The United States Constitution guarantees the right to a trial by jury in both criminal and civil cases. Your participation as a juror is crucial to the administration of justice. The consequences of not reporting for jury service can be severe. Pursuant to Virginia Code § 8.01-356, if you do not report, you could be held in contempt of court and ordered to pay a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $200.
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You were qualified to serve as a juror by a panel of jury commissioners after you completed the Jury Questionnaire. At that time, you were placed in a jury pool with thousands of qualified citizens. Now, you have been randomly selected from that pool to receive an official summons for jury service.
Names are randomly selected through an automated system using the pool of qualified citizens from the yearly qualification questionnaire process. If your name is selected from the qualified pool, you will receive an Official Summons for Jury Service in the mail. Summonses are mailed the first of every month. Please note, if you are summoned but not selected to report for jury duty, you may be summoned again later in the year if the current jury pool is exhausted. This does not usually happen; however, the number of jury trials in a given year are unpredictable.
You are on call for one day or the length of one trial. If required to report to the courthouse on your assigned Report Date, you may or may not be selected to hear the case. If you are not selected to hear the case, you will be released by the judge and your jury service is complete. If you are selected to hear the case, you will serve on that case for its duration until released by the judge. While most jury trials are completed in a single day, some are estimated to take more than one day to complete. Please plan accordingly.
Please note: if you are summoned but not selected to report for jury duty, you may be summoned again later in the year if all of the current jury pool is used. This does not usually happen; however, the number of jury trials in a given year are unpredictable.
The Summons for Jury Service is an official order of the court. You are required to respond by completing the summons questionnaire on the Juror eResponse website. You will need your Candidate/Juror ID number indicated at the top of your summons. Failure to respond to the summons does not excuse you from jury service. Pursuant to Virginia Code § 8.01-356 you could be held in contempt of court and/or ordered to pay a fine if you fail to respond to the summons. You must carefully read and following the instructions contained in the summons.
If you responded to your summons and provided your email and/or mobile number, you will receive a courtesy reminder message regarding your jury serve status. However, the court is not responsible for internet and/or mobile service interruptions. It is your responsibility to follow the instructions provided in your summons and verify your reporting status after 5:00 p.m. the business day prior to your assigned report date. Because changes to jury trials can occur late notice, it is important to check your status after 5:00 p.m.
If serving on your assigned Report Date presents a hardship, the court will grant a one-time postponement of service to another day later in the year. This option is only available up to 5 days before your original Report Date. You may make this request through the ’Defer Service’ tab on the Juror eResponse Website. Your request will automatically be granted, and you will receive a new summons in the mail prior to your new date.
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There is no statutory exemption for students. If your Report Date is problematic, you may defer your service to a date later in the year. If you are a legal resident of Chesterfield and will not return to Chesterfield County at any time during the year you have been summoned, you must send a relevant statement to Jury Services by email at: [email protected].
Students who have moved out of Chesterfield County and changed their legal residence (e.g.; DMV, voter registration) may request a non-resident disqualification on the Juror eResponse Website.
Jury Service is an important civic and community duty for which you have a legal obligation. However, if you believe you qualify for an exemption of service under Virginia Code Section 8.01-341 or Section 8.01-341.1, you may make your request on the Juror eResponse Website under the ’Disqualify Service’ tab. Please allow 5 business days for your request to be processed. If you have provided Jury Services your email and/or a phone number to receive messages, you will receive an automated response once the request is processed. Otherwise, you will receive a notice in the mail. You may also check the status of your request on the Juror eResponse Website under the ’Profile/Status’ or by calling the Juror Information Line at 804-409-8605.
Below is a list of exemptions/disqualifications available in the ’Disqualify Service’ tab on the Juror eResponse Website:
If you lost your summons, visit the Juror eResponse Website to print a new one under the ’Print Letters’ tab. If you do not have your Candidate/Juror ID number to login to the website, contact Jury Services. If the summons PDF does not generate, turn off your pop-up blocker.
Immediately notify your employer of your summons for jury service. Virginia law requires employers to excuse employees from regular workdays when summoned for jury duty. Employers should refer to Title § 18.2-465.1 of the Virginia Code for more information. Discuss with your employer the policy regarding payment of your wages or salary while serving as a juror. If your Report Date is problematic, you may defer your service to later in the year on the Juror eResponse Website.
If you were selected and reported to the courthouse for jury duty, you may ask the Jury Coordinator for an Attendance Letter to give to your employer or school. Otherwise, you may print your Attendance Letter on the Juror eResponse Website under the "Print Letters" tab. If the letter does not generate, please turn off your pop-up blocker.
The court values the service you perform as a juror. With that in mind we try our best to make your time here as pleasant as possible. Below you will find a list of amenities provided while waiting to be called for a trial:
If you are selected to sit for a jury trial you will have access to free bottled water, select sodas and snacks during breaks and deliberation. For lunch, there are several local food establishments in the area. There is no food service in the courts building. Depending on the case, lunch or dinner may be provided. Please plan accordingly.
Please feel free to bring a book, crossword puzzle, or other quiet activity to do while waiting to be called to the courtroom.
Please be sure to read the Court Safety & Security page for a list of prohibited items in the courthouse and what to expect when arriving to the courthouse.
Please be advised that anyone entering the Chesterfield County Courthouse must enter the building and go through a Sheriff’s Security Checkpoint. Patrons may encounter longer lines and wait times. Please take this into consideration when determining your arrival time. Note: The Courthouse opens at 8:00 A.M.
If you are selected and report for jury duty, you will be reimbursed $30 for travel and expenses for each day you are required to report for service. This amount is determined by the Virginia legislatures. You will receive a check in the mail in 2 to 4 weeks. Please check with your employer regarding jury service policies.
Federal government employees should read the Office of Personnel Management’s Fact Sheet: Court Leave for more information.
If there is a change to your jury service due to severe weather conditions or other emergency, the Court will notify you electronically as long as your mobile phone number and email address on the Juror eResponse Website is current and accurate.
Please be sure to view the Court Closing and Inclement Weather page for further important information.
Should you need a reasonable accommodation to serve on a jury, you may make your request on the Juror eResponse Website when filling out the summons questionnaire. You may also send your request to Jury Services by email at: [email protected]
Please read the Courts’ Accommodation Request page for further information.
You should wear comfortable but appropriate attire. Business casual is preferred. The temperature in the courtroom can fluctuate, so please plan accordingly.
Please read the Courts Dress Code and Etiquette Policy page for further information.
When you report for jury duty, attendance will be taken and there will be a brief orientation session to discuss what you can expect during your service. Once orientation is completed, jurors will wait in the jury assembly room until being called to the courtroom. This process takes approximately one hour. It is very important that you arrive on time.
If you are selected and sworn onto a case, you will stay with that case until it concludes. If not selected, you will be released by the judge.
For further information, please visit the Jury Duty main page and watch the 10-minute jury service orientation video.
Your absence could prevent the trial from going forward, inconveniencing not only the parties and witnesses involved but also your fellow jurors. In the event you will be late or cannot appear due to a true emergency or illness, contact Jury Services as soon as possible at 804-751-4411 or by email: [email protected].
It is the judge’s discretion on what action he or she may take should you fail to appear for jury duty. Pursuant to Virginia Code Section 8.01-356, failing to report for jury service may result in a criminal contempt of court charge and a fine not less that $50 nor more than $200.