Chapter 2.36 RCW

JURIES

Sections

2.36.010Definitions.
2.36.020Kinds of juries.
2.36.050Juries in courts of limited jurisdiction.
2.36.052Courts of limited jurisdictionPerformance of jury management activities by superior court authorized.
2.36.054Jury source listMaster jury listCreation.
2.36.055Jury source listJury assignment areasMaster jury listCompilation.
2.36.057Expanded jury source listCourt rules.
2.36.0571Jury source listMaster jury listAdoption of rules for implementation of methodology and standards by agencies.
2.36.063Compilation of jury source list, master jury list, and selection of jurors by electronic data processing.
2.36.065Judges to ensure random selectionDescription of process.
2.36.070Qualification of juror.
2.36.072Determination of juror qualificationWritten or electronic declaration.
2.36.080Selection of jurorsState policyExclusion on account of membership in a protected class or economic status prohibited.
2.36.093Selection of jurorsLength and number of termsTime of service.
2.36.095Summons to persons selected.
2.36.100Excuse from serviceReasonsAssignment to another termSummons for additional serviceCertification of prior service.
2.36.110Judge must excuse unfit person.
2.36.130Additional names.
2.36.150Juror expense paymentsReimbursement by statePilot projects.
2.36.165Leave of absence from employment to be providedDenial of promotional opportunities prohibitedPenaltyCivil action.
2.36.170Failure of juror to appearPenalty.

NOTES:

Grand juriesCriminal investigations: Chapter 10.27 RCW.
Juries
crimes relating to: Chapter 9.51 RCW.
in eminent domain proceedings: Title 8 RCW.
Jury trial, civil cases, challenging, procedure, etc.: Chapter 4.44 RCW.


Definitions.

Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.
(1) A jury is a body of persons temporarily selected from the qualified inhabitants of a particular district, and invested with power
(a) To present or indict a person for a public offense.
(b) To try a question of fact.
(2) "Court" when used without further qualification means any superior court or court of limited jurisdiction in the state of Washington.
(3) "Judge" means every judicial officer authorized to hold or preside over a court. For purposes of this chapter "judge" does not include court commissioners or referees.
(4) "Juror" means any person summoned for service on a petit jury, grand jury, or jury of inquest as defined in this chapter.
(5) "Grand jury" means those twelve persons impaneled by a superior court to hear, examine, and investigate evidence concerning criminal activity and corruption.
(6) "Petit jury" means a body of persons twelve or less in number in the superior court and six in number in courts of limited jurisdiction, drawn by lot from the jurors in attendance upon the court at a particular session, and sworn to try and determine a question of fact.
(7) "Jury of inquest" means a body of persons six or fewer in number, but not fewer than four persons, summoned before the coroner or other ministerial officer, to inquire of particular facts.
(8) "Jury source list" means the list of all registered voters for any county, merged with a list of licensed drivers and identicard holders who reside in the county. The list shall specify each person's name and residence address and conform to the methodology and standards set pursuant to the provisions of RCW 2.36.054 or by supreme court rule. The list shall be filed with the superior court by the county auditor.
(9) "Master jury list" means the list of prospective jurors from which jurors summoned to serve will be randomly selected. The master jury list shall be either randomly selected from the jury source list or may be an exact duplicate of the jury source list.
(10) "Jury term" means a period of time of one or more days, not exceeding two weeks for counties with a jury source list that has at least seventy thousand names and one month for counties with a jury source list of less than seventy thousand names, during which summoned jurors must be available to report for juror service.
(11) "Juror service" means the period of time a juror is required to be present at the court facility. This period of time may not extend beyond the end of the jury term, and may not exceed one week for counties with a jury source list that has at least seventy thousand names, and two weeks for counties with a jury source list of less than seventy thousand names, except to complete a trial to which the juror was assigned during the service period.
(12) "Jury panel" means those persons randomly selected for jury service for a particular jury term.
(13) "Civil rights restored" means a person's right to vote has been provisionally or permanently restored prior to reporting for jury service.

NOTES:

SeverabilityEffective dates1993 c 408: See notes following RCW 2.36.054.
Legislative findings1988 c 188: "The legislature recognizes the vital and unique role of the jury system in enhancing our system of justice. The purpose of this chapter is the promotion of efficient jury administration and the opportunity for widespread citizen participation in the jury system. To accomplish this purpose the legislature intends that all courts and juries of inquest in the state of Washington select, summon, and compensate jurors uniformly." [ 1988 c 188 § 1.]
Severability1988 c 188: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 1988 c 188 § 23.]
Effective date1988 c 188: "Except for section 19, this act shall take effect January 1, 1989. Section 19 of this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, the support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect immediately [March 22, 1988]." [ 1988 c 188 § 24.]



