General Juror Information

Potential jurors are selected randomly by a computer process overseen by the city's jury commissioners. Names are selected from the voter registration files in such a way as to produce a representative 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. The summons to jury service is an official court summons. If you do not respond, you could be held in contempt of court.

Your term of jury service might disturb your regular pattern of work and other activities. If this disruption causes you genuine hardship and not just inconvenience, it may be possible for you to defer your service to another time. However, deferment is done only in case of genuine hardship or need. The judge decides. If you feel 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 jury service is inconvenient or because you have a busy schedule, but you may be excused for reasons such as a physical ailment. If you have special conflicts on particular days during the term, the court may excuse you on those days.

Your employer can't fine, 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 the policy at your job.
You will be reimbursed $30 per day for attendance for each day you must report to the courthouse. This amount is set by the Virginia General Assembly.
Jurors serve for 1 term of court. Depending on where you live, your term may be up to 4 months. Your summons will indicate the length and exact dates of the term you will serve.
It is very important all jurors report each day they are told to report and be on time. Your absence may delay a trial. If you have an emergency (such as a sudden illness or death in the family), call the court immediately.
Most courts provide an orientation program for jurors to inform and educate them about jury service and the trial process. The orientation will inform you of the procedures for checking in on the days you must report to the courthouse, how you find out when to report, what the court's hours are, and what to do if you have an emergency during jury service. Additionally, you will learn about your role as a juror and what you should and should not do while in the courthouse or serving on a jury.
You should report to the court at the date and time shown on your jury summons. At that time, you will be told the procedure for reporting to the court for the rest of the term and the court's normal business hours. On days you report for jury service, you can expect to be at the court during 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. On occasion, a trial will continue beyond the court's normal working hours. If this happens, you may need to arrange your schedule to allow you to stay longer.
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 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 procedure is used to keep jurors from accidentally hearing something about the trial not mentioned 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 you follow these instructions.
Certainly! While efforts are made to reduce delay and avoid waiting time, you may have to wait a while at the courthouse before you find out whether you have been chosen to actually sit on a jury (the reasons why are explained in the next section). So bring a book, some needlework, or other quiet activity; solve a crossword puzzle; write a letter; sketch a picture; or get to know your fellow jurors. Remember, 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.