Washington State Jury Commission
Appendix 2: Excuse and Deferral Guidelines
(For Recommendation 10)
Disqualification, Excuse, and Deferral Guidelines
Disqualification--RCW 2.36.070 (processed by jury clerk):
- Those under eighteen years of age.
- Those who are not citizens of the United States.
- Those not residents of the county.
- Those not able to communicate in the English language.
- Those convicted of felonies who have not had their civil rights restored.
Excuse (processed by judge):
- Those showing undue financial hardship, outlined in writing, where a person is not compensated for jury service by an employer, or self-employed persons who would incur financial hardship.
- A showing that excuse from jury service is a public necessity.
- Those showing jury service would be an extreme inconvenience.
Excuse (processed by jury clerk):
- Persons who have completed jury service within the last year as described in
RCW 2.36.100(3) ("at least two weeks of jury service within the preceding twelve months.").
- Age-related requests for excuse (proof of birth date).
- Those with religious beliefs which would interfere with their ability to serve.
Permanent Excuse (processed by jury clerk):
- Those with a permanent medical condition preventing jury service (verified by a doctor's letter).
Deferral (processed by jury clerk):
- Persons with a verified temporary medical condition that prevents service as a juror if documented by a physician's statement.
- Persons providing sole care for dependent family members.
- Job-related requests for temporary deferral including seasonal work, but only if those persons are unable to be assigned to serve on a short jury trial. This would also apply to self-employed sole proprietors.
- Students may have their jury service postponed to a time when courses are not being conducted.
- Military personnel on active duty who are stationed out-of-county (with proof of military address).
- Persons who have made reservations or plans to be out of town.
- Persons who have appointments or obligations which cannot be cancelled without undue hardship.