Jury Duty

Phone: 703-792-6047    E-mail: circuitcourt@pwcgov.org
Jury Duty Information Line: 703-792-6032
Location: Jury Assembly Room (to the right of the elevators when exiting on the third floor)
 
Jury Questionnaires can be completed online https://pwcjury.courts.state.va.us. The barcode number begins with 35 and is 9 digits. It should be near the top of the questionnaire.
 
Frequently Asked Questions
 
Generally any person charged with a criminal offense and parties in some civil cases have a right to a jury trial. All parties are equal before the law and each is entitled to the same fair treatment.
 

Jurors Must:

  • Be at least eighteen (18) years of age;
  • Be a United States Citizen;
  • Be a resident of the County of Prince William or Cities of Manassas or Manassas Park for at least six months;
  • Be a resident of Virginia for one year;
  • Never have been convicted of a felony unless the juror's civil rights have been restored;
  • Not be currently adjudicated mentally incompetent or insane.

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How are jurors selected?

  • Once a year approximately 13,500 prospective jurors are randomly selected from the Voter Registration Lists of the County of Prince William and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park to receive a jury questionnaire. Questionnaires are sent to perspective jurors in August. When these questionnaires are returned to the Clerk's Office, they are reviewed by jury commissioners (who have been appointed by the Court) to determine which citizens are qualified to serve as jurors. Those who qualify make up the master jury list for the following calendar year. Men and women over 18 years of age and from all walks of life have an equal opportunity to be called for jury service.
  • You will not be contacted by the Court after returning your questionnaire even if you have asked to be excused or reported special circumstances.
  • Selections are made in the month of September/October for the following year beginning in February.
  • Jurors are summoned to serve for a month on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.
  • Randomly selected prospective jurors receive a JURY SUMMONS in the mail approximately four weeks prior to their jury service date. This is the first contact with a prospective juror after completing the questionnaire.

Be sure to read BOTH sides of the summons even if you think you are not eligible to serve as a juror or would like to be postponed or excused. If after reading ALL of the information and instructions on the summons, you still have questions send an e-mail to courts@pwcgov.org or call the Jury Clerk at 703-792-6047.
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Yes. FAILURE TO APPEAR WHEN SUMMONED COULD RESULT IN LEGAL ACTION AGAINST YOU BY THE COURT and contempt sanctions. A Show Cause will be issued and posted by the Sheriff for those who fail to report. If you believe you are exempt or need to be excused, please read the following. If you still have questions contact the Jury Clerk at 703-792-6047.
 
Only a limited number of persons are ineligible to serve as jurors. Virginia Code § 8.01-341 lists those persons who are exempt from jury service and Virginia Code § 8.01-341.1 lists persons who may claim an exemption from jury service. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Your request must be in writing and received within five (5) business days of receipt of your summons. All correspondence must contain the juror’s identification number that appears below the barcode on the juror summons. You may mail (Clerk of Circuit Court, Jury Clerk, 9311 Lee Avenue, Manassas VA 20110). email circuitcourt@pwcgov.org or fax (703-792-5346) your request. 
  • Failure to return the summons with the appropriate written request within the five (5) day time limit may automatically qualify you for service.
  • For more information on Exemptions and Excusals from Jury Duty.

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Your employer cannot fire, demote or otherwise penalize you for missing work while performing jury duty. Many employers continue to pay your salary while you are on jury duty. It is advisable to give your employer ample notice of your jury duty and to determine your employer's policy with regard to payment of wages/salary while serving as a juror. (Virginia Code § 18.2-465.1) Prospective jurors who are not paid by their employer when on jury duty will NOT be excused. You may however request a postponement to a later time.
 
What if an unexpected emergency keeps me from coming to the courthouse?
It is very important that all jurors report each day and that they be on time. Your absence may delay a trial and result in hardship on the participants or cause unnecessary costs to be borne by the litigants. If you have an emergency (sudden illness or a death in the family) immediately call the Jury Clerk at 703-792-6047 and/or send an email to circuitcourt@pwcgov.org.
 
