Jury Central Administration
Any request to be excused from jury service or to have the date delayed must be made in writing prior to the expected date of appearance. Requests should be sent to: Vermont Superior Court, Jury Administration, 32 Cherry Street, Suite 350, Burlington, VT 05401-7305. Staff will present the request to the appropriate court for a decision to be made on whether or not the request for excusal will be granted. The juror will then be notified of the Court’s decision.
In cases where a juror is able to perform jury service but has a serious scheduling conflict with a date they are scheduled to appear in court, a postponement to a future date of jury service may be granted.
While jury service may be inconvenient, this is not a reason to seek an excuse. A person who can get away from business for a vacation should be able to get away for jury service.
NO EMPLOYER MAY DISCHARGE AN EMPLOYEE BECAUSE OF JURY SERVICE. 21 VSA 499(a)
Since the whole community cannot serve at the same time, the courts must have a way to randomly choose a group which represents the community for each trial. Jurors often wonder how this is done and how they were chosen.
In Vermont, people are called to jury service in the same county in which they live. A list of prospective jurors is electronically compiled from the voter registration checklists of each town or city and a list of licensed drivers. When jurors are needed for a trial, a randomly selected list of names from the appropriate county is generated by computer. A Summons and Jury Service Questionnaire is then sent to each person on the randomized list. Jurors are required to complete the questionnaire either on the internet or on paper, then submit it to the Jury Administration Office. The completed questionnaires are used by the Court in making the final selection of jurors for a trial.
A person is summoned to appear before the court no more than three times for jury draw (also called “voir dire”). Those selected to serve on any trials then return for those trials. Jurors who are not selected to serve on any trials on a jury draw day do not need to return to court for jury service until the next jury drawing day.
Vermont law permits payment of jurors if the juror requests pay, unless the juror is otherwise compensated by their employer. It is recommended that you check with your personnel department regarding your company's policy on jury service prior to coming to court. Jurors who are eligible for pay receive $15 for four hours or less, or $30 for more than four hours for each day of jury service. The court will provide jurors with a blank ”Request for Payment” form, and an IRS Form W-9, which must both be completed and returned to the court in order for a juror to receive payment.
Yes. People who have been summoned for jury service MUST CALL the jury phone message line in their county after 5:00 PM on the day before they are scheduled to appear for jury duty. The phone message number for jurors to call appears on the front page of their Summons. A recorded message will explain whether the jurors are needed in court the next day, as previously scheduled. Jurors should call the phone message line each time before they are scheduled to come to court. A juror who fails to call the jury phone message line, and then appears in court when not needed, will not be paid.
The Jury Administration Office (JAO) office, which processes juror questionnaires and other correspondence, can answer general questions about jury service in Vermont. The phone number for this office is 802-865-5879; the mailing address is 32 Cherry Street, Suite 350, Burlington, VT 05401-7305; the email address is JUD-Jury@state.vt.us
PLEASE NOTE: The JAO staff does NOT make decisions on requests for excusal, postponement, etc. Such requests are forwarded to the appropriate court for decision. (Please remember that unless you have received notice that the Court has granted your request, you should not assume that you have been excused or your service postponed.)
If the JAO office staff is unable to answer your question, you may be referred to the Clerk's office of the appropriate court for further information.