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Once a year the Circuit Court notifies the Supreme Court of Virginia of the projected number of jurors that may be required for the following year. Using various lists such as Spotsylvania County Voter Registration or Department of Motor Vehicle lists, the Supreme Court creates a random list of the requested number of jurors.
Questionnaires are mailed out to each person on that list. When you return your questionnaire, you are entered into our Spotsylvania Circuit Court Jury Systems, Inc. program where you become part of the jury pool. Throughout the course of the year we utilize the jury program to again randomly choose the number of jurors required for each given month.
Those jurors are then summoned to juror orientation. 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.
Yes. Failure to return your questionnaire may result in your being summoned to the Clerk’s office to complete the form.
Yes. A summons is not an invitation nor a suggestion. A summons is a command from the Court. Failure to respond may result in your being held in Contempt of Court.
Jury service is a civil obligation. Jurors are an extremely important part of the judicial system. Without your service, justice would not be properly served.
However, it is understandable that sometimes we are summoned at the most impossible time. Rest assured that our Jury Coordinator, email Renee Foster, works very hard to help accommodate your schedule so you may fulfill your obligation. Requests for excusal on specific conflict days are almost always honored.
You won't be excused because jury service is inconvenient or because you have a busy schedule, but you may be excused or deferred for reasons such as a physical ailment. Requests for medical excusal or deferral must contain a note from your physician.
Your employer can't fire, demote, or otherwise penalize you for missing work while performing jury service. Many employers will continue to pay your salary while you are in jury service. Contact your employer to find out what the policy is at your job.
You will be reimbursed $50 per day for attendance for each day you must report to the courthouse. This amount is set by the state legislature and is in consideration of your travel and meal expenses.
Spotsylvania County Jurors are expected to serve for a one month term. Although you are part of the jury pool for one month, in actuality you will most likely report just one or two days and sometimes not at all.
It is very important that all jurors report each day they are told to report and that they be on time. All jurors are expected to report no later than 8:30 a.m. Your absence may delay a trial.
If you have an emergency (such as a sudden illness or a death in the family), call the court 540-507-7636 immediately.
Spotsylvania Circuit hours are from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m, Monday through Friday. However, there is no guarantee that a jury trial will end by our closing time. If you are called to report for service it is important that you make arrangements for the possibility that you may be here later than "normal" hours.
If not selected for a jury, you may be able to leave early. Jurors will be given a lunch break and may be given other breaks during a trial.
Usually, jurors go home at the end of the day and return the next morning. However, in extremely rare cases, a jury will be "sequestered" during the trial or during the jury's deliberations. Sequestered means that instead of going home at the end of the day, jurors stay in hotels, where their access to other people and to radio and television news or newspapers is limited.
This is usually to keep them from accidentally hearing something about the trial that wasn't told in court or from being influenced by news reports. This is important because juries must reach their decisions based only on what they've heard during the trial. In almost all Virginia jury trials, however, the jury goes home at the end of each day and is simply told not to discuss the case with anyone nor to watch, read, or listen to news reports about the case. It is essential that you follow these instructions.
Certainly! While efforts are made to reduce delay and avoid waiting time, you may have to wait awhile at the courthouse before you find out whether you have been chosen to actually sit on a jury. You can:
Remember that as a juror, you are a vital part of the court system. Part of the job of many court employees, such as the bailiffs and the clerks, is to help make your jury service comfortable and convenient. Don't be afraid to ask them for help.