Leesburg, VA (August 26, 2015) – Gary M. Clemens, Clerk of the Circuit Court, asks Loudoun County residents to check their mailboxes for jury questionnaires starting August 26, 2015, when about 4,000 jury questionnaires will be delivered to mailboxes or post offices boxes throughout the county. The jury questionnaires will be mailed out in phases over the next several weeks. The phased approach will make it easier for the jury management staff to sort and process all of the questionnaires that are received electronically or in paper format.
Each year in the August/September timeframe, the jury office sends out questionnaires to determine who is eligible to fulfill jury service in Loudoun County. This process enables the jury office to establish a qualified pool of jurors who may be summonsed to serve in the following calendar year. “The jury questionnaire is essentially a survey that allows the Jury Office and Jury Commissioners to determine who is qualified and eligible to serve jury duty next year,” said Clemens.
Regarding the volume of questionnaires that are mailed out to Loudoun citizens, Clemens said Loudoun County has a unique jury system that reduces the amount of time that citizens are required to serve for jury duty. Some circuit courts summon jurors to serve for several days or even weeks for any jury trials. The Loudoun County Circuit Court has a one-trial or one-day commitment for jurors so a juror who is summonsed for jury duty for a specific day is only required to serve jury duty for one jury trial. Some of the more complicated civil court cases and some serious felony criminal cases will require more than one day of jury service. A jury summons is no guarantee that a juror will actually serve on a jury trial as last-minute changes in a case may result in jurors being released the day before the scheduled jury trial is set to begin.
Also, not every prospective juror will serve on a jury trial as there is a formal selection process conducted during the initial proceedings at the beginning of a jury trial. Those jurors who are not ultimately selected during the court proceeding are released from jury service.
Clemens requests that citizens who receive a juror questionnaire take the time to read and complete the questionnaire as this process helps the court and the clerk establish a qualified pool of juror candidates for 2016. While recipients of the juror questionnaire have two options for completing it, Clemens encourages citizens to complete the questionnaire online by accessing the link to the county website provided in the questionnaire.
The other way to complete the questionnaire is to fill out the paper questionnaire received in the mail and return it by first-class mail.
“The online completion of the questionnaire saves the jury office time and money because it allows us to use our technologies to more efficiently and effectively capture critical information for the juror qualification process,” said Clemens. “Using the website is faster than completing the paperwork by hand and it saves the citizen postage costs to return the questionnaire. The website provided is secure and safe to use. “
The Clerk’s Office expects a large number of citizens to access the website to complete their questionnaire. Anyone who experiences difficulty using the website may contact the jury management office headed by Leslie Kelly at 703-777-0677, and a jury office representative will provide assistance.
“The Clerk’s Office and the Circuit Court appreciate the cooperation of the citizens who receive the questionnaires and promptly complete them,” said Clemens. “The timely participation of those who receive the questionnaires is beneficial to the efficiency of the qualification process and it helps the court system provide the constitutional guarantee of a jury trial to criminal and civil litigants.”
More information about jury duty and the juror questionnaire is available atwww.loudoun.gov/jury www.loudoun.gov/jury. To find out more about the services offered by the Clerk of the Circuit Court, visit www.loudoun.gov/clerk.