Couple in Court for “Offensive” Jury Summons

SCRANTON — The next time you get a summons in the mail for jury duty don’t do what one couple in Lackawanna County did.

They ended up in front of a judge today for the way they responded to their call for duty.

Tina Keller and Drayke Jacobs-Van-Tol of Taylor told Newswatch 16 they never expected that a summons for jury duty would find them in a courtroom on the wrong side of the juror’s box. A Lackawanna County judge cited the pair for contempt of court because the judge said the language the couple sent back on that jury summons was offensive.

Many of us may have received a summons for jury duty along with a lengthy list of questions in the mail. But one that was returned to the courthouse in Scranton this month had unusual answers about personal history and employment. The answers were offensive enough that Newswatch 16 can’t show you the language.

After sending it in, Tina Keller and her fiancé Drayke Jacobs-Van-Tol of Taylor were served with more paperwork telling them to answer to a contempt of court citation filed by a judge. The judge later decided to dismiss the citation. But, not without a very stern warning.

Keller said she understood why the judge wanted to make an example of them.

“After reading that, absolutely. I’m surprised he didn’t give him jail time. But that’s my opinion,” Keller said to Newswatch 16.

Keller claimed in court that she let Jacobs-Van-Tol fill out the paperwork. Then she signed it without checking his answers. Jacobs-Van-Tol’s responses included profanity, crude language, and racial slurs.

“What happened today was really an affront to the dignity of the courts and the sanctity of the jury trial system,” said Lackawanna County Judge Vito Geroulo.

Judge Geroulo made the call to put the couple in contempt of court saying he has never seen a summons response like the one Jacobs-Van-Tol wrote.

Judge Geroulo decided to dismiss the contempt citation because he said it seemed the pair learned their lesson.

When asked why he wrote the responses, Drayke Jacobs-Van-Tol told Newswatch 16, “I thought it was a joke, honestly.”

Judge Geroulo said the hearing Tuesday did cost Lackawanna County some extra money and time on the part of courthouse staff. He said he cited potential jurors once before in his career. But he said, that time was still nowhere near as offensive as this one.

After the hearing, Tina Keller was told to fill out a new summons questionnaire.

38 comments

  • lolo

    Let’s just hope these two geniuses don’t breed! I hope they learned a lesson here. Have someone who is literate read them their mail and explain it to them in terms they can understand. I can’t wait, people like this are our country’s future?

  • Amy

    Too bad the judge didn’t give them at least 1 or 2 days in the joint, maybe they would be so scared that they would actually become productive members of society, not likely though…… LOL

  • Eric

    This is just another example of karma at work here in NEPA. Karma comes in all forms, just like this situation. I’m well aware most people in NEPA don’t believe in karma because it would completely and totally explain why they deserve to be suffering and why they will continue to suffer. The disgusting behavior of the past several generations of WHITE rednecks in this area is what has caused this area’s problems. No decent person is willing to live next to a someone like that. During the housing boom nearly 25% of the local population left this area, basically overnight, the very second they could afford to leave. Why? Because of the people. Locals blame the problems on minorities, the government, lawyers, the homeless, corrupt cops, judges etc. They need to look in the mirror. This area is, always has been and always be a slum because of the violent, uneducated, abusive white rednecks who call it home. FYI i am as white so you cannot use that typical excuse to feel better about yourself.

  • Charly Lucky

    GIVE ME A FRIGGIN BREAK !!!!!
    Judge said “an affront to the dignity of the courts and the sanctity of the jury trial system.” Is he kidding us or what????
    Has he read the news headlines the last few years? Or watched the news on TV?? The Lackawanna and Luzerne county courthouses, and all who work in them, are the affrontery of the dignity of the courts !!!! Thye run it like it is their own private business. Handing down jobs to relatives and friends. Taking with both hands, filling their pockets up nicely nicely.

  • Mike

    Enough about the judge and courts. Bottom line is these 2 boneheads are uneducated fools who feel they are entitled. Maybe they should start paying attention in school and to current events in the news. If theyre actually this stupid, they will get picked off by “God” eventually…pathetic.

  • Sundown

    These two remind me of the shining star that started the fire at Walmart just because he was bored…shining stars these young adults these days clearly have issues with arrested development..

  • AFINKSTER

    The Liberals want to try and clean up the Image of the Courts in N.E. Pennsylvania because of all the corrupt judges there lately. Takes the attention off the courts and puts it on the citizens who are Idiots.

    The conclusion has to be, the courts are smarter than the citizens.

  • Stacie

    It was contempt of court. Do any of you know what that means?

    Contempt means An act of deliberate disobedience or disregard for the laws, regulations, or decorum of a public authority, such as a court or legislative body.

    They were definitely in contempt! Regardless of who filled it out they individually signed it. They should be held accountable for what they did.

    We have the right to say what we want; however, it doesn’t mean that we are subjected to consequences.

    They should be used as examples. Just because the justice system doesn’t always seem “fair” doesn’t give people the right to do whatever they want.

    Racial slurs?? Really? It’s 2014 not 1940…..come on!

  • Legal Expert

    It’s not Freedom Of Speech to LIE ON A JURY SUMMONS with fake and offensive answers. You fill it out appropriately and take your turn. If at some point you decide to write a letter to the judge filled with profanity and racial slurs, THAT is your Freedom of Speech. A jury summons is a legal document and you fill it out with the exact information they’re asking for. Freedom of Speech does not mean you can say whatever you want whenever you want with no consequences.

  • Sam Spade

    I also love how the judge said this was “an affront to the dignity of the courts and the sanctity of the jury trial system”

    LOLOLOL! Spare me! The U.S justice system is a JOKE. Look at how many people get off scott free of their crimes, how many corrupt judges and lawyers are caught every year in scandals, people put in jail for crimes they didn’t commit, and every day in the news you see another story of a scumbag cop attacking an innocent, shooting a dog, or just beign a general scumbag. Then these cops are always found not guilty. SPARE ME! This is hilarious.

  • Dan

    Usual Lackawanna Co. BS…judges think they are god. Minus threats write what you want under freedom of speech. Instead we waste time and court room time playing games and showing someone you’re a judge and will do what you want. Saw how well that worked with Luzerrne Co judges. Vito….you are stupid and dumb. File that.

  • Jesus Follower77

    God bless this other comment-er. I must say, this couple really needs to go to a Sunday sermon instead of jail to learn a valuable lesson about morale’s and the proper way to conduct himself as an american citizen.

    Perhaps we should send some Catholics to his door step to lead him down the right path. I pray for you Drayke, Amen.

  • ME

    Stupid is as stupid does. It’s really disgusting that this young couple or man at least has such disrespect for the courts and our country, that they would do such thing. It’s sad to think this is the future of our country. God help it.

    • Professor

      Why would anybody have disrespect for any judges in Lackawanna or Luzerne county? They are all corrupt thieves and scumbags whom if they did their job properly, this area would not be a haven for all the druggies ,alcoholics and crackheads.

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