Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 8.01. Civil Remedies and Procedure
Chapter 11. Juries
12/4/2022

Article 4. Jury Service.

§ 8.01-353. Notice to jurors; making copy of jury panel available to counsel; objection to notice.

A. The sheriff shall notify the jurors on the list, or such number of them as the judge may direct to appear in court on such day as the court may direct. Such notice shall be given a juror as provided by § 8.01-298. Verbal direction given by the judge, or at his direction, to a juror who has been given notice as hereinbefore provided that he appear at a later specified date, shall be a sufficient notice. Any notice given as provided herein shall have the effect of an order of court. No particular time in advance of the required appearance date shall be necessary for verbal notice hereunder, but the court may, in its discretion, excuse from service a juror who claims lack of sufficient notice. Upon request, the clerk or sheriff or other officer responsible for notifying jurors to appear in court for the trial of a case shall make available to all counsel of record in that case, a copy of the jury panel to be used for the trial of the case at least three full business days before the trial. Such copy of the jury panel shall show the name, age, address, occupation and employer of each person on the panel. Any error in the information shown on such copy of the jury panel shall not be grounds for a mistrial or assignable as error on appeal, and the parties in the case shall be responsible for verifying the accuracy of such information.

B. No judgment shall be arrested or reversed for the failure of the record to show that there was service upon a juror of notice to appear in court unless made a ground of exception in the trial before the jury is sworn.

Code 1950, § 8-208.16; 1973, c. 439; 1974, c. 243; 1976, c. 261; 1977, c. 617; 1980, c. 452; 1981, c. 150; 1988, c. 350; 2010, c. 799.

§ 8.01-353.1. Jurors to provide identification.

At the time of assembly for the purpose of juror selection, the identity of each member of the jury venire shall be verified as provided in this section. Prior to being selected from the jury venire, a potential juror shall verify his identity by presenting to the person taking jury attendance any of the following forms of identification: his Commonwealth of Virginia voter registration card; his social security card; his valid Virginia driver's license or any other identification card issued by a government agency of the Commonwealth, one of its political subdivisions, or the United States; or any valid employee identification card containing a photograph of the juror and issued by an employer of the juror in the ordinary course of the employer's business. If the juror is unable to present one of these forms of identification, he shall sign a statement affirming, under penalty of perjury, that he is the named juror.

2010, c. 765; 2011, c. 470.

§ 8.01-354. "Writ of venire facias" defined.

The term "writ of venire facias" for the purpose of this chapter shall be construed as referring to the list or lists of jurors made by the clerk from names drawn from the jury box and notice to appear in court served or mailed as provided herein shall be equivalent to summoning such juror in execution of a writ of venire facias.

Code 1950, § 8-208.24; 1973, c. 439; 1976, c. 617.

§ 8.01-355. Jurors on list to be used for trial of cases during term; discharge or dispensing with attendance of jurors; drawing additional jurors.

Jurors whose names appear in the list provided for under §§ 8.01-348 and 8.01-351 shall be used for the trial of cases, civil and criminal, to be tried during the term. The judge shall direct the selection of as many jurors as may be necessary to appear for the trial of any case. Any court shall have power to discharge persons summoned as jurors therein, or to dispense with their attendance on any day of its sitting. When by reason of challenge or otherwise a sufficient number of jurors summoned cannot be obtained for the trial of any case, the judge may select from the names on the jury list provided for by § 8.01-345 the names of as many persons as he deems necessary and cause them to be summoned to appear forthwith for the trial.

Code 1950, § 8-208.17; 1973, c. 439; 1975, c. 359; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-356. Failure of juror to appear.

If any juror who has been given due notice to appear in court shall fail to do so without sufficient excuse, he shall be fined not less than $50 nor more than $200.

Code 1950, § 8-208.18; 1973, c. 439; 1977, c. 617; 2004, c. 116.

§ 8.01-357. Selection of jury panel.

On the day on which jurors have been notified to appear, jurors not excused by the court shall be called in such manner as the judge may direct to be sworn on their voir dire until a panel free from exceptions shall be obtained. The jurors shall be selected randomly. The remaining jurors may be discharged or excused subject to such orders as the court shall make.

Code 1950, § 8-208.19; 1973, c. 439; 1977, c. 617; 1999, c. 3.

§ 8.01-358. Voir dire examination of persons called as jurors.

The court and counsel for either party shall have the right to examine under oath any person who is called as a juror therein and shall have the right to ask such person or juror directly any relevant question to ascertain whether he is related to either party, or has any interest in the cause, or has expressed or formed any opinion, or is sensible of any bias or prejudice therein; and the party objecting to any juror may introduce any competent evidence in support of the objection; and if it shall appear to the court that the juror does not stand indifferent in the cause, another shall be drawn or called and placed in his stead for the trial of that case.