How do I know if I have to report the next day?
To determine if jurors are needed the next day, on the evening before their assigned day indicated on the summons, jurors must call the jury recording at 703-792-6032 or go to the Clerk's main page.  On the right is Jury Groups Information. On average, jurors come in for jury duty two days out of the time period assigned.

How will I know what to expect during my jury service?
The morning that you arrive for jury duty you will be shown an orientation video that will explain your role as juror. In addition, the Jury Clerk will take attendance and answer any questions you might have.
 
How long will I be on jury duty?
Jurors summoned for jury service are on-call one day a week for one month. Jurors are assigned one particular day of the week. Many jury trials are only a day; very few are more than two. Each week jurors must call a recorded message or visit the website the evening before their assigned day to determine whether or not they need to appear. On average, we have six juries a month for a total of 10 days of service.

Once you have completed your one-month service, you are ineligible under state law to serve again for a period of three years. You may still be eligible for jury service on a Grand Jury or in a federal court.
 
Each day jurors report to the Jury Assembly Room and their attendance is taken. When a judge is ready to begin the jury trial, the jurors needed for the case are selected from those persons in attendance for that day. The groups are called and the panel of jurors is escorted to the courtroom.
 
Once the jury panel reaches the designated courtroom, the jurors are questioned under the supervision of the judge. During this questioning, some jurors may be excused from the case. Once all of the questioning has been completed, each attorney in the case is allowed to remove a certain number of jurors from the panel. The trial jury will consist of the jurors remaining on the panel. Jurors not selected will return to the Jury Assembly room.
Once all of the jury panels have been selected for the day, the remaining jurors, if any, in the Jury Assembly Room will be excused and their service will be complete for that day. 
 
Is it possible that I might report for jury duty but not actually sit on a jury?
There are times when you will report for jury duty only to be released early in the morning. When this happens, it means the parties have reached a settlement or entered a plea and the case will not be tried. We try to avoid having you come in when not needed, but if there is a last minute settlement or plea, you may be released without hearing a case. If this happens, you are still entitled to $30 for travel and the defendant or parties will still bear the cost of a jury trial.

How long will I be in Court?
It is impossible to predict how long a trial will last. Most trials are completed in one day, but a few cases require two or more days to complete.  In most cases, jurors are released by 5 p.m.; however, on occasion, jurors may have to stay beyond that time.

You will be given a lunch break and possibly a morning and/or afternoon break as well. If you find that you need a break at another time, please notify the bailiff (sheriff’s deputy).   

Will I be reimbursed for serving on jury duty?
You will be paid $30 for each day you must report to the courthouse and do. This amount is set by statute and is considered reimbursement for your travel and other expenses. Approximately three weeks after the end of service, you will be mailed a check for jury duty. (Virginia Code § 17.1-618)

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 you know whether you have been chosen to actually sit on a jury. You should bring a book, crossword puzzles or any other activity you can do quietly while waiting.
  • Jurors should dress comfortably, but appropriately for a courthouse. Court proceedings are conducted with dignity and respect. Your dress should be suitable for the occasion. Please keep in mind that the temperature in a courtrooms is sometimes cool.  Please dress accordingly.
  • Unsuitable clothing includes such items as: shorts, mini skirts, tank tops, halter tops and flip flops.  These items are NOT PERMITTED.  If you report to jury service wearing inappropriate attire, you will be required to return home to change into more suitable attire or you will be given a new report date and will have to return on that date.
 
 
What about lunch?
You will be given time for lunch each day. A cafeteria is located on the lower level of the Judicial Center which serves both hot and cold lunches. If you prefer, you may bring your lunch. There is a refrigerator and microwave available for juror use.
 
Grand Jury
The Grand Jury determines whether the accused will be indicted and held for trial in Circuit Court. It meets the first Monday of each month at 8:30 a.m. When the first Monday falls on a holiday the Grand Jury will meet on the first day following the holiday that the Court is open. The Grand Jury reviews all criminal indictments and determines if there is sufficient evidence to send the case to trial. To view when the Grand Jury meets click here
 
 
 
Please notify the Circuit Court Clerk's Office by email if you find that any of the links on this page do not work.