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Unhappy, Cursing Juror Fined $500 for Courtroom Outburst

By Brett Snider, Esq. | Last updated on

A Pennsylvania woman was fined $500 by a judge for audibly cursing in open court after being chosen for a criminal jury.

The ever-genteel Kathleen Port was picked as a juror in a weapons case, much to her chagrin. She thanked the court by uttering what a reporter described as "the worst curse word of them all," and was held in contempt of court by the trial judge, reports Erie Times-News.

We all know what rough seas jury duty can be, but there's no need to curse like a sailor.

Juror Civility? F- that S-

Fast on the track to becoming the Erie County court system's newest "bad girl," Port was quickly kicked off the jury by Judge Ernest J. DiSantis and given a $500 fine for her saucy language, reports the Erie Times-News.

The fine for contempt of court is actually a criminal penalty -- a judicial bar of soap meant to wash out Port's dirty mouth like some sort of government Orbitz commercial.

This may seem excessive in light of Pennsylvania's law which states the limit for contempt fines is $100, but perhaps this is a special case.

Harsh Contempt Penalties

Think that Port got the wrong end of the broom when the judge swept her out of the courtroom for her filthy language?

*In "Twilight Zone" voice*: Consider Robert Peoples, a less than mild-mannered appellant who told a judge to "get the f--- off all my cases" and found himself charged with contempt and an extra jail sentence.

Another doe-eyed defendant, Kane Kellet, flipped the bird to his arraigning judge, a vulgarity sundae topped off with a "f---" cherry, which may have had had him saying "nuts" to an added six-month jail sentence.

What's Next for Port?

So what now for the disgruntled ex-juror? Speaking engagements? Book sales? Howard Stern?

While paying the fine to the court, without cursing out loud, seems like a more likely option, Ms. Port might also benefit from politeness guru Miss Manners' syndicated column in The Washington Post.

For others who are similarly vexed by having to serve on a jury, a better solution than dropping F-, S-, or C-bombs is to recognize that even judges have to serve jury duty. So save the cursing for friends and loved ones.

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