Think Before You Friend

Court official suspended for friend request

Lesson learned:  If you’re a court official you will be suspended from work if you “friend” a juror on Facebook.

That’s what happened to Philadelphia court officer Nicholas Stampone Jr., 50, after he went online and sent a friend request to a juror in the courtroom where he worked, First Judicial District court administrator David C. Lawrence told the Philadelphia Daily News.

"He asked to be her friend. She initially said no, and I believe she subsequently said yes," Lawrence said. "No court employee should have anything other than strictly business contact with a juror," he said. "Period!"

Stampone was suspended for 10 days for “inappropriate contact with a juror”, according to the paper.

He was reassigned to another courtroom with no jury contact upon returning to work on April 17 with the understanding he would be fired if he did this again.

Social networking sites are complicating the courts.  In March, a juror in the Sen. Vincent Fumo trial posted messages on Facebook and Twitter regarding the verdict announcement.

Fumo’s attorneys asked for a mistrial, but were denied.

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