Superior Court of the Virgin Islands
FAQ - Jury Service
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How are the names for prospective jurors selected?

The Superior Court uses procedures to select jurors that give the widest number of people an equal chance to serve. Names of prospective jurors are selected randomly from the voter registration list and the licensed drivers list. This ensures that no individual or group will be unfairly burdened by service and that the fundamental principles of community involvement in the judicial process will be fulfilled. Furthermore, these procedures assure persons who are before the Court that their cases will be heard and decided by a jury that is representative of the community.

How does one qualify to be a juror?

Any citizen of the United States, who has attained the age of eighteen (18) and has resided within the territory for at least six (6) months; who has not been convicted of a felony; can read, write, speak and understand English; or who is not incapable by reason of mental or physical infirmities to render efficient jury service may qualify to be a juror.

How are individuals notified that they are being considered for Jury Duty?

Shortly before a new term of jury service, a Juror Package is mailed to citizens whose names are drawn from the master list. The package consists of a juror letter, summons, and qualification questionnaire. The questionnaires are to be filled out, signed and returned within ten (10) days. Responses to these questionnaires enable the Jury Manager to establish the qualified list of persons eligible to serve. Qualifications are set in order to limit service to persons who are able to serve responsibly and effectively. If you fail to return the completed questionnaire, you may be summoned to appear, at your own expense, to supply the required information.

Are individuals notified when a selection has been made of qualified names?

When a juror has been randomly selected they receive a summon packet with instructions for their Jury Service

When should a juror report for Jury Duty?

The summons that a juror initially receives in the mail indicates their reporting place,date and time. Thereafter, jurors are instructed to call the code-a-phone for a pre-recorded announcement advising him or her of future reporting dates. It is important that jurors report promptly on the date and time shown on the summons or recorded on the code-a-phone. The Court may impose penalties for tardiness by a juror.

What is a code-a-phone?

The code-a-phone is a special telephone system with a pre-recorded announcement that has been installed by the Court to inform prospective jurors of changes regarding their appearance in Court for jury service. The code-a-phone number for the judicial district of St. Thomas/St. John is (340) 774-4702. The code-a-phone number for the judicial district of St. Croix is (340) 778-2222. It is very important that before appearing for jury service on any given date, that you call the numbers applicable to your district.

When you call the code-a-phone, the pre-recorded announcement will inform you whether your group is to appear for jury service or not. The group number displayed on the top right portion of the Summons and also on the back cover of your Juror’s Handbook identifies the juror group in which you have been placed.

Please note that if you are not able to appear, then you will be given another date on which you should appear.

What happens if you don’t appear after being summoned for Jury Duty?

Jurors should not disobey a summons to appear for Jury Duty. The Court has full authority to enforce their appearance. Failure to appear constitutes contempt of Court, and is punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment.

Can you be excused from Jury Duty?

Some citizens are exempt from service and some may be excused. If you have extenuating circumstances and wish to be excused from sitting for a particular period, you are required to place your request in writing and direct it to the Court, however submitting a letter does not automatically excuse a juror..

What do you do on the first day that you report for service?

Prior to your first day of service, a representative of the Court will provide you with basic information to ensure your compliance with the rules of the Court, and enhance your understanding of the role of jurors.

What is Voir dire?

Voir dire is the questioning of prospective jurors by the court and/or the parties’ lawyers to determine a juror’s suitability to hear and decide a specific case. This process selects jurors who will actually serve on a jury that hears a case. Often the Superior Court will conduct more than one voire dire during a day. If you are not chosen for one case, you may be asked to remain available for voir dire for another case. Jurors who have not been involved in a voir dire will be first in line for the next one.

If you are not selected, you will be dismissed and instructed either to return at a specified time or to call the Code-A-Phone for further instructions. You are still subject to the terms of the summons, and you must continue to cooperate with the Court.

What are the types of cases that jurors sit on?

There are two basic types of trials: criminal and civil. In a criminal case, a person (the defendant) is charged by the People with breaking the laws governing permissible conduct. In order to convict, the People must prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. A juror who harbors a reasonable doubt must not vote to convict.

In a civil trial, a plaintiff brings a lawsuit against another person or party (the defendant). A civil suit can have more than two parties, and the jury may be called on to answer several questions. The burden of proof is not the same for civil cases as for criminal cases. In civil cases, the plaintiff must prove his case by a preponderance of evidence or by clear and convincing evidence.

The judge and the lawyers will explain the trial process to you. You should listen to them carefully for it is your responsibility to deliberate according to the law.

Are Jurors compensated for their services?

The court believes that your highest compensation for jury service is the satisfaction that you have helped contribute to the fair administration of justice. The Court is aware, however, that jury service interrupts the normal course of your life and takes you away from important activity. Therefore, the Court will pay you a fee for each day of service and reimburse you for transportation expense.

A fee of Forty Dollars ($40.00) is paid for a full day of service (anytime beyond 12:00 noon) and a fee of Twenty Dollars ($20.00) is paid for half day service or less (anytime before 12:00 noon). A transportation allowance is provided. Residents of Water Island and St. John receive an allowance of Ten Dollars ($10.00) and residents of St.Croix and St. Thomas receive an allowance of Five Dollars ($5.00) per day.

How often is an individual required to serve as a Juror?

Service is limited to any two-year period between the Superior Court and District Court of the Virgin Islands. Each term of service in the Superior Court runs for a period of three months.

What is proper juror attire?

It is recommended that jurors wear clothing that would be worn when conducting formal business. Apparel such as tee shirts,sleeveless tops,slippers, and shorts are not permitted.

Are employers obligated to pay employees who are on jury duty?

Some employers do not compensate employees performing jury duty, while others do. However, an employer should not prevent or deter an employee from serving.

Do I have to report for jury duty on all the dates listed?

In order to find out when you have to appear you should call the Code-A-Phone. You may or may not have to appear on all the dates listed.

I just received the Juror Qualification Questionnaire, however the ten (10) day deadline to respond has already passed. What should I do?

Please fill out the questionnaire and mail it back as soon as possible. You can also contact the Jury Management division in the respective judicial district and advise them of the late mailing. You may contact the Jury Manager in the district of St. Thomas / St. John by calling (340) 774-6680 extension 6439. You may contact the Jury Manager in the district of St. Croix by calling (340) 778-9750 extension 6676.

I received a Juror Qualification Questionnaire. However, I no longer reside in the Virgin Islands. What should I do?

Please fill out the Questionnaire Section 1, 2 and mail it back as soon as possible. Please indicate on the Questionnaire that you no longer reside in the territory

I no longer reside in the Virgin Islands and I am currently a registered voter in my new hometown. Why did I receive a questionnaire?

It is most likely that your name still appears on the Voter’s Registration and/or Bureau of Motor Vehicles List. It is your responsibility to notify the Board of Election and/or Bureau of Motor Vehicles regarding your relocation and have the proper steps taken to have your name removed from the list.

I received a summons, however it is just not possible for me to serve right now. Can I serve as a juror at a later date?

Yes, providing proper documentation, your service can be deferred to another time.

I received a summons but on one of the dates listed, I have a previous commitment. Can I be excused for that particular day?

Yes, you can be excused by providing proper documentation.

I received a Juror Qualification Questionnaire for my son/daughter who is currently away attending school. What should I do?

Please complete the questionnaire indicating this and mail it back to the Court.

I received a Juror Qualification Questionnaire for a family member who is now deceased, what should I do?

Please state that information on the letter and mail it back to the Court.

Can I be excused permanently after I have been summoned?

Yes, depending on your situation. You can be excused by providing proper documentation.

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