Kinds of juries.

There shall be three kinds of juries
(1) A grand jury.
(2) A petit jury.
(3) A jury of inquest.
[ 1891 c 48 § 2; RRS § 90.]



Juries in courts of limited jurisdiction.

In courts of limited jurisdiction, juries shall be selected and impaneled in the same manner as in the superior courts, except that a court of limited jurisdiction shall use the master jury list developed by the superior court to select a jury panel. Jurors for the jury panel may be selected at random from the population of the area served by the court.

NOTES:

Legislative findingsSeverabilityEffective date1988 c 188: See notes following RCW 2.36.010.
Severability1980 c 162: See note following RCW 3.02.010.
Courts of limited jurisdiction: Chapter 3.02 RCW.



Courts of limited jurisdictionPerformance of jury management activities by superior court authorized.

Pursuant to an agreement between the judge or judges of each superior court and the judge or judges of each court of limited jurisdiction, jury management activities may be performed by the superior court for any county or judicial district as provided by statute.

NOTES:

Legislative findingsSeverabilityEffective date1988 c 188: See notes following RCW 2.36.010.



Jury source listMaster jury listCreation.

Unless otherwise specified by rule of the supreme court, the jury source list and master jury list for each county shall be created as provided by this section.
(1) The superior court of each county, after consultation with the county clerk and county auditor of that jurisdiction, shall annually notify the consolidated technology services agency not later than March 1st of each year of its election to use either a jury source list that is merged by the county or a jury source list that is merged by the consolidated technology services agency. The consolidated technology services agency shall annually furnish at no charge to the superior court of each county a separate list of the registered voters residing in that county as supplied annually by the secretary of state and a separate list of driver's license and identicard holders residing in that county as supplied annually by the department of licensing, or a merged list of all such persons residing in that county, in accordance with the annual notification required by this subsection. The lists provided by the consolidated technology services agency shall be in an electronic format mutually agreed upon by the superior court requesting it and the consolidated technology services agency. The annual merger of the list of registered voters residing in each county with the list of licensed drivers and identicard holders residing in each county to form a jury source list for each county shall be in accordance with the standards and methodology established in this chapter or by superseding court rule whether the merger is accomplished by the consolidated technology services agency or by a county.
(2) Persons on the lists of registered voters and driver's license and identicard holders shall be identified by a minimum of last name, first name, middle initial where available, date of birth, gender, and county of residence. Identifying information shall be used when merging the lists to ensure to the extent reasonably possible that persons are only listed once on the merged list. Conflicts in addresses are to be resolved by using the most recent record by date of last vote in a general election, date of driver's license or identicard address change or date of voter registration.
(3) The consolidated technology services agency shall provide counties that elect to receive a jury source list merged by the consolidated technology services agency with a list of names which are possible duplicates that cannot be resolved based on the identifying information required under subsection (2) of this section. If a possible duplication cannot subsequently be resolved satisfactorily through reasonable efforts by the county receiving the merged list, the possible duplicate name shall be stricken from the jury source list until the next annual jury source list is prepared.

NOTES:

Effective datePurpose2011 1st sp.s. c 43: See notes following RCW 43.19.003.
Severability1993 c 408: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 1993 c 408 § 14.]
Effective dates1993 c 408: "(1) Sections 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, and 13 of this act are necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect July 1, 1993.
(2) Sections 10 and 12 of this act shall take effect March 1, 1994.
(3) The remainder of this act shall take effect September 1, 1994." [ 1993 c 408 § 15.]



Jury source listJury assignment areasMaster jury listCompilation.

The superior court at least annually shall cause a jury source list to be compiled from a list of all registered voters and a list of licensed drivers and identicard holders residing in the county.
In a county with more than one superior court facility and a separate case assignment area for each court facility, the jury source list may be divided into jury assignment areas that consist of registered voters and licensed drivers and identicard holders residing in each jury assignment area. Jury assignment area boundaries may be designated and adjusted by the administrative office of the courts based on the most current United States census data at the request of the majority of the judges of the superior court when required for the efficient and fair administration of justice.
The superior court upon receipt of the jury source list shall compile a master jury list. The master jury list shall be certified by the superior court and filed with the county clerk. All previous jury source lists and master jury lists shall be superseded. In the event that, for any reason, a county's jury source list is not timely created and available for use at least annually, the most recent previously compiled jury source list for that county shall be used by the courts of that county on an emergency basis only for the shortest period of time until a current jury source list is created and available for use.
Upon receipt of amendments to the list of registered voters and licensed drivers and identicard holders residing in the county the superior court may update the jury source list and master jury list as maintained by the county clerk accordingly.

