Jurors play an essential role in the trial of civil and criminal cases. Although many people do not know what to expect from jury service, most look back upon it as a rewarding experience. Jury service is a tangible, challenging, and indispensable contribution to our country.
How was I chosen for jury service?
Potential jurors are selected randomly by the jury commissioners using lists designated by the
courts, such as the voter registration list and the driver’s license list. In some courts, this is done by hand, and in others, it is done by computer. Either way, the selection method is designed to produce a cross section of the community. Men and women over 18 years of age and from all walks of life have an equal opportunity to be called for jury service.
Do I have to respond to the summons to jury service?
Yes. The summons to jury service is an official court summons. If you do not respond, you
could be held in contempt of court!
What if I can’t perform jury service right now?
Your term of jury service might disturb your regular pattern of work and other activities. If this disruption causes you genuine hardship, not just inconvenience, it may be possible for you to defer your service to another time. However, this is done only in cases of extreme hardship or need. The judge decides whether your jury service can be deferred. If you feel that you can’t perform your jury service at this time, call the number listed on your summons to discuss your situation.
You won’t be excused because your jury service is inconvenient or because you have a busy
schedule, but you may be for reasons such as a physical ailment. If you have special conflicts on a particular day during the term, the court may excuse you on those days.
For more Q & A on jury service in Virginia, click Virginia Circuit Court Jury Answer Book