Swine flu scare disrupts Bucks County Court…

December 23, 2009

Did you hear the one about the Bucks County juror who claimed to have swine flu?

People go to some pretty outrageous extremes to get out of doing things they don't want to do, but in this case, juror DiCicco claims he was looking forward to jury duty and was, in fact, "really curious" about the process.

As you may recall, tensions surrounding any mention of swine flu ran pretty high back in the spring and early summer. Video clips of people in Mexico wearing facemasks were still very fresh in our minds, legions of spring-breakers canceled travel plans, plus there were constant reminders by our local newscasters of the coming pandemic, and, of course, a certain politician declaring railcars and airplanes to be virtual petri dishes filled with swine flu bacteria. People were scared and very cautious.

Then, there's Anthony DiCicco, a 24 year old Jamison, PA resident who was called to report for jury duty on July 13, 2009 at the Bucks County Courthouse in Doylestown. Upon being interviewed by lawyers on both sides of a medical malpractice case, Mr. DiCicco was selected to serve as a juror.

During the lunch break on July 13, Mr. DiCiccio approached a court official, stating that he had just gotten a message from his doctor's office saying test results showed he was sick with swine flu. The news of Mr. DiCiccio's illness was delivered to Judge Waite, the presiding judge in the case on which DiCiccio was serving as a juror. Judge Waite reacted with the declaration of a mistrial and sent the entire jury home, along with the entire jury pool and court personnel because they had all come in contact with the allegedly infected DiCiccio that day.

A fellow juror who observed odd behavior from DiCiccio following the action taken by the judge informed the court that DiCiccio may not have been totally honest about his health issues. Bucks County detectives were assigned to look into the matter of Mr. DiCiccio's specific health claims. Soon after, civil contempt charges were filed against DiCiccio.

As part of their investigation, Bucks County detectives make inquiries into the validity of Mr. DiCiccio's claim of a swine flu diagnosis. The nurse practitioner at the doctor's office from whom DiCicco claimed to have received a message testified at the contempt of court hearing that there had been no swine flu diagnosis issued for DiCiccio and no call made to DiCiccio by their office on July 13.

Not only did Mr. DiCiccio's act of poor judgment cause concern to many he had come in contact with that day and completely disrupt the court's busy schedule, but there is also a monetary cost to Bucks County and both parties involved in the medical malpractice case, which will now have to begin anew.

Mr. DiCiccio's contempt of court case was heard by judge Clyde W. Waite, coincidentally. DiCiccio was found to be in contempt of court for faking a diagnosis of swine flu and was sentenced to serve three days. These days will not be served in jail, however, but rather at the courthouse. Judge Waite ordered Mr. DiCiccio to spend three days in the Doylestown courthouse observing various jury trials.

A unique punishment was handed down by the judge, some would say. Does it fit the crime?

3 comments:

Anonymous,  December 24, 2009 at 10:59 AM  

What about patient client privledge? I didnt think the State could infiltrate this privledge. If they could, the State of Florida could have at will gotten Tiger's toxicology report the the hospital. DUI is also a public concern.

I do not like the appearant violation of rights.

Violations of public intrests goes both ways, many ways.

I f the juror wanted to get ut of jury duty in this case, all he needed to say was he doesnt trust doctors or insurance companies, .... and simply refuses to put his beliefs asaid.

The courts can ask a juror to do it, .. but the CONSITITION OF THE UNITED STATES ALOWS FOR A PERSON TO MAINTAIN HIS BELIEFS, AND THAT PERSON HAS AN OBLIGATION TO TELL THE COURT HE CAN NOT , WILL, NOT IMPARTIAL, .. AND THE ONLY RECOURSE WOULD BE TO LET HIM OUT OF JURY DUTY. NO OTHER RECOURSE.

IT IS NOT AGAINST THE LAW TO TELL A JUDGE YOU SIMPLY REFUSE TO BE IMPARTIAL.


so, a few different things were going on here.

The total cost to the court, lawyers, jurors, staff, .... everyone, had to have been over 10,000 dollars. This cost wouyld have been the same had he realy had swin e flu.

hOWEVER, PRIOVING HE DIDNT IS A CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUE i AM SURE GOT SWEPT UNDER THE RUG.

The man may have recourse in us distrcit court, filing a us tiotle 28, section 2201.

jim

Anonymous,  December 30, 2009 at 9:54 AM  

Alst tiem i went to jury duty,..... must have been in 2003 or 2004 sometime I think. There were over 300 potential jurors in the main pool. They would call maybe 20 for a criminal case, or 12 for a civil, to then go up to a court room and get called to the jury box, then questinoed by thejudge and lawyers.

I was called to a jury box for a criminal case.

The case was about a guy , in his 20's i thought,.. who would sit at his window in a townshous or condo/apartment, and look out the window,..
The ladt who lived across the way filed a complaint thet he was staring in her window, form his wondow. The police claim they went there and saw him sitting at his window looking out.

The charges were rather srious because the case was in county court, not municipal.

I di dnot have to hear the evidence to know the police railriaded and over charged this man.

In NJ, you are allowed to look out your own window, at anything you want to,.. and if you do not want someone to see in youre window, you can use window shades or blinds.

WEll, I raised my hand and told the jusde i wanted to speak to him at the side bar.

I went up to the judge witht he lawyers and said "your honor, I do not trust the police,.....I have had run ins with th epolice where they have completewly falisified evidence and reports. And thier is no way I can be impartial in a case invovling the police".

I was let out , back into the main pool downstairs.

I was never called for jury duty again.

jim

Anonymous,  December 30, 2009 at 11:57 AM  

another pont ----
I could have hung the jury, regardless of the evidence. I was going to vote not guilty no matter what,... bnecause I know in my heart the police lie to make a case.
Plus the case was idiotic to begin with. There was no lewd conduct being asserted, no harrassment, no bioculars or telescope ----- Just a man sitting at his bedroom window looking out.

This behavoir, although could appear strange to someone viewing it,... can not be presumed to be criminal, or even that weird.

I know when I lived in the bedroom i th eback of my rewsidence, I used to sit at the wondow in bed at night and smoke cigaretts, looking out the window , all thge time. It is not a crime to do this.

Just because the condos/townhouses/ apartments are closer together in georgraphic location, doesnt make it a crime to look out your window.

In fact,.... it is a crime to do the opposite,.... to look into someones home.

There was no way for anyone to have seen this man inside his own home, lookin gout his window,,,, unless someone was looking in at him.

Catch 22.

I would have hung that jury.

Instead of hanging the jury based on bias going into the case,.. especially becaus eof the bias I have against th epolice,.....

I DI DTHE CORRECT THING. I TOLD THE JUDGE I COULD NOT BE IMPARTIAL.

WAS THAT NOT THE CORRECT THING TO DO?

SHOULD I FEEL BAD FOR HELPING ENSURE BOTH THE STATE AND DEFENDANT GOT A FAIR TRIAL, TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY, BY ASKING THE JUDGE TO REMOVE ME FROM THEJURY?

I THINK I DID THE EXACT CPRRECT THING.

now, the defense attorney, was arguing, wait a minute, thats no reason to let him opff the jury,...lol...... th ejudge knew , as i stated, i was voting not guilty, no matter what, before the trial began,..

he had to let me off the jury.

it was not a crime for me to have said what i said. it was my obligation to have done exactly what i did.

see, i was tryin got do the right thing, be a nice guy,,, and not waste anyones time, and intentionally possibly hanging a jury because i know in my heart the police are liars.

did i do the right thing?

Jim

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