Accommodating Citizens Called to Jury Service
Courts should require jury service for the shortest
period possible. Therefore, the statute should be
amended to shorten the jury term to a maximum of one
week and jury service to a maximum of two days or one
Jurors should be provided with full and complete
information about jury service from the time they are
In order to promote broad citizen participation and
to send a message that courts respect the time
commitments of citizens, a state-wide policy should be
established to enforce and strictly limit the granting
of jury excuses while liberally granting requests for
RCW 2.36.070 should be amended to include a pilot
project allowing non-English-speaking citizens to serve
on a jury with the aid of a certified interpreter.
The Commission views a fee increase as its highest
priority. Citizens required to perform jury service
should be compensated fairly and appropriately.
Legislation should be drafted requiring that current
fees be raised, with the increase funded by the state.
Local jurisdictions are encouraged to provide or pay
for transportation and parking. Jurors could donate
their fees and expenses to a court jury improvement
Courts should make every effort to utilize jurors
efficiently. They should avoid calling more citizens to
the court facility for jury service than needed.
Each court should maintain adequate facilities for
jurors with the appropriate seating, work space, rest
rooms, light, and temperature control necessary to
facilitate jury selection and deliberations. Special
consideration should be given to jurors with
disabilities or other special needs. Courts must make
every effort to provide the appropriate facilities to
accommodate these needs.
Amenities to improve the experience of jury service
should be provided wherever possible.
At the start of a jury trial, the judge should
inform the jurors of the court’s normal working hours,
as well as the working hours that could be expected
during deliberations. The judge should determine
whether the jurors have any special needs that justify
setting different times.
Judges and court personnel should assist jurors to
handle the stress that may be caused by jury service.