The right to a trial by jury is one of the core values of American citizenship. The obligation and privilege to serve as a juror are as fundamental to our democracy as the right to vote.
The Roanoke Municipal court depends upon citizens to serve as jurors. Service by citizens as jurors is indispensable to the judicial system and all citizens are encouraged to respond when summoned for jury service. A continuing and imperative goal for the Roanoke Municipal Court, the bar and the broader community is to ensure that jury selection and jury service are fair, effective, and not unduly burdensome on anyone.
Duties and Selection
It is the duty of a juror to be fair and impartial, possess sound judgment, and be able to make decisions based solely on evidence presented without any bias or prejudice. The United States Constitution guarantees all people, regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin, or economic status, the right to a trial by an impartial jury. The jurors must have the ability to determine whether a Defendant is guilty or innocent of the offense alleged and that decision must be made unanimously by the jury panel.
Prospective jurors are selected at random from a list of registered voters within the City of Roanoke. The final result is a six person jury panel comprised of people residing within the town limits of Trophy Club.
A qualified juror must be:
- 18 years of age or older.
- A citizen of the United States and a resident of the county in which the person is to serve.
- Be qualified under the Constitution and laws to vote in the county in which the person is to serve.
- Able to read and write.
- Of sound mind and good moral character.
A person is disqualified as a juror if:
- They have been convicted of a misdemeanor theft or felony.
- They are under indictment or other legal accusation for misdemeanor theft or felony.
- They have served as a juror for six days during the preceding three months in the county court or the preceding six months in the district court.
A prospective juror may request to be exempt from service if:
- They are over 70 years of age (may claim a permanent exemption).
- They have legal custody of a child or children younger than 12 years of age and service on the jury would require leaving the child or children without adequate supervision.
- They are a student at a public or private high school.
- They are enrolled and in actual attendance at an institution of higher learning.
- They are an officer or employee of the Senate, the house of Representatives, or any department, commission, board, office, or other agency in the legislative branch of state government.
- They are the primary caretaker of a person who is an invalid unable to care for themselves (does not apply to healthcare workers).
- They are a member of the United States military forces serving on active duty and deployed to a location away from their home station and out of their county of residence.
* These exemptions are not mandatory. It is your choice to claim an exemption.
Failure to Comply with the Jury Summons
Failure to comply with a jury summons is subject to a contempt charge punishable by a fine of not more than $100.00.