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Petit (Trial) Jury FAQ's
 
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Contact Us

Clerk of Court
The Honorable Wendy S. Hughes

Phone: (804) 748-1241

Email Us

circuitcourtclerk@chesterfield.gov

This email account is intended for general inquiries only. For specific case-related inquiries, please call the Clerk’s Office during public service hours to speak with a staff member in the appropriate division.


Filings
The Court does not accept case-related filings via the Internet, e-mail or fax.
Filings are accepted via mail, courier or hand delivery.

Public Service Hours
8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Monday through Friday

Recording Hours
8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Monday through Friday

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 125
Chesterfield, VA 23832-0909

Street Address
9500 Courthouse Road
Chesterfield, VA 23832
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Circuit Court Clerk
Petit (Trial) Jury FAQ's

Jury Duty Notification

Once I have completed the questionnaire, how and when will I be notified if I have been selected to serve jury duty?

  • In early December, the first group of qualified citizens will be selected for jury duty and sent a formal letter from the Clerk advising them that they have been summoned to serve jury duty beginning in January.
  • Every 8 weeks, another group of qualified citizens will be selected sent a summons letter for the next term.
  • This process will continue throughout the calendar year until a total of 6 terms of jury service have been completed.

Jury Services

What about my job?

  • You cannot be fired, demoted or otherwise penalized for missing work while performing jury duty.
  • You should give your employer ample notice of your summons for jury duty.
  • You should also discuss with your employer the policy with regard to payment of your wages or salary while serving as a juror.

How long will I be on jury duty?

  • You are on call to report for jury cases beginning on a particular day of the week for a two-month term of court.
  • While many of our jury cases are estimated to complete in a single day, we do occasionally have jury cases that are estimated to take more than 1 day to complete.
  • Each week, jurors must call a recorded message the evening before their assigned day to learn whether they need to appear and are required to continue calling each week for the entire two-month term of court.
  • Once a juror has completed the two-month term of service, he/she is not eligible under state law to serve again for a period of three calendar years.
  • This applies only to state circuit courts; citizens may still be eligible for jury service in a federal court.

What to Expect When Asked to Report for Duty for a Trial

What if an unexpected emergency keeps me from coming to the courthouse?

  • It is very important that all jurors report when selected and that they report on time.
  • A minimum number of jurors is required for a jury trial to begin.
  • Your tardiness may delay the start of a trial.
  • Your absence could prevent the trial from going forward, inconveniencing not only the parties and witnesses involved but also your fellow jurors who did report as instructed.

NOTE: In the event of a true emergency (sudden illness or a death in the family), contact the Jury Coordinator in the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office at 804-751-4411 as soon as possible.

  • In this situation, you may leave a voice message after normal business hours if necessary.
  • The Jury Coordinator will document the reason you are not available to report.
  • The Clerk’s Office does NOT have the authority to excuse anyone from jury duty; we will, however, communicate to the Court the reason you did not report.

How will I know what to expect during my jury service?

  • The morning that you arrive for jury duty you will attend an orientation explaining your role as juror and the trial process
  • attendance taken by the Jury Coordinator
  • additional information and answers to any questions will be provided

Is there anything I can do to make my jury service more comfortable?

Yes. While efforts are made to reduce delay and avoid waiting time, you may have to sit for some time before entering the courtroom. You should bring a

  • book
  • crossword puzzle
  • any other activity

NOTE: Electronic equipment such as tablets, electronic readers, laptop computers, cameras and cell phones are not allowed in the main Courts Building.

How should I dress?

You should wear comfortable, but appropriate attire. Your clothing should be neat and clean. The temperature in courtrooms is sometimes cool, so please plan accordingly.

Is it possible that I might report for jury duty, but not actually sit on a jury?

  • The parties involved in a case generally seek to settle their differences and avoid the expense and time of a trial.
  • Sometimes the case is settled just a few moments before the trial is scheduled to begin.
  • If this happens, you are still entitled to payment in the amount of $30.

How long will I be in court?

  • The attorneys involved in a trial have provided the Court with an estimate of the amount of time they expect will be required to complete the trial.
  • It is not possible to predict exactly how long a trial will last, one of the largest variables is how long it will take for the jury to reach a unanimous agreement.
  • You will be given a lunch break and possibly a mid-morning and/or mid-afternoon break as well.
  • If you find that you need a break at another time, please notify the bailiff (the Sheriff’s deputy at the front of the courtroom).
  • If you have late afternoon or early evening responsibilities, it is recommended that you have an alternate in place to cover these responsibilities.

