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Fewer seniors will have opt-out option for Va. jury duty

Legislation raises age from 70 to 73 allowing choice for those called to serve

Legislation signed by Gov. Youngkin will impact some “seasoned citizens” when it comes to jury duty.

For years, and continuing through June 30, Virginians age 70 and older have been able opt out of jury service owing to age. But legislation approved during the 2024 General Assembly session increases that age to 73.

Youngkin signed the bills – patroned by state Sen. Emily Jordan (R-Smithfield) and Del. W. Chad Green (R-Seaford) – in March. They are designed to provide a greater pool of potential jurors.

“Some jurisdictions in less populated areas of Virginia were having trouble coming up with enough,” said Paul Ferguson, clerk of the Circuit Court for Arlington and Falls Church.

(Those over 70 – 73 starting in July – can still serve on juries if they wish; there is no upper age limit.)

The proposal had the support of the Virginia Court Clerks Association, and breezed through the legislature with nary a dissenting vote.

Upping the age from 70 to 73 was suggested because the mandatory retirement age for state judges also has been increased from 70 to 73.

Ferguson says, in his bailiwick, many locals are keen to do their civic duty. “In Arlington and Falls Church, I am fortunate that most people are willing and able to serve as jurors,” he told the GazetteLeader.