Return of Juror Questionnaires Required by Law
Elkins, W. Va., August 18, 2021: Elkins Municipal Court recently mailed out questionnaires to prospective jurors, and these must be completed and returned by August 24, city officials announced today. Prospective jurors are required by law to respond and may face punitive action if they do not.
Elkins Municipal Court hears cases involving violations of city laws. Although jury trials are not common at the municipal court, all defendants have the constitutional right to one. A jury trial has been scheduled for September 22, and the city has sent questionnaires to the prospective jury pool to gather information such as availability and possible grounds for being excused or disqualified.
“We’ve sent out several hundred questionnaires to individuals selected as potential jurors for an upcoming jury trial in September,” says Michelle Metheny, the municipal court clerk. “I have only received a few of these questionnaires back. If people don’t return these questionnaires, we’ll have to summon them to appear, and they may then face a charge for failure to appear if they do not.”
Metheny points out that jury service is a crucial component of the judicial system in this country.
“We understand that jury service may seem inconvenient, but everyone has the right to a jury trial,” she says. “In order for any of us to be able to exercise that right, we all have to be willing to serve if asked.”