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Jury Service

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The Office of the Superior Court Administrator is responsible for calling citizens for jury duty. The Jury Coordinator runs a computer program that selects prospective jurors from lists of voter registrations, driver registrations and Washington State identification cards for residents of Clark County.

Jury Administration Phone: (360) 397-2049
Jury Information Line: (360) 397-2400
Jury Administration: mailto:juries@clark.wa.gov

Complete my Questionnaire

Juror Reporting Instructions

Frequently Asked Questions about Jury Duty

  1. How do I respond to my summons?
  2. Why is jury duty important?
  3. What is my duty as a juror?
  4. How was I selected for jury duty?
  5. Who is eligible for jury duty?
  6. How long does jury duty last?
  7. Who can be excused from jury service?
  8. Can jury duty be rescheduled?
  9. What type of cases are heard by jurors?
  10. Are jurors paid for jury service?
  11. Must my employer pay me while I am on jury duty?

Miscellaneous Questions

  1. How to Get to Court
  2. Reporting for Duty
  3. Selection of a Jury
  4. Order of Events in the Trial
  5. In the vicinity of the Courthouse

1. How do I respond to my summons?

Go to http://jury.clark.wa.gov, and use our online service to complete the questionnaire, postpone your service or request to be excused.  If responding online, do not return the paper questionnaire.   If you prefer to respond in writing, please mail the questionnaire back within five days.  If the website is down,  please send the questionnaire via US Mail.

2. Why is jury duty important?

The United States Constitution and the Washington State Constitution guarantees all people the right to trial by an impartial jury. Justice ultimately depends in large measure on the jurors who serve in our courts.

3. What is my duty as a juror?

As a juror, you must be fair and impartial. Your actions and decisions must be free of any bias or prejudice. You must apply the law given by the judge to the facts given during the trial to make a decision in a case.

4. How was I selected for jury duty?

You were selected at random from lists of voter registrations, driver registrations, and Washington State identification cards for residents of Clark County.

5. Who is eligible for jury duty?

Jurors must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States.
  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Reside in Clark County.
  • Be able to communicate in the English language.

You cannot serve on a jury if you have been convicted of a felony and your civil rights have not been restored. If you are in doubt about your eligibility for jury service, you may contact the Jury Coordinator by mail or telephone:

Mail: Jury Coordinator
Clark County Superior Court
PO Box 5000
Vancouver, WA 98666-5000

Phone: (360) 397-2049

6. How long does jury duty last?

Jury duty in Clark County can vary from less than one day to more than one week; however, your call-in obligation is one week only.  If selected, jurors are required to serve for the duration of a trial.

7. Who can be excused from jury service?

You can make a request to be excused using our online service:  go to http://jury.clark.wa.gov/.”  If you prefer, you may make a written request by completing the paper questionnaire and returning it within five days.” 

8. Can jury duty be rescheduled?

Yes.  If you wish to postpone your jury duty to a more convenient date, you must state the reason you cannot serve during the scheduled time.  You must also identify a one-week period, within six months of the scheduled week, when you can serve.  Use our online service to postpone your service term:  go to http://jury.clark.wa.gov/.  Reschedule requests can also be made in writing by returning your questionnaire via US mail.

9. What type of cases are heard by jurors?

Jurors may be selected for District or Superior Court cases ranging from misdemeanors, such as, driving under the influence of alcohol to felonies such as First Degree Murder. Civil matters are heard in both Courts.

10. Are jurors paid for jury service?

Jurors are paid for each day they report for service in addition to round-trip mileage from their residence to the courthouse. Checks are usually mailed 2 weeks after the completion of jury service.

11. Must my employer pay me while I am on jury duty?

Your employer is not required to pay you while you are on jury duty, however, employers are prohibited by law from firing an employee for serving as a juror.

1. How to Get to Court

Location:
Clark County Court is located in downtown Vancouver, in the Clark County Courthouse, at 1200 Franklin Street.

Directions:
If you are driving, from Interstate 5 going NORTH or SOUTH: Exit the freeway at the Mill Plain exit. Proceed west on Mill Plain to Franklin and proceed south on Franklin Street to the Courthouse located at 12th and Franklin. Park in the Jury lot at 11th and Grant Streets. If that lot is full, park in the lot located at the corner of 13th and Harney (former Pepsi Bottling Co. parking lot). If both lots are full you may park in the Jury overflow lot west of the County Parking Garage. Enter the overflow parking lot from 13th Street between Franklin and Harney Streets. Do not park in a spot marked “reserved”. Remember to leave your Juror Parking Permit in the windshield of your car, facing up. The Court will not reimburse you for parking citations received while on Jury Duty. Do not park at the Federal Building.
Map showing parking lots.
Clark County Courthouse - map of each floor (PDF)

Public Transportation:
Jurors are encouraged to take public transportation to the court building. Parking is limited around the courthouse.