NOTES:

FindingsIntent2005 c 199: "The legislature finds that superior courts with more than one superior court facility are asking some jurors to travel excessively long distances to attend court proceedings. In these cases, the legislature further finds that consideration of a juror's proximity to a particular courthouse can be accommodated while continuing to provide proportionate jury source list representation from distinctive groups within the community. The legislature intends to lessen the burdens borne by jurors fulfilling their civic duties by providing a mechanism that narrows the geographic area from which the jurors are drawn while maintaining a random and proportionate jury pool." [ 2005 c 199 § 1.]
SeverabilityEffective dates1993 c 408: See notes following RCW 2.36.054.
Legislative findingsSeverabilityEffective date1988 c 188: See notes following RCW 2.36.010.



Expanded jury source listCourt rules.

The supreme court is requested to adopt court rules regarding methodology and standards for merging the list of registered voters in Washington state with the list of licensed drivers and identicard holders in Washington state for purposes of creating an expanded jury source list. The rules should specify the standard electronic format or formats in which the lists will be provided to requesting superior courts by the consolidated technology services agency. In the interim, and until such court rules become effective, the methodology and standards provided in RCW 2.36.054 shall apply. An expanded jury source list shall be available to the courts for use by September 1, 1994.

NOTES:

Effective date2015 3rd sp.s. c 1 §§ 401-405, 409, 411, and 412: "Sections 401 through 405, 409, 411, and 412 of this act are necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and take effect July 24, 2015." [ 2015 3rd sp.s. c 1 § 603.]
SeverabilityEffective dates1993 c 408: See notes following RCW 2.36.054.



Jury source listMaster jury listAdoption of rules for implementation of methodology and standards by agencies.

The secretary of state, the department of licensing, and the consolidated technology services agency shall adopt administrative rules as necessary to provide for the implementation of the methodology and standards established pursuant to RCW 2.36.057 and 2.36.054 or by supreme court rule.

NOTES:

Effective date2015 3rd sp.s. c 1 §§ 401-405, 409, 411, and 412: See note following RCW 2.36.057.
SeverabilityEffective dates1993 c 408: See notes following RCW 2.36.054.



Compilation of jury source list, master jury list, and selection of jurors by electronic data processing.

The judge or judges of the superior court of any county may employ a properly programmed electronic data processing system or device to compile the jury source list, and to compile the master jury list and to randomly select jurors from the master jury list.

NOTES:

SeverabilityEffective dates1993 c 408: See notes following RCW 2.36.054.
Legislative findingsSeverabilityEffective date1988 c 188: See notes following RCW 2.36.010.



Judges to ensure random selectionDescription of process.

It shall be the duty of the judges of the superior court to ensure continued random selection of the master jury list and jury panels, which shall be done without regard to whether a person's name originally appeared on the list of registered voters, or on the list of licensed drivers and identicard holders, or both. The judges shall review the process from time to time and shall cause to be kept on file with the county clerk a description of the jury selection process. Any person who desires may inspect this description in said office.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as requiring uniform equipment or method throughout the state, so long as fair and random selection of the master jury list and jury panels is achieved.

NOTES:

SeverabilityEffective dates1993 c 408: See notes following RCW 2.36.054.
Legislative findingsSeverabilityEffective date1988 c 188: See notes following RCW 2.36.010.



Qualification of juror.

A person shall be competent to serve as a juror in the state of Washington unless that person:
(1) Is less than eighteen years of age;
(2) Is not a citizen of the United States;
(3) Is not a resident of the county in which he or she has been summoned to serve;
(4) Is not able to communicate in the English language; or
(5) Has been convicted of a felony and has not had his or her civil rights restored.

NOTES:

Legislative findingsSeverabilityEffective date1988 c 188: See notes following RCW 2.36.010.
Severability1971 ex.s. c 292: See note following RCW 26.28.010.



Determination of juror qualificationWritten or electronic declaration.

