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B. Juror identities, questionnaires and other records

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  • 4th Circuit

    Because voir dire is presumptively open to the public, the right of access extends to the names and addresses of the jurors, as well as the men and women summoned but not chosen for the jury.  However, the presumption of access may be overcome in circumstances involving realistic threats of violence or jury corruption. See In re Baltimore Sun Co., 841 F.2d 74, 76 (4th Cir. 1988).

    Juror questionnaires, as part of voir dire, are presumptively open to the public. See In re South Carolina Press Ass'n, 946 F.2d 1037, 1040-1041 & n.3 (4th Cir. 1991) (affirming district court’s order closing voir dire, including juror questionnaires, to the public); accord Eaglin v. McCall, 689 F. App'x 166, 168 (4th Cir. 2017) (per curiam) (“This presumption of access applies to written juror questionnaires.”).  When the court and the attorneys prepare such a questionnaire and promise confidentiality of responses thereto, they must consider the notice requirements for restricting access. See In re S.C. Press Ass'n, 946 F.2d at 1040 n.3.  The Jury Selection Act prevents disclosure of records or papers used by the jury commission or clerk before voir dire; it is does not prevent disclosure of information revealed during voir dire, and thus is not a basis for sealing juror questionnaires. See In re WP Co., No. 15-1293, Order at n.* (Fourth Circuit Apr. 27, 2015).

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  • Idaho

    Records of “names of jurors placed in a panel for a trial of an action and the contents of jury qualification forms and jury questionnaires for these jurors” are exempt from disclosure, unless the presiding judge orders otherwise.  I.C.A.R. 32(g)(8).  Only attorneys of a party or a party representing himself may obtain copies of the juror questionnaire responses.  Idaho Crim. R. 23.1.; Idaho R. Civ. Pro. 47(d).  Even then, such disclosure shall be subject to the rule of maintaining juror confidentiality and may include the “deletion of the name, address, phone number or any other information about a prospective juror that should remain confidential.” Idaho R. Civ. Pro. 47(d).

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  • Pennsylvania

    There is a First Amendment right to access jurors’ names. Commonwealth v. Long, 922 A.2d 892 (Pa. 2007).

    Rule 632 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure provides that juror questionnaires shall not constitute a public record and are kept confidential.

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  • Virginia

    The Virginia Supreme Court has held that a master jury list, whether current or expired, may not be disclosed absent good cause. See Prieto v. Commonwealth, 283 Va. 149, 185, 721 S.E.2d 484, 505 (2012); see also Va. Code § 8.01-347 (box containing master jury list “shall be locked and safely kept by the clerk of such court and opened only by the direction of the judge thereof.”).

    Because voir dire is presumptively open to the public, the Fourth Circuit has held that so, too, are the names and addresses of the jurors, as well as the men and women summoned but not chosen for the jury. The presumption of openness to juror identifying information may be overcome in circumstances involving “realistic threats of violence or jury corruption.” See In re Baltimore Sun Co., 841 F.2d 74, 76 (4th Cir. 1988).

    The Virginia Code and the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia provide for restrictions on the disclosure of juror identification information in criminal cases for “good cause sufficient to warrant departure from the norm of open proceedings[.]” Va. Sup. Ct. R. 3A:14.1(a)(1); see also Va. Code § 19.2-263.3.  Good cause “includes, but is not limited to, a determination by the court in a particular case that if personal information of jurors or prospective jurors is disclosed there is a reasonable possibility of bribery, tampering, physical injury, harassment, intimidation of a juror, or any other material interference with the proper discharge of the jury's functions, such as a reasonably perceived threat to the jury's safety, well-being, or capacity to properly focus upon and perform its trial and deliberative duties.” See Va. Sup. Ct. R. 3A:14.1(a). See also Va. Code § 19.2-263.3(A) (“good cause shown includes, but is not limited to, a determination by the court that there is a likelihood of bribery, tampering, or physical injury to or harassment of a juror if his personal information is disclosed.”).

    The Fourth Circuit has held that juror questionnaires, as part of voir dire, are presumptively open to the public. See In re South Carolina Press Ass'n, 946 F.2d 1037, 1040-1041 & n.3 (4th Cir. 1991); accord Eaglin v. McCall, 689 F. App'x 166, 168 (4th Cir. 2017) (per curiam) (“This presumption of access applies to written juror questionnaires.”).

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