Richmonders confused after receiving jury duty summons for past dates; Clerk cites city mailing issue

Posted at 1:24 PM, Aug 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-28 13:26:11-04

RICHMOND, Va -- A jury duty error caused confusion for some Richmond residents when they received a letter alerting them that they may be required to serve on dates that had already passed.

Despite receiving a summons in late August, residents said they were notified of potential jury duty for dates in early and mid-August.

According to Richmond Circuit Court Clerk Ed Jewett, August jury summonses that were prepared by the jury office and picked up by the city mail room staff were never actually mailed out.

The court discovered the problem on Aug. 15 when "very few jurors" arrived for duty that day. Jury office staff then called jurors who needed to appear in court the following day, and Jewett said there was a "good response" from citizens in the jury pool.

The city mail room then sent out all summons for overnight delivery.

"To my knowledge, we have never had this problem before. Procedures have been put in place to ensure it does not happen again," Jewett said in an email to CBS 6.

Some residents took to social media with questions when they received a late summons, citing concerns that they'd face consequences for missing jury duty.

Jewett encouraged jurors for the August term who have questions or concerns to reach out to the Jury Office.

Moving forward, Jewett said the city mail room has agreed to confirm with the court's jury office when all summonses have been mailed out.

"In addition, the city is analyzing the mailroom's intake and outbound processes and controls to ensure timely processing to eliminate future incidents. This includes additional staff coaching and mentoring," Jewett said.

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