SERVICE TERM: Wahkiakum Jurors are summoned to a service term of one month per RCW 2.36.010(11). Wahkiakum County Superior Court summons 200-400 jurors per month depending on how many jury trials have been scheduled in a particular month. Since Wahkiakum County has less than 3,500 available jurors, it is very common for a juror to be summoned to serve more than once in any given year. The juror summons will be mailed out approximately 3 weeks before your jury term begins and will state the month in which you will be called to serve for jury duty. (For Example: If you are called for jury duty in February, you will receive your summons in January.)
JUROR SUMMONS QUESTIONNAIRE: When you receive a Jury Summons, please complete the summons questionnaire and return it within 10 days. The questionnaire can now be completed online through our Wahkiakum Online Juror Portal or it can be mailed or hand-delivered to the Clerk's Office located on the first floor in the Wahkiakum County Courthouse at 64 Main St., Cathlamet, WA 98612.
EXCUSING/POSTPONING JURY SERVICE
The Jury Questionnaire must be completed and returned, even if you have a request to be excused. The Court will not review your request unless you complete the required questionnaire.
Note: Previous excusals (unless Permanently Excused) do not warrant future excusals. Each request must be addressed as if it is the first time the court is hearing your request. We do not maintain records from previous years in which you may have been summoned or of your previous medical or previous requests to be excused. A request to be excused does not mean you are automatically excused. Each request is reviewed by the court and a written response will be mailed by postcard informing you of the Court's decision.
Click the following link for information regarding how to request to be excused from jury service and what documentation is required: HOW TO REQUEST EXCUSAL FROM JURY SERVICE
If there is a conflict with serving in the month you are summoned to serve, such as a scheduled vacation or doctor appointments, there is an option on the summons to ask to be excused for specific days during your month of service. If you are requesting to be excused for more than 14 days during the month you are summoned to serve, you can postpone your service up to six months. You may only request to reschedule to a future month of service once. If you do reschedule, another summons will be sent to you for the month you have chosen.
HOW TO REPORT FOR JURY SERVICE:
When you have been summoned, please call our JURY LINE: 1-866-570-7276 to listen to a pre-recorded message informing you of the trial dates scheduled for your month of service.
Once a jury trial is confirmed to be held, our office randomly selects 25-60 jurors from the pool of jurors summoned to service to appear at Court for Juror Selection on a specific date. The jurors randomly selected to appear for Juror selection on the first day of the scheduled trial will be mailed a letter that contains reporting instructions. Trials can be settled, cancelled, or rescheduled up to the day they are scheduled to be held.
REPORTING FOR JUROR SELECTION
If you have received a letter instructing you to report for juror selection, please arrive at the courthouse by the time indicated in the letter you receive, as it takes time to check in with the Court and go through security screening. Once all jurors are seated in the Courtroom, the Voir Dire process will begin. The Judge will tell you about the nature of the case, then introduce the lawyers and other parties involved in the case. The Judge will have all jurors take an oath in which you will promise to answer all questions truthfully. After all jurors are sworn in, the judge and the lawyers will question you and other members of the panel to find out if you have any knowledge about the case, any personal interest in it, or any feelings that might make it hard for you to be an impartial juror. This question process is called Voir Dire, which means "to speak the truth."
Though some questions may seem personal, you should answer them completely and honestly. If you are uncomfortable answering them, tell the Judge. Questions are not asked to embarrass you. They are intended to make sure members of the jury have no bias or past experiences which might prevent them from making an impartial decision.
Once a person has been selected to serve on a trial as a juror, you are expected to be there every day until a verdict is reached and the Judge releases you. You must not discuss the case with anyone once you are selected and sworn on the case. You must not research the laws, history of the case, blog, or post on any form of social media as doing so may lead to a mistrial.
Additional jurors may be chosen, known as alternates, so that if any members of the impaneled jury are unable to complete the trial for some reason, the trial can continue. Alternate jurors participate in the trial proceedings but do not take part in deliberations unless they have been called to replace a member of the impaneled jurors.
Lunch breaks are taken each day and breaks are taken mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Jurors are sometimes also excused to the jury room if issues must be discussed or decided in the courtroom, outside of the jurors' presence. Typically the day ends approximately at 4:30pm but it is up to the Judge to determine when trial ends each day.
AUTOMATED WAHKIAKUM JURY LINE: 1-866-570-7276
FEBRUARY 2024 JURORS
Jury trials for the month of February are currently scheduled for: Feb. 23, and Feb. 26-29th.
IF YOU ARE RANDOMLY SELECTED TO REPORT FOR JURY SELECTION FOR ANY OF THE ABOVE TRIAL DATES, YOU WILL BE NOTIFIED BY RECEIVING A LETTER IN THE MAIL APPROXIMATELY A WEEK BEFORE THE SCHEDULED TRIAL DATE. THE LETTER WILL CONTAIN REPORTING INSTRUCTIONS.
TRIALS CAN BE RESOLVED OR RESCHEDULED AT ANY TIME, IF YOU RECEIVE A LETTER INSTRUCTING YOU TO REPORT FOR JUROR SELECTION, PLEASE CALL THE DAY BEFORE YOU ARE SCHEDULED TO REPORT TO CONFIRM THE TRIAL IS STILL BEING HELD.
THANK YOU FOR BEING ABLE TO SERVE AS A JUROR.