A juror, knowing anything relative to a fact in issue, shall disclose the same in open court.

Code 1950, §§ 8-208.28, 8-215; 1973, c. 439; 1977, c. 617; 1981, c. 280.

§ 8.01-359. Trial; numbers of jurors in civil cases; how jurors selected from panel.

A. Five persons from a panel of not less than 11 shall constitute a jury in a civil case when the amount involved exclusive of interest and costs does not exceed the maximum jurisdictional limits as provided in § 16.1-77 (1). Seven persons from a panel of not less than 13 shall constitute a jury in all other civil cases except that when a special jury is allowed, 12 persons from a panel of not less than 20 shall constitute the jury.

B. The parties or their counsel, beginning with the plaintiff, shall alternately strike off one name from the panel until the number remaining shall be reduced to the number required for a jury. Where there are more than two parties, all plaintiffs shall share three strikes between them and all defendants and third-party defendants shall share three strikes between them.

C. In any case in which there are two or more parties on the same side, if counsel or the parties are unable to agree on the full number to be stricken, or, if for any other reason a party or his counsel fails or refuses to strike off the full number of jurors allowed such party, the clerk shall place in a box ballots bearing the names of the jurors whose names have not been stricken and shall cause to be drawn from the box such number of ballots as may be necessary to complete the number of strikes allowed the party or parties failing or refusing to strike. Thereafter, if the opposing side is entitled to further strikes, they shall be made in the usual manner.

D. In any civil case in which the consent of the plaintiff and defendant shall be entered of record, it shall be lawful for the plaintiff to select one person who is eligible as a juror and for the defendant to select another, and for the two so selected to select a third of like qualifications, and the three so selected shall constitute a jury in the case. They shall take the oath required of jurors, and hear and determine the issue, and any two concurring shall render a verdict in like manner and with like effect as a jury of seven.

Code 1950, § 8-208.21; 1973, c. 439; 1974, c. 611; 1975, c. 578; 1977, c. 617; 1985, c. 188; 2005, c. 356.

§ 8.01-360. Additional jurors when trial likely to be protracted.

Whenever in the opinion of the court the trial of any criminal or civil case is likely to be a protracted one, the court may direct the selection of additional jurors who shall be drawn from the same source, in the same manner and at the same time as the regular jurors. These additional jurors shall have the same qualifications, and be considered and treated in every respect as regular jurors and be subject to examination and challenge as such jurors. When one additional juror is desired, there shall be drawn three veniremen, and the plaintiff and defendant in a civil case or the Commonwealth and accused in a criminal case shall each be allowed one peremptory challenge. When two or more additional jurors are desired there shall be drawn twice as many venireman as the number of additional jurors desired. The plaintiff and defendant in a civil case or the Commonwealth and accused in a criminal case shall each be allowed one additional peremptory challenge for every two additional jurors. The court shall select, by lot, those jurors to be designated additional jurors. The plaintiff and defendant in a civil case or the Commonwealth and accused in a criminal case shall be advised by the court which jurors are additional jurors at the time the jury is impaneled; however, in no event, shall any juror be made aware of his status as a regular or additional juror until he is excused as a juror. Before final submission of the case, the court shall excuse any additional jurors in order to reduce the number of jurors to that required by §§ 8.01-359 and 19.2-262.

Code 1950, § 8-208.22; 1973, c. 439; 1977, c. 617; 1992, c. 536; 1998, c. 279.

§ 8.01-361. New juror may be sworn in place of one disabled; when court may discharge jury.

If a juror, after he is sworn, be unable from any cause to perform his duty, the court may, in its discretion, cause another qualified juror to be sworn in his place, and in any case, the court may discharge the jury when it appears that they cannot agree on a verdict or that there is a manifest necessity for such discharge.

Code 1950, § 8-208.23; 1973, c. 439; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-362. Special juries.

Any court in a civil case in which a jury is required may allow a special jury, in which event the court shall order such jurors to be summoned as it shall designate, and from those summoned, a jury shall be made in accordance with the provisions of § 8.01-359 A. The court may, in its discretion, cause the entire cost of such jury to be taxed as a part of the cost in such action, and to be paid by the plaintiff or defendant as the court shall direct.

Code 1950, § 8-208.25; 1973, c. 439; 1977, c. 617.

§ 8.01-363. When impartial jury cannot be obtained locally.

In any case in which qualified jurors who are not exempt from serving and who the judge is satisfied can render a fair and impartial trial cannot be conveniently found in the county or city in which the trial is to be, the court may cause so many jurors as may be necessary to be summoned from any other county or city by the sheriff thereof, or by its own officer, from a list prepared pursuant to Article 3 (§ 8.01-343 et seq.) of this chapter and furnished by the circuit court of the county or city from which the jurors are to be summoned.

Code 1950, § 8-208.26; 1973, c. 439; 1977, c. 617.