Trump reports for New York jury duty

  • 19/08/2015
"It's my duty, and I'm happy to do it," Trump told journalists gathered on the steps of the New York Supreme Court (AAP)
"It's my duty, and I'm happy to do it," Trump told journalists gathered on the steps of the New York Supreme Court (AAP)

Business tycoon Donald Trump has put on hold his election campaign and spent much of it in a courtroom waiting to be chosen as part of a jury.

Trump so far has been leading the polls as the favourite Republican candidate.

"It's my duty, and I'm happy to do it," Trump told journalists gathered on the steps of the New York Supreme Court in central Manhattan, New York, on Monday (local time) just before entering the building.

The bombastic real estate magnate stepped out of a sleek black limo to be mobbed by media and supporters.

He strode up the sweeping steps of the court house surrounded by a phalanx of police, television cameras, journalists and photographers, signing an autograph for one fan and fist-bumping another.

Joe Lepore, a New York tour guide, was ecstatic that former reality TV star fist-bumped him upon seeing his small, handcrafted sign of support.

"2016 all the way, Donald. It's going to be a landslide," he shouted as Trump marched into court.

Trump's limo remained parked outside the court house, a rare sight on a street where parking is normally heavily restricted.

He entered shortly after 9am local time and with a lunch break, left five hours later without getting selected for any trial.

According to the media, Trump had previously ignored several court summons by the New York judicial authorities asking him to fulfil his duty.

Trump's representatives said, "Mr Trump's failure to appear for previous jury requests was the result of the unified court system's error in the mailing address, and not Mr Trump's refusal to uphold his civic duty."

In March, Trump had to pay a fine of US$250 for not attending a request to serve as a juror.

The presence of politicians and celebrities in New York courts is common, but they usually do not get selected as jury members.

Singer Madonna and filmmakers Woody Allen and Spike Lee are among those who went through the same process.

Trump acknowledged before entering the court he was not particularly interested in jury duty, but considered it an obligation.

Others who waited with the tycoon said he appeared bored.

To waiting journalists he made brief statements saying he had the opportunity to meet some very "interesting" people.

The Republican presidential candidate's appearance in the court forced him to put on hold an election campaign that is dominated by his personality and controversial statements, especially against immigrants.

AAP