Problems Serving or Completing Jury Duty and Exemption Eligibility

I have received a summons for jury duty but I have an illness or disability that I believe would prevent me from serving jury. What do I need to do?

In order to be considered to be excused from serving jury duty for a medical condition, you will need to

  • provide a statement from your physician
    • documenting that your condition is permanent and not likely to improve
     
    • stating that in your physician’s opinion you are not physically, mentally or emotionally able to serve jury duty
  • complete the Updated Juror Information Sheet that came with the summons letter
  • return the doctor’s statement and Jurer Information Sheet to the Clerk’s Office in the self-addressed envelope provided, or it can be

Mailed  

Circuit Court Clerk’s Office
Jury Coordinator
P.O. Box 125
Chesterfield, VA 23832

Faxed 

Circuit Court Clerk’s Office
Jury Coordinator
804-751-2269

NOTE: If the statement from your physician is being submitted separately, please note this on the Updated Juror Information Sheet.

I have received a summons for jury duty but I am a student attending classes in the area and I have classes scheduled all day on the day I am to serve jury duty. Or I am a student living outside of the Chesterfield County area during the time period I am required to serve. What do I do?

There is no statutory exemption from serving jury duty for students.

  • complete the Updated Juror Information Sheet
  • return by the date requested
  • note on the sheet that you are a student
  • identify where you are attending classes and specify what day of the week you can be available to serve jury duty.

NOTE: If there is no day of the week that you can be available to serve during the term, you must contact the Jury Coordinator at 804-751-4411 to work out a time when you can be available.

I have received a summons for jury duty but I no longer live in Chesterfield County. Am I still required to serve jury duty in Chesterfield Circuit Court?

Former residents of Chesterfield County are not required to serve jury duty once they have moved their legal residence out of the county.

  • complete the Updated Juror Information Sheet
  • return by the date requested
  • note your new address on the form
  • note that you are no longer a resident of Chesterfield County

I have received a summons for jury duty but I am 70 years of age or older and do not wish to serve. How do I communicate this to the court?

  • Any citizen who is 70 years or older may choose not to serve jury duty under the statutory exemption provided.
    • complete the Updated Juror Information Sheet
    • return by the date requested
     
  • Please include your date of birth, note that you are 70 years old or older and do not wish to serve.

Who specifically is exempt from serving jury duty and how does an individual who may be eligible for an exemption document their situation and communicate their desire not to serve?

  • Virginia Code § 8.01-341 provides a list of those who are exempt from serving jury duty.
  • Virginia Code § 8.01-341.1 provides a list of persons who may serve on juries in civil and criminal cases but who shall be exempt from jury service upon their request.

If you believe you qualify as exempt from jury service under either of these statutes, you will need to

  • complete the Updated Juror Information Sheet
  • return by the date requested
  • include a detailed description of your situation and the exemption you believe applies to your situation

When I filled out the Updated Juror Information Sheet, I listed vacation and business travel dates that was already scheduled. Do I need to call the jury information line during those times?

  • You are automatically excused from serving jury duty for pre-planned vacation and travel dates listed on the Updated Juror Information Sheet.
  • You do not need to call the Jury Coordinator to confirm that you are excused for these dates.
  • You do not need to call the jury information line during the times that you are excused.

Juror Payments

I am a juror who was requested to report for jury duty and I reported to the courthouse on the specified day and at the specified time. When can I expect to receive my check for serving jury duty?

  • Petit jurors may receive multiple checks throughout the term in which they are on call.
  • Once per week, staff in the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office submits paperwork to the County Treasurer’s Office showing which jurors have reported for the week.
  • The Treasurer's Office, in turn, processes this information and enters it into the accounting system which ultimately cuts the checks.
  • While the Treasurer’s Office makes every effort to process, cut and mail out the juror checks as soon as it can, it may, however, take as much as four to five weeks for a juror to receive payment.

Juror Documentation/Instructions

I received a letter about serving jury duty but I have lost or misplaced it. How can I find out what my juror number is, what day of the week I am to be available to serve, what day of the week I am to call and the phone number I am to call each week? Can I get a replacement letter?

  • Contact the Jury Coordinator at 804-751-4411 to get the information that was contained in the original summons letter that was mailed to you.
  • If you can provide the Jury Coordinator with a fax number or an e-mail address, a replacement summons letter can be prepared and forwarded to you.

 

 

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