A JURY TRIAL IS SCHEDULED TO BEGIN April 12, 2021. The jury trial that was scheduled to begin on Monday, April 12 has been canceled. IF YOU HAVE BEEN CALLED TO APPEAR BY SUMMONS OR DIRECT COMMUNICATION FROM THE CLERK'S OFFICE, YOU DO NOT NEED TO APPEAR.
Columbia County Superior Court Courtroom Safety Order Re: Jury Trials
Announcement & Alerts
Please see our press release about? Jury Duty Scams (PDF)
The Columbia County Courthouse will be closed in 2020, for the following Holidays:
Monday, January 20th for Martin Luther King Day
Monday, February 17th for President's Day
Monday, May 25th for Memorial Day
Friday, July 3rd for Independence Day
Monday, September 7th for Labor Day
Wednesday, November 11th for Veteran's Day
Thursday and Friday, November 26th and 27th for Thanksgiving
Friday, December 24th and 25th for Christmas Day
About Jury Duty
Jury duty is an essential element of our judicial system in America. Trial by jury is provided as a constitutional right. Jury duty is one of the privileges of citizenship in the United States. By state law, jurors are selected at random from a Master List generated in Olympia, Washington.
The Columbia County Clerk's Office is responsible for the management of juror services for the Superior Court. The Clerk's Office responds to judges' requests for jury panels, as well as the coordination and direction of the jurors. In addition, the Clerk's Office updates records, calculates juror fees, responds to telephone inquiries, reschedules juror's term, excuses disqualified jurors, and oversees the general comfort of jurors.
Jury fees are set by the County Commissioners of each county. Columbia County's current fee is $10 per day of service. Mileage is paid at the State's current rate per mile. Jury checks are issued by the County Auditor and should be received within four weeks of the service date.
Sometimes there are complications with receiving jury pay, such as incorrect address, inability to deliver mail, or lost checks. If jury payment has not been received within four weeks from the date of service, the juror should call the County Clerk's Office and let the Jury Coordinator know.
Juror information is considered confidential, and will not be released unless by order of the court in which the juror has served on a trial. Information is for court use only, as stated on the summons.
Court sessions generally run from 9 am to 4:30 pm. There are daily breaks for lunch, and usually a break each morning and afternoon.
Disqualification from Jury Duty
A juror is not qualified to serve if any of the following is true:
The individual is less than 18 years of age.
The individual is not a citizen of the United States.
The individual is not a resident of Columbia County.
The individual is not able to communicate in the English language.
The individual is in custody of Washington Department of Corrections (DOC) or on DOC community custody.
If any of these reasons applies to you, please note your disqualification on your juror questionnaire.
Jury Service Informational Videos
The following information is available for viewing in order to acquaint you with jury service procedures and processes.
Length of Service
The term of service is one month; however, most jurors serve only 2 to 5 days.
No Smoking Allowed
The courthouse campus area is a non-smoking facility, and jurors are required to exit the building for smoking breaks.
Requesting an Excuse from Jury Duty
If you have a hardship that prevents you from serving on jury duty, the court prefers to reschedule you for a different month. However, the court recognizes that sometimes the hardships are more complicated, and jury duty is sometimes excused. Typical reasons for jurors to request to be excused are based upon medical, financial, or educational hardships. A written note detailing the "undue hardship, extreme inconvenience, or public necessity" is required for all hardship requests. For example:
Medical hardships require a brief note from your physician.
Financial hardships require a statement in writing from the employer regarding their policy to pay (or not pay) regular wages during jury duty.
Educational hardships require a copy of the class schedule showing the time of day conflicts.
Another common hardship involves residency - when the prospective juror has moved or plans to move outside of Columbia County prior to the scheduled jury duty. In this instance, the Court requires verification of the current physical address and county of residence.
Please do not call the Clerk's Office asking to be excused over the phone as phone requests cannot be considered.
Requests for Postponements
The Court realizes that occasionally jurors may have scheduling conflicts occur during the time frame for which they have been summoned. In these cases, the jury duty can sometimes be rescheduled. If you have a conflict complete the information on your juror questionnaire. You can reschedule the date one time only, within 6 months of the original date of service.
The Master List is a combination of eligible Columbia County residents ages 18 and over from the driver's license list, voter registration list, and State Identicard holder's list. The law affecting eligible jurors in Washington State was changed in 1994 to include all three lists. Columbia County's eligible resident population is presently estimated at 2,193. Jury service is discussed in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 2.36. Summons are mailed under the authority of the Columbia County Clerk.
The courts request that, both before and during jury duty, prospective jurors refrain from reading or communicating about court cases. This includes social media such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. Once jury duty is completed, these cases may be discussed.
Summons are sent to prospective jurors approximately six weeks prior to the month of service. The prospective juror is requested to complete the Juror Information Form and return it immediately to:
Columbia County Clerk
341 East Main Street, Suite 2
Dayton, WA 99328
Answers to questions on the Juror Information Form will assist in making the voir dire portion of the selection process more efficient.
Verification for Work
Employment verification for days served is available upon request through the Clerk's Office. Verification will include the times of arrival and departure for each day of service. Please check with your business in the event that they require you to report back to work when your jury duty is completed early in the day.
For additional information please call the Clerk's Office at 509-382-4321.