(1) Each court shall establish a means to preliminarily determine by a written or electronic declaration signed under penalty of perjury by the person summoned, the qualifications set forth in RCW 2.36.070 of each person summoned for jury duty prior to their appearance at the court to which they are summoned to serve.
(2) An electronic signature may be used in lieu of a written signature.
(3) "Electronic signature" means an electric sound, symbol, or process attached to or logically associated with a document and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the document.
(4) Upon receipt by the summoning court of a written declaration stating that a declarant does not meet the qualifications set forth in RCW 2.36.070, that declarant shall be excused from appearing in response to the summons. If a person summoned to appear for jury duty fails to sign and return a declaration of his or her qualifications to serve as a juror prior to appearing in response to a summons and is later determined to be unqualified for one of the reasons set forth in RCW 2.36.070, that person shall not be entitled to any compensation as provided in RCW 2.36.150. Information provided to the court for preliminary determination of statutory qualification for jury duty may only be used for the term such person is summoned and may not be used for any other purpose, except that the court, or designee, may report a change of address or nondelivery of summons of persons summoned for jury duty to the county auditor.

NOTES:

SeverabilityEffective dates1993 c 408: See notes following RCW 2.36.054.



Selection of jurorsState policyExclusion on account of membership in a protected class or economic status prohibited.

(1) It is the policy of this state that all persons selected for jury service be selected at random from a fair cross section of the population of the area served by the court, and that all qualified citizens have the opportunity in accordance with chapter 135, Laws of 1979 ex. sess. to be considered for jury service in this state and have an obligation to serve as jurors when summoned for that purpose.
(2) It is the policy of this state to maximize the availability of residents of the state for jury service. It also is the policy of this state to minimize the burden on the prospective jurors, their families, and employers resulting from jury service. The jury term and jury service should be set at as brief an interval as is practical given the size of the jury source list for the judicial district. The optimal jury term is one week or less. Optimal juror service is one day or one trial, whichever is longer.
(3) A citizen shall not be excluded from jury service in this state on account of membership in a protected class recognized in RCW 49.60.030, or on account of economic status.
(4) This section does not affect the right to peremptory challenges under RCW 4.44.130, the right to general causes of challenge under RCW 4.44.160, the right to particular causes of challenge under RCW 4.44.170, or a judge's duty to excuse a juror under RCW 2.36.110.

NOTES:

Severability1979 ex.s. c 135: "If any provision of this amendatory act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 1979 ex.s. c 135 § 12.]



Selection of jurorsLength and number of termsTime of service.

(1) At such time as the judge or judges of any court of any county shall deem that the public business requires a jury term to be held, the judge or judges shall direct that a jury panel be selected and summoned to serve for the ensuing jury term or terms.
(2) The court shall establish the length and number of jury terms in a consecutive twelve-month period, and shall establish the time of juror service consistent with the provisions of RCW 2.36.010.

NOTES:

Legislative findingsSeverabilityEffective date1988 c 188: See notes following RCW 2.36.010.



Summons to persons selected.

(1) Persons selected to serve on a petit jury, grand jury, or jury of inquest shall be summoned by mail or personal service. The county clerk shall issue summons and thereby notify persons selected for jury duty. The clerk may issue summons for any jury term, in any consecutive twelve-month period, at any time thirty days or more before the beginning of the jury term for which the summons are issued. However, when applicable, the provisions of RCW 2.36.130 apply.
(2) In courts of limited jurisdiction summons shall be issued by the court. Upon the agreement of the courts, the county clerk may summon jurors for any and all courts in the county or judicial district.

NOTES:

SeverabilityEffective dates1993 c 408: See notes following RCW 2.36.054.
Legislative findingsSeverabilityEffective date1988 c 188: See notes following RCW 2.36.010.



Excuse from serviceReasonsAssignment to another termSummons for additional serviceCertification of prior service.

(1) Except for a person who is not qualified for jury service under RCW 2.36.070, no person may be excused from jury service by the court except upon a showing of undue hardship, extreme inconvenience, public necessity, or any reason deemed sufficient by the court for a period of time the court deems necessary.
(2) At the discretion of the court's designee, after a request by a prospective juror to be excused, a prospective juror excused from juror service for a particular time may be assigned to another jury term within the twelve-month period. If the assignment to another jury term is made at the time a juror is excused from the jury term for which he or she was summoned, a second summons under RCW 2.36.095 need not be issued.
(3) When the jury source list has been fully summoned within a consecutive twelve-month period and additional jurors are needed, jurors who have already served during the consecutive twelve-month period may be summoned again for service. A juror who has previously served may only be excused if he or she served at least one week of juror service within the preceding twelve months. An excuse for prior service shall be granted only upon the written request of the prospective juror, which request shall certify the terms of prior service. Prior jury service may include service in superior court, in a court of limited jurisdiction, in the United States District Court, or on a jury of inquest.

