Loudoun County’s annual jury questionnaire process is about to begin, with prospective jurors being encouraged to complete the questionnaire online.
During the COVID-19 pandemic in Loudoun County, the Circuit Court has not conducted many jury trials. The Supreme Court of Virginia is currently reviewing potential transition plans to begin jury trials in the future. With the prospect of jury trials resuming in 2021, the Clerk of the Circuit Court is making necessary statutory preparations now to ensure there is a qualified pool of jurors to serve jury duty in 2021 if jury trials do resume next year.
Starting September 8, 2020, the Clerk of the Circuit Court is sending out more than 50,000 jury questionnaire postcards to Loudoun County residents for the purpose of determining who is qualified for jury duty in Loudoun County in 2021. Clerk of the Circuit Court Gary M. Clemens says the postcards are a new approach to encourage each recipient to use an online, secure portal to complete the jury questionnaire instead of using paper documents. The postcards are less expensive and the online portal is a more efficient way for the recipient to complete the questionnaire and more efficient for the Clerk’s Jury Office Team to process tens of thousands of questionnaires.
The annual jury questionnaire process enables the Circuit Court and the Clerk’s Office Jury Management Team to establish a qualified pool of jurors who may be summoned to serve jury duty. While the questionnaire process begins next week, those citizens deemed qualified to serve as jurors will not be called to serve jury duty until calendar year 2021. “The jury questionnaire is essentially a survey that allows the Jury Office and Jury Commissioners to determine who is qualified and eligible to serve as a juror in 2021,” said Clemens. “The jury questionnaire for 2021 is not a summons for jury duty.”
Clemens asks that citizens who receive a jury questionnaire postcard take time to read and complete the questionnaire online by using the secure website link. There are instructions on the postcard to assist recipients who may not be able to complete the process online.
“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,” Clemens said. “As it becomes safe to assemble citizens in a courtroom to serve on a jury trial, we will need this qualified jury pool for jury trials at some point in 2021, so I truly appreciate the cooperation of each individual who receives a juror questionnaire postcard in the mail.”
More information about jury duty and the juror questionnaires is online at loudoun.gov/jury. To find out more about the services offered by the Clerk of the Circuit Court, visit loudoun.gov/clerk.
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