Page updated: December 18, 2015
WELCOME TO ANIMPORTANT JOB!
The right to trial by a jury of our fellow citizens is one of our most important rights and is guaranteed by the Washington State and Unites States constitutions. By serving on a jury you are helping to preserve this freedom. Your job as a juror is to listen to all the evidence presented at the trial and to "decide the fact" Ė that is, to decide what really happened. The judge, on the other hand, "decides the law" Ė that is, makes decisions on legal issues that come up during the trial. Most of the trials in Stevens County District Court last only one day and at most two days. Lunch breaks are usually from noon to 1:30 PM.
HOW WAS I CHOSEN?
Your name was selected at random from voter and/or drivers license registration records. Next, the completed Questionnaire for Jurors was evaluated to make sure you are eligible for jury service. To be eligible, you must be 18 years of age, a United States citizen, a resident of Stevens County, and able to communicate in English. If you have been convicted of a felony, you must have had your civil rights restored.
WHAT KIND OF CASEWILL I HEAR?
In Stevens County District Court you will be hearing testimony and receiving evidence from misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor cases such as DUI, theft, assault, driving while license suspended, disorderly conduct etc. and civil cases.
HOW IS A SIX PERSONJURY SELECTED?
The judge will tell you about the case and will introduce the lawyers. Following explanation and the taking of the oath, the judge and the lawyers will question you and other members of the panel to determine if you are impartial. This process is called "VOIR DIRE", a phrase meaning to "speak the truth." Some of the questions may seem very personal; the lawyers are not trying to embarrass you but are trying to make sure you do not have opinions or past experience which might prevent you from making an impartial decision.
At the conclusion of the questioning, the lawyers will challenge jurors in order to reach the final six persons. Once selected the jury will be provided with an opportunity to call their homes or office prior to the start of the trial.
WHY ARE SOMEPEOPLE EXCUSED?
Jurors are excused for numerous reasons and the lawyers rarely tell you why. Donít be upset if you are excused or challenged, it is nothing against you personally. Just enjoy the freedom to leave when excused.
WHAT HAPPENSDURING THE TRIAL?
The usual order of events in District Court is as follows:
"The jury is dismissed? Donít we get tote bags or something?"
DOíS & DONíTSFOR JURORS
PAYMENT OF JUROREXPENSES
After your jury service is completed. Stevens County will pay you $10 for each day you serve and .565 cents per mile for your traveling to and from the courthouse. You should expect payment within 30 days of your jury service. Again thank you for your participation.
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