NOTES:

Legislative findingsSeverabilityEffective date1988 c 188: See notes following RCW 2.36.010.
Severability1979 ex.s. c 135: See note following RCW 2.36.080.



Judge must excuse unfit person.

It shall be the duty of a judge to excuse from further jury service any juror, who in the opinion of the judge, has manifested unfitness as a juror by reason of bias, prejudice, indifference, inattention or any physical or mental defect or by reason of conduct or practices incompatible with proper and efficient jury service.

NOTES:

Legislative findingsSeverabilityEffective date1988 c 188: See notes following RCW 2.36.010.



Additional names.

If for any reason the jurors drawn for service upon a jury for any term shall not be sufficient to dispose of the pending jury business, or where no jury is in regular attendance and the business of the court may require the attendance of a jury before a regular term, the judge or judges of any court may direct the random selection and summoning from the master jury list such additional names as they may consider necessary.

NOTES:

Legislative findingsSeverabilityEffective date1988 c 188: See notes following RCW 2.36.010.



Juror expense paymentsReimbursement by statePilot projects.

Jurors shall receive for each day's attendance, besides mileage at the rate determined under RCW 43.03.060, the following expense payments:
(1) Grand jurors may receive up to twenty-five dollars but in no case less than ten dollars;
(2) Petit jurors may receive up to twenty-five dollars but in no case less than ten dollars;
(3) Coroner's jurors may receive up to twenty-five dollars but in no case less than ten dollars;
(4) District court jurors may receive up to twenty-five dollars but in no case less than ten dollars:
PROVIDED, That a person excused from jury service at his or her own request shall be allowed not more than a per diem and such mileage, if any, as to the court shall seem just and equitable under all circumstances: PROVIDED FURTHER, That the state shall fully reimburse the county in which trial is held for all jury fees and witness fees related to criminal cases which result from incidents occurring within an adult or juvenile correctional institution: PROVIDED FURTHER, That the expense payments paid to jurors shall be determined by the county legislative authority and shall be uniformly applied within the county.
For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007, jurors participating in pilot projects in superior, district, and municipal courts may receive juror fees of up to sixty-two dollars for each day of attendance in addition to mileage reimbursement at the rate determined under RCW 43.03.060.
[ 2006 c 372 § 903; 2004 c 127 § 1; 1987 c 202 § 105; 1979 ex.s. c 135 § 7; 1975 1st ex.s. c 76 § 1; 1959 c 73 § 1; 1951 c 51 § 2; 1943 c 188 § 1; 1933 c 52 § 1; 1927 c 171 § 1; 1907 c 56 § 1, part; Rem. Supp. 1943 § 4229. Prior: 1903 c 151 § 1, part; 1893 p 421 § 1, part; Code 1881 § 2086, part.]

NOTES:

SeverabilityEffective date2006 c 372: See notes following RCW 73.04.135.
Intent1987 c 202: See note following RCW 2.04.190.
Severability1979 ex.s. c 135: See note following RCW 2.36.080.
Travel expense in lieu of mileage in certain cases: RCW 2.40.030.



Leave of absence from employment to be providedDenial of promotional opportunities prohibitedPenaltyCivil action.

(1) An employer shall provide an employee with a sufficient leave of absence from employment to serve as a juror when that employee is summoned pursuant to chapter 2.36 RCW.
(2) An employer shall not deprive an employee of employment or threaten, coerce, or harass an employee, or deny an employee promotional opportunities because the employee receives a summons, responds to the summons, serves as a juror, or attends court for prospective jury service.
(3) An employer who intentionally violates subsection (1) or (2) of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
(4) If an employer commits an act in violation of subsection (2) of this section the employee may bring a civil action for damages as a result of the violation and for an order requiring the reinstatement of the employee. If the employee prevails, the employee shall be allowed a reasonable attorney's fee as determined by the court.
(5) For purposes of this section employer means any person, association, partnership, or private or public corporation who employs or exercises control over wages, hours, or working conditions of one or more employees.

NOTES:

Legislative findingsSeverabilityEffective date1988 c 188: See notes following RCW 2.36.010.



Failure of juror to appearPenalty.

A person summoned for jury service who intentionally fails to appear as directed shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

NOTES:

Legislative findingsSeverabilityEffective date1988 c 188: See notes following RCW 2.36.010.