2. Reporting for Duty

Where to go:
The Jury Line will instruct jurors about where to report.

When to Report:
The Jury Line will instruct jurors as to what time to report. Please be prompt. One late juror can waste the time of the many persons involved in a trial.

Identification Badges:
Jurors will be issued Juror badges if selected for the trial. Badges should be worn in plain view at all times (including lunch) during jury service.

Smoking:
State law prohibits smoking in all parts of the Courthouse. Smoking is permitted outside the building, however, because of time limitations there will not always be opportunities to go outside.

3. Selection of a Jury

Voir Dire:
After you have reported for jury duty, you will be selected for a jury panel along with other jurors. The jury panel is sent to the courtroom in which the case will be heard. A jury of 6 or 12 people will be selected in the courtroom. The judge in the courtroom will explain the case and introduce the lawyers and other participants. As part of jury selection, the judge and the lawyers will then question the jury panel members to determine if anyone has knowledge of the case, a personal interest in it, or feelings that might make it hard to be impartial. This process is called "voir dire", a phrase meaning "to speak the truth".

Questions asked during voir dire may seem personal but should be answered completely and honestly. The questions are not intended to embarrass anyone but are used to make sure that members of the jury do not have opinions or past experiences which might prevent reaching an impartial decision.

Challenges:
During voir dire the lawyers may ask the judge to excuse a juror from sitting on the case. This is called "challenging a juror". There are two types of challenges: a challenge for cause and a peremptory challenge.

A challenge for cause means the lawyer has a specific reason for thinking that a juror would not be able to be impartial. For example, the case may involve driving under the influence of alcohol. If a juror had been in an accident with a drunk driver and was still upset about it, the defense attorney could ask that the juror be excused for that reason. There is no limit to the number of jurors who may be excused for challenge for cause.

Peremptory challenges do not require the lawyers to state any reason for excusing a juror. Peremptory challenges are intended to allow lawyers, both prosecution and defense, to do their best to assure that the trial is fair. Peremptory challenges are limited to three per side in most cases

4. Order of Events in the Trial

After the jury is selected, the trial will generally follow this order of events:

Opening Statements:
The lawyers for each side may explain the case, the evidence they will present, and the issues for the jury to decide.

Presentation of Evidence:
The evidence consists of the testimony of witnesses and the exhibits allowed by the judge. Exhibits admitted into evidence will be available to the jury for examination during deliberations. The jury will be asked to make decisions regarding disputed facts; therefore, jurors attention at all times is critically important.

Juror note-taking or the use of any notes will be determined by the judge.

Rulings by the Judge:
The judge may be asked to decide questions of law during the trial. Occasionally, the judge may ask jurors to leave the courtroom while the lawyers make their legal arguments. The jurors should understand that such interruptions are needed to make sure that their verdict is based upon proper evidence, as determined by the judge under the Rules of Evidence. Jurors may give the evidence whatever weight they consider appropriate.

Instructions to the Jury:
At the close of all the evidence, the judge will read the instructions to the the jury, explaining the law and other considerations in the case.

Closing Arguments:
After instructions, the lawyers have the opportunity to summarize the evidence in their closing arguments.

Deliberation:
After closing arguments, the jury is isolated to decide the verdict in the case.

5. In the vicinity of the Courthouse

Meals:
Downtown Vancouver has a number of fine restaurants, within a short walk from the courthouse. If you are selected to serve on a jury, adequate time for lunch will be allowed. During deliberations, jurors are usually fed in the courthouse as a group.

Government:
The Court is located near other city, county, state, and federal government buildings. You can renew vehicle license tabs, pay property taxes or utility bills (or ask questions about property taxes or utility bills), apply for a marriage license or a passport, submit building permit plans, or sit in on a County Commissioners meeting, all within a few blocks of the Court.

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Clark County Clerk's Office: Scott G. Weber, County Clerk
Street Address: 1200 Franklin Street, Vancouver, WA 98660
Mailing Address: PO Box 5000, Vancouver, WA 98666-5000
Main phone: (360) 397-2292 | Criminal: (360) 397-2295 | FAX: (360) 397-6099
Juvenile (360) 397-2073 | Collections Unit: (360) 397-6085
E-mail: countyclerk@clark.wa.gov

Clark County District Court Administrator: Rafaela Selga
Street Address: 1200 Franklin Street, Vancouver, WA 98660
Main phone: (360) 397-2424
E-mail: distct@clark.wa.gov

Clark County Superior Court Administrator: Jeffrey Amram
Street Address: 1200 Franklin Street, Vancouver, WA 98660
Main phone: (360) 397-2150

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