Application For Criminal Complaint Issued Against Man Who Died In 2006

By Christina Hager, WBZ-TV

GEORGETOWN (CBS) – Michael Wylie has a pretty good reason for missing jury duty. He died five years ago. Now the state is going after him for skipping out on his jury service.

“I said, ‘If you want him, go get him,’” said his widow, Cindy Wylie.

Cindy Wylie received a letter in the mail from the MA Jury Commissioner Wednesday. It was an application for criminal complaint against her late husband, with a hearing date set for July.

When WBZ-TV notified Deputy Jury Commissioner John Cavanaugh that Wylie is dead, he said he needs proof, such a as a death certificate from his widow.

Cindy Wylie says she doesn’t have a copy handy and doesn’t feel she should have to go through the trouble of ordering a new one.

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports.

“It’s going to cost me time and money to get the paperwork. We pay a lot of money for our taxes, now they’re spending more money to send me this stuff every year. They can’t research that Mike is indeed dead?” said Cindy.

It first came up when Michael Wylie was called to jury duty in 2006. Since he was in hospice care dying of cancer, his wife replied that he would not be able to serve. State officials said they asked for a doctor’s note.

“I honestly don’t remember,” said Wylie.

Even though he died months later, his widow says the state has continued to send him letters about missing jury duty.

“Each year since then, we’ve called up, we’ve contacted them, we’ve sent back the form and wrote on it, ‘deceased,’” said Wylie.

Cavanaugh said unless Wylie sends a death certificate, an arraignment date will be set. If no one shows up for that, a criminal warrant will be issued. Wylie’s widow said she’d like to see authorities go ahead and try to arrest her husband, who is buried in a cemetery in Peabody.

More from Christina Hager
  • Mass Resident

    Since when is it the survivors job to police the stupidity of the state ? What if this man had no survivors ? We need to fire a few state workers and hire some new ones that have a few brains.

  • Marcia

    Seriously?! The man has been deceased for what 6 years, and the Jury Commissioner wants to issue a warrant for missing his call to service. The man was dying in a hospice center. God almighty, someone needs to get a clue.

  • Lori Bowen

    Are you KIDDING me?!?!

  • Sam

    This whole situation could have been avoided if the correct procedures were followed. Instead of doing what every other resposible adult would do, this woman chooses to play the role of a victim. If she did the right thing, you would not have heard of this story. Do you think her husband is the first dead person summoned for jury duty?

    These rules are in place for a reason. Otherwise, you’d have a bunch of clowns calling in and saying that they are dead so they can skip jury duty. Then the same people who are complaining about the poor treatment towards this woman would complain about how the jury system does not work. Grow up!!!

    • Steven Michaels

      In this world of electronic information there is no need to keep asking someone to produce a death certificate. They can find White Bulger they can find out if a man is dead. All the state has to do is cross reference the social security date base. The state is sending thousands of these letters out looking for dead people. The postage and labor being spent in the jury commissioners office then the labor being spent and scheduling court hearings in the courts is ridiculous. We are talking hundred’s of thousands of dollars being wasted when a computer will do the work in minutes cross checking the social security number and name of the person to see if there alive. Wake up people this is just another state spending that is wasting are money

  • Denise

    after all this time what a waste of taxpayer $$. However, I’m sure she has a copy of the obit and could have sent it to them the next time they sent her a letter. There are a number of people and places that need to be notified when someone dies – unfortunately the ones left behind aren’t always thinking straight when this happens. That’s one of the reasons preplanning is a good thing for everyone! But all in all – the city/state whomever – could have just as easily confirmed the death – but we all know they do as little as possible too!

  • Johnny

    Welcome to Taxachusetts!

  • Terry

    Mrs. Wylie will need a copy of Michael’s death certificate in order to collect Social Security and other benefits. It is in her interest either to find the copy she already has or get another copy, and then keep that copy in a safe place for future use.

    Sadly, if she doesn’t provide proof to the Jurry Commissioner that her husband is dead, some other Michael Wylie will end up getting arrested on this warrent (naver mind if his birthdate and birthplace are not the same, it happens all the time). That Michael Wylie will then have to spend thousands of dollars to clear his name.

    If Mrs. Wylie has to go to additional expense to get a copy of the death certificate, however, she should not mail the original to the court as she will never get it back. She can, in my opinion, mail in a photocopy to satisfy this requirement. (II’m not a lawyer, so don’t take this as legal advice.) Or she can go to the court herself with the certificate in hand and tell them to make their own damn copy. Whatever she does , she should not give the original to them “for their files”. Then she’ll just have to pay for another copy. This state really will get you every way it can.

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