To serve as a juror, a person must:
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Be a citizen of the United States.
- Be a resident of Okanogan County.
- Be one of the following:
- A registered voter.
- A valid driver license or identicard holder.
- Be able to communicate in the English language.
- Must not currently be on community custody (a form of supervision/probation) with Department of Corrections
Once each month a prospective juror list is compiled from the jury source pool of all registered voters, drivers license holders and identicard holders. Everyone on this list is mailed a summons to complete and return to the court. Jurors are then requested to be available during one week that month for service. Approximately 140 jurors are called each trial month to appear.
The information on this summons, including place of employment and family status is used by the attorneys for both sides during the voir dire or jury selection process. If this information were not available to the attorneys, the selection process would be delayed while the attorneys asked each prospective juror these basic background questions to determine which jurors they prefer and which they wish to challenge.
The jury panel will consist of six (6) persons with one (1) alternate if the judge feels it necessary.
District Court trials generally last one day however some may run longer. If you appear for one trial or all trials cancel for the week you have been selected, your jury term is ended. After a jury has been selected, those jurors who were not chosen or challenged may be reassigned to the other District Court courtroom or dismissed. You will not be summoned again for jury duty for at least one year once the month you were summoned for ends.
Yes. If you wish to use the device, request one from the legal process assistant so you are able to better hear the Judge, witnesses, other jurors, and attorneys during the trial process.
District Court trials deal with misdemeanors or gross misdemeanors such as Driving Under the Influence, Theft 3rd Degree, Driving While License Suspended, Assault 4th Degree, etc. The court also has jurisdiction over civil matters where the amount disputed is $100,000 or less.
Trials involving life and death issues or long term imprisonment such as murder, burglary, rape, etc. are felony offenses. These cases are handled by Okanogan County Superior Court.
You will receive $15.00 per day for jury service plus round trip mileage from your residence at a rate established by the State of Washington. The check will be mailed to your home and you should receive it about four weeks after service.
If your employer paid you full wages the day you served as a juror, you may need to turn over the $15.00 juror payment to them. The mileage reimbursement can be retained if you drove to the court in your own vehicle. Please check with your employer regarding their policy as it relates to jury duty and juror compensation.
Yes, before you leave for the day request a written confirmation of jury service. Employers can not deny you the right to serve as a juror but can require proof of your appearance. (It is a violation of state law for an employee to be terminated for serving jury duty).
Occasionally, the attorneys need to discuss information that may affect your judgment. To keep you fair and impartial, they request the jury be excused while they discuss this with the Judge.
Yes. There will most likely be several recesses during the trial, some planned and some unplanned as requested by an attorney and approved by the judge. In addition you will have at least one hour for lunch on your own. If deliberations continue beyond 6:15 p.m. then dinner will be provided for you, if you want, and delivered to your jury room.
Remember during breaks and the lunch hour to refrain from discussing the case with anyone.
No, not while the proceedings are in process. However you will have an opportunity during the lunch break for smoking. No smoking is allowed in the County buildings as required by County ordinance and state law.
Yes, you will have an opportunity to make a call to your family if you need to during a break.
Yes. Once the trial is concluded and the judge removes the no discussion restriction, you will be free to discuss the case freely with whomever you choose.
No. You should not speak with anyone from the media during the trial. Once the trial is over it is left to your own judgment whether you allow yourself to be questioned or interviewed.
The lawyers have the right and duty to challenge any jurors for cause. Each lawyer may also challenge up to three jurors each without giving any reason. There is no way to predict how many jurors may be disqualified for these and other reasons. Therefore we call a sufficient number of jurors to assure that enough will remain qualified for the trial.