoned for jury duty,” a new filing from the star read, Deadline reported.
“In this case, it appears that Juror No. 15 was not, in fact, the same individual as listed on the jury panel,” attorney Elaine Bredehoft added. “Ms. Heard’s due process was therefore compromised. Under these circumstances, a mistrial should be declared, and a new trial ordered.”
According to the filing, a summons was sent out to a Virginia resident in April of this year, but it seems like there are two people who live at the same address with "The same last name." One of them is 77 years old, while the other is 52.
The former was the one who was summoned, but the latter apparently was there for the trial. “Thus, the 52-year-old- (redacted) sitting on the jury for six weeks was never summoned for jury duty on April 11 and did not ‘appear in the list,’ as required,” the filing reads.
It looks like the younger individual made it all the way to the trial.
"As the Court no doubt agrees, it is deeply troubling for an individual not summoned for jury duty nonetheless to appear for jury duty and serve on a jury, especially in a case such as this. This was a high-profile case, where the fact and date of the jury trial were highly publicized prior to and after the issuance of the juror summonses. Virginia has in place statutory code provisions designed to ensure the person called for jury duty is the person arriving for jury duty," the docs read.
The message continues, "Fairfax County’s Juror Questionnaire webpage furthers this goal by requiring all County residents to login using their 7-digit Juror number, Zip code, and 'Birth Date.' Att. 5 (emphasis added). Those safeguards are in place and relied upon by the parties to verify the identity of the correct juror, to ensure due process and a fair trial for all litigants. When these safeguards are circumvented or not followed, as appears to be the case here, the right to a jury trial and due process are undermined and compromised."