It is the policy of the Eastern District of Washington that all litigants in this Court, entitled to trial by jury, shall have the right to grand and petit juries selected at random from a fair cross-section of the community in each jury division wherein the Court convenes. In an emergency or in the discretion of a judicial officer, jurors from the qualified wheels of Spokane Jury Division and Yakima/Richland Jury Division may be combined, reassigned to the other division or reassigned to hear cases moved to that division from the other division. Further, all citizens resident within the district shall have the opportunity to be considered for service on grand and petit juries and shall have the obligation to serve as jurors when summoned for that purpose.
To read the District Court's Jury Plan in its entirety, click here.
When summoned to serve as a juror, every person shall be obliged to serve unless determined by the Court to be disqualified, exempt, excluded, or entitled to be excused.
Petit Jurors (Trial Jurors) - Unless otherwise ordered by the Chief Judge, the term of service of a prospective petit juror shall be two (2) weeks, during which two-week period no prospective petit juror shall be required to report to the courthouse more than once unless (1) the jury-selection process in the case to which he or she has been prospectively assigned is continuing, or (2) he or she is selected as a juror.
Prospective jurors not selected for final jury - Prospective jurors who are not selected as trial jurors shall have satisfied their jury service obligation upon completion of voir dire, impanelment of the final jury, and discharge by the judge.
Prospective jurors selected for final jury - Those prospective jurors who are selected as trial jurors shall have satisfied their jury service obligation upon completion of the trial.
Grand Jurors - Grand jurors shall serve for a term not in excess of eighteen(18) months, unless extended by the Court. No one shall be required to serve on more than one grand jury or serve as both a grand and petit juror within a two-year period.
Notice to Employer:
Please be advised that under Title 28, United States Code, Section 1875:
Shall be liable for damages for any loss of wages or other benefits suffered by an employee by reason of the violation.
May be enjoined from further violations and ordered to provide other appropriate relief, including but not limited to the reinstatement of any employee discharged by reason of jury service.
Shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to $5,000 for each violation, and may be ordered to perform community service.
Can my employee be excused from service?
The right of citizens to a jury trial is guaranteed by the federal constitution and service as a juror, when called, is a fundamental duty of citizenship. Accordingly, the Court is required to carefully scrutinize any request to be excused from jury service.
If the Juror believes they should be excused from jury service because jury service would cause undue hardship or extreme inconvenience or because their service would have a negative impact on the public, the Juror must make their request in writing. The letter must be sent within ten days of receipt of their summons. The Court will not consider employer requests. Once a Juror has been instructed to report for jury service, the Juror may not be excused unless there is an emergency or extenuating circumstance.
What hours will my employee be serving for jury service?
Jurors report to the courthouse on days when a trial is scheduled. Some will be selected for service and those who are not will be released, which completes their jury service for the remainder of their term unless otherwise ordered by the judge.
For those selected to serve, the presiding judge will set the schedule. Courthouse hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Does my employee get paid for jury service by the federal court?
Federal jurors are paid an attendance fee of $50.00 per day, in addition to the current federal rate for round-trip mileage. Jurors can receive up to $60.00 per day after serving 10 days on a trial. Employees of the federal government are paid their regular salary in lieu of this fee.
Verification of your employee's service
The Jury Administrator or Jury Clerk will provide written verification certifying the date(s) that your employee was present for jury duty.
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