Residents of Williamsburg/James City County may be called to serve as a juror in criminal and civil cases. Once a year individuals are chosen from Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) records and Office of Elections records to be prospective jurors for the following year. Those individuals are sent questionnaires to either complete online or complete and return to our processing center in Columbia, Maryland. The questionnaires are then reviewed by the Jury Commissioners to determine who is eligible to serve.
This list of eligible individuals makes up the year’s jury pool. If you are chosen to serve on a jury you will be served a jury summons by our Sheriff’s office for specific date(s) for which you will need to appear. Please follow the instructions in the jury summons carefully. You are to call the Jury Hotline at 757-564-2366 after 6 p.m. the evening prior to the date for which your service is required.
Once you have reported to serve or actually serve on a panel for which you receive compensation during your year of service, you are ineligible under state law to serve again for a period of three years; however, such persons shall be permitted to serve on any special jury ordered pursuant to Virginia Code Section 8.01-362 and on any grand jury. This applies only to state Circuit Courts.
Jury Duty Process
Jurors are requested to report to the Jury Assembly Room on the third floor on the date and time indicated on the summons. On-site parking is available. The appropriate dress for court is business casual. No cell phones, pagers or electronic devices are allowed in court. During the course of a trial, recesses are taken at periodic intervals.
If you become ill or some emergency arises while court is in session, please make one of the bailiffs aware of your needs. Luncheon recesses seldom last more than one hour.
Jurors will be compensated for their service at the rate of $30 per day. Compensation will be forwarded at the expiration of the court term to which you were summoned. You must provide the Clerk of Court with a correct mailing address.
In addition to the legal duty to serve, it is the civic and patriotic duty of citizens to assist in the disposal of the workload of the court to resolve the issues in civil and criminal cases. It is rare that any person is excused from service for the entire term; however, the court endeavors to accommodate jurors to the extent possible by making certain adjustments based on extreme hardship, disabling mental or physical impairment (written explanation from physician is required), or certain engagements scheduled prior to your selection as a juror (i.e., doctor’s appointment, vacation periods or out-of-town business meetings for which monies have been deposited). Requests to be excused and any supporting documentation can be uploaded to your juror portal at www.jurorportal.com/wjc, or emailed to email@example.com. Failure to report when so notified may be construed as contempt of court and will be dealt with accordingly.
Any questions concerning jury duty should be directed to Juliana Rios Baldascini, Deputy Clerk, at 757